News

New Three-Wheel Electric “Personal Mobility System” Announced – The Transboard

Mercane Wheels recently introduced version 2.0 of the Transboard, its advanced, 3-wheel foldable electric scooter that combines speed, stability and safety,  The Transboard can reach high speeds of 22MPH and provides up to 25 miles of travel on one charge.

Last week Mercane Wheels announced their new Indiegogo campaign for the Transboard which has a funding goal of $30,000 USD. They also launched on Indiegogo the limited Early Bird specials of $499.00 USD (60% off retail) and several other rewards for early backers.

The Transboard is built with an aluminum alloy frame, a polycarbonate cover and an innovative, one-gesture folding system that makes it light and easy to transport when not in use. The Transboard offers users best-in-class driving stability and performance with its 3-wheel self-balancing system, L-Double Link suspension and a 500 Watt BLDC HUB Motor.  With an Electric Driving Control System and a 48V 8.6Ah battery, users will experience stable acceleration, great braking performance and the ability to ride for up to 25 miles on one full charge (takes 6 hours to fully charge)!

Transboard’s Total Features Include:

•       One-Gesture Folding System: easy “take-with-you” convenience when not riding the Transboard.
•       Aluminum Alloy Frame: holds riders weighing up to 220 pounds.
•       3-wheel System: no complicated instructions or specialized training needed to ride Transboard.
•       Double Wishbone Suspension: delivers great driving stability on dirt roads.
•       Spinning L-Double Link Suspension: delivers driving power and disperses shock to driving direction.
•       Electric Driving Control System: provides stable acceleration and high braking performance.
•       48V 8.6Ah Battery: provides up to 25 miles of distance in one full charge (6 hours to fully charge).
•       48V 500W BLDC HUB motor delivers more power and higher efficiency.
•       Polycarbonate Cover: protects the Transboard from external shock and helps maintain its glossy, beautiful color and stylish lines.
•       LED Display & Function Button: helps conveniently control power ON/OFF, cruise mode, headlight
ON/OFF and horn, etc.•       LED Head & Tail Lights: helps ensure safe driving conditions during night time.
•       Detachable Battery Case: allows riders to recharge wherever they go.
•       Colors: Gloss Black and White.
•       Max Speed: 22 MPH
•       Weight: 53lbs

I think this is one of the coolest electric scooters I’ve seen and hope they have a successful campaign so they can send me one to do a product review of it! If you would like more information on Mercane Wheel’s Transboard click here and if you would like to back their Indiegogo campaign click here.

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So Flow’s NEW Lou Board – The Lightest, Fastest, and Most Maneuverable Electric Skateboard

So Flow’s NEW Lou Board is an electric skateboard that combines a hidden battery and motorized wheels, Loudelivers speed, range, reliability and portability. Designed by an international crew of tech lovers, passionate skaters and e-mobility experts, Lou was crafted with Swiss quality and engineered to deliver the best possible ride on the market. As of today the Lou board will be the first real electric skateboard on Kickstarter. The Lou Skateboard will debut on Kickstarter on April 10 and will run through May 25 with the goal of raising $80,000 towards production costs.

The NEW Lou Board’s product specifications and features include:

  • WATER RESISTANT
  • RED DOT DESIGN AWARD
  • INTERCHANGEABLE DECK PLATES
  • SMARTPHONE APP
  • REPLACEABLE WHEELS
  • PORTABLE
  • SLEEK
  • LONG LASTING POWER
  • LIGHTWEIGHT YET DURABLE

So Flow is also proud of its safety standards and has been granted the following certifications:

  • CE
  • ROHS
  • FCC
  • UN 38.3
  • MSDS

Their Kickstarter campaign for the So Flow Lou Stakeboard has not been launched yet but as soon as they have a link up I will post the link in this article and also on all my social outlets. Keep checking back! I also hope the campaign get funded so I can do a product review of the Lou board. We shall see, I’m hopeful!

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PRODUCT REVIEW: RapidX Finish Line Gaming and Lifestyle Chair

Product reviews and unboxings are one of my favorite things about writing for technology and so I jumped at the opportunity to review the RapidX Finish Line Gaming and Lifestyle Chair. A majority of the American population roughly spends between 7 -10 hours in front of a PC a day. Considering that many hours isn’t it smart to invest in the right chair that is not only comfortable but stylish? If that is what you’re looking for I found the perfect Gaming and Lifestyle Chair to fit your needs!

Introducing the RapidX Finish Line Gaming and Lifestyle Chair!

When I received the RapidX at my front door I did not realize how big of a box it would be or how heavy. I decided to do the unboxing in my garage instead since there is NO way I could get it up to my second floor.

I made several attempts of doing video unboxings and most of which were bloopers. I then decided I should do a video me building the chair out and that also was a fail.

It was fairly easy to assemble but it definitely requires reading the instructions which I never do. The only hiccup I had when assembling the chair was getting the screws in that connect the chair together which was the first step embarrassingly.  

The RapidX Finish Line Gaming and Lifestyle Chair has professional a harness bucket seat with the feel of an orthopedic chair. Its “checkered pattern” and “double color stitching” hides an orthopedic secret that makes this gaming and lifestyle chair surpasses expectations with durability and comfort plus it still makes you look cool.

RapidX uses a less cost-efficient but more mindful and supportive alternative: molded inserts. By constructing its padding out of dense polyurethane foam, RapidX has endowed the Finish Line with another quality of F-1 racing seats. How awesome is that?! I do have to admit the RapidX Finish Line Gaming and Lifestyle Chair is VERY comfortable. I can see this being a must have for gamers, especially for those that game for a long amount of time.

The RapidX Finish Line Gaming and Lifestyle Chair features removable lumbar and neck support pillows that can be raised, lowered, or removed based on your preferences. It also has multi-directional adjustable armrests that can be raised or lowered by three inches, slide forward and sideways, and be positioned in three different angles. 

It reclines from 85 to 165 degrees which is said beats out most other chairs on the market currently. When going in for a turbo recline, remove the lumbar support, fasten the neck support pillow, and use the car seat style lever to drop down as far as you desire. I can only imagine how hilarious it would be to use the “Turbo Recline” feature in a business meeting.

RapidX Finish Line Gaming and Lifestyle Chair is currently $349.00 and you can purchase it on their site located here. Below are the product specifications and features of the Rapid X that you can also find on their site.  If you are a gamer or spend countless hours sitting in front of your PC I strongly suggest to look into the RapidX Finish Line Gaming and Lifestyle Chair.

RapidX Finish Line Gaming and Lifestyle Chair Specifications and Features:

  • Ergonomically designed
  • Checker-patterned backrest reminiscent of finish line flags
  • Locking tilt mechanism designed to emulate car seat recliners
  • Deep bucket seat inspired by professional racing seats
  • High-quality molded polyurethane foam core inserts
  • Removable 10×7-inch colored lumbar and neck support pillows
  • Lift cylinder adjusts seat height from 14.17 to 16.5 inches
  • Double colored stitching along the sides
  • Angled color piping to enhance sporty appearance
  • Armrests adjust from 11.8 to 14.5 inches in height
  • 3D-adjustable PVC armrests with three directional settings
  • 85-155 degree angle recline adjuster
  • Durable and stylized PVC leather
  • Detachable neck and lumbar support pillows included
  • 20.8-inch black aluminum star base with 2-inch (60mm) rim-style casters
  • 21-inch seat width; 18-inch backrest width
  • Supports up to 265lbs  (100-150kgs)
  • Weight: 48lbs  (25kgs)
  • 512-3380492 Austin Heart

Welle: Turn Any Surface Into A Smart Interface

I was just notified about a new Kickstarter Campaign announced today on a potential consumer product called Welle. In a world of “smart” everything, including tooth brushes, I have become rather jaded about the multitude of “smart” products on the market currently. Nothing seems to jump out to me anymore as a cool or innovative product with a market saturated with “smart” devices. I seriously got pitched on “smart” toilet paper holder, no joke!

When I found out about Welle I was intrigued again with “smart” technology. Welle is a smart device that allows users to turn any flat surface into a smart interface utilizing Sonar Technology through hand gestures. While I was at SXSW, Sony’s Wow Factory lounge had a similar product called the Xperia® Touch that is not yet launched or available to purchase or pre-order currently. Xperia® Touch is basically a portable projector that transforms your wall or table into an interactive touch-screen, a very similar concept to the Welle.

What can the Welle connect to and control?

Welle can control any device any where and below is a list of devices it can connect to:

  • Thermostats
  • Coffee makers
  • Lights
  • Windows shades/curtains
  • TVs
  • Doors
  • Speakers
  • Locks
  • Humidifiers
  • Fans/air conditioners
  • Outlets
  • Garage doors
  • Robot arms
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Creates custom gestures
  • Assigns short-cuts throughout handwriting recognition or gestures (i.e. “C” for “make coffee”)
  • Changes volume and tracks when listening to music
  • Connects with IFTTT
  • Tiny size, weighing just 3.5 ounces, with measurements of 2.97” x 1.38” x 0.64”

Welle currently has a goal of  $20,000 and $12,460 has been pledged so far with 44 days to go on Kickstarter. If you are interested in learning more about Welle or would like to contribute to their Kickstarter campaign click here and below is the official press release with more information as well.

March 28, 2017, Shenzhen, China – Welcome to the modern world of controlling devices. Welle (pronounced vell-uh) is a smart device that instantly turns any surface into a “smart” interface using Sonar Technology through hand gestures. Welle http://getwelle.com/ gives you the ability to use unlimited simple gestures to control your favorite Internet of Things (IoT) devices, appliances, and apps – so powerful it even tracks your finger movements and recognizes handwriting.

With Welle, the entire surface becomes connected to Sonar, allowing you to use hand gestures to control all your smart devices, such as lights, TVs, speakers, doors, thermostats, cameras, curtain/blinds, fans; and even PowerPoint presentations, apps, and IFTTT (If this, then that) conditional task applets, and more. Welle is launching today on Kickstarter at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1781885077/1423513448?token=74255447

Uses Most Advanced Sonar-based Gesture Control to Connect to All Kinds of IoT Devices & Appliances – Mounts on Wall

Welle works in the home, office, or anywhere with a Bluetooth connection. Simply place the tiny Welle on any convenient surface or location, or mount Welle on a wall with the included 3M stickers. Working as a universal remote for all kinds of IoT devices and appliances, Welle uses the most advanced Sonar-based gesture control, replacing the multiple traditional household remote controls for a convenient and enjoyable connected home and office experience. Welle recognizes standardized gestures and also lets you assign your own gestures or handwriting short-cuts to interact with devices everywhere in your life.

Creates Custom Gestures, Tracking, & Even Recognizes Handwriting

Welle means “wave” in German and Welle’s logo shows two fingers tracking human gestures with ultrasonic waves. Welle uses Sonar Technology, advanced ultrasonic signals used in the military, automotive and drone markets, that can accurately track human movements. Welle’s Sonar Technology transmits signal pulses and collects the reflected energy back from targets, identifying motions, gestures, and finger movements from the echoed signals. These echoes are translated into different instructions and words to IoT devices using an advanced hardware design and software algorithms. The Welle Sonar Technology tracks your fingers when you touch a surface and can even recognize handwriting motions, transforming them into customized actions. Conventional gesture detectors, such as those used in smartphones, only provide single gesture readings. In contrast, Welle provides rich information, such as trajectory data and digitized gestures, enabling a wide variety of control functions for everyday convenience.

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PRODUCT REVIEW: The Space Scooter

I was asked to review a Space Scooter® recently and had a bit of a chuckle at the request. For those that know me can concur that I am a royal klutz; the review was already deemed to be a comical event before the product was in hand!

What is a Space Scooter®?

It’s a portable kick scooter, duh! What makes this scooter more unique than the rest of the kick scooters out on the market is that the Space Scooter® is powered by a unique “Pump & Go” action which allows you to ride with both feet on board. The “Pump & Go” action makes the scooter faster than a normal scooter, easier and more compact than an average bicycle.

When I received the Space Scooter® not only was I stoked to try something new out that isn’t “smart” but I was super excited to unbox it and start playing with it. The unboxing and assembly was effortless; in fact no assembly required besides taking off the plastic and snapping it into a standing position.

My next obstacle was trying to ride the Space Scooter®. Again, I am a klutz so this was not only a personal challenge but a great comedy show for onlookers watching my poor attempt. I actually had family members suggest I wear my motorcycle helmet before even stepping on the Space Scooter.

Doesn’t it seem a tad over the top and looks ridiculous?! To be honest you should wear a bike regular helmet when riding it as a safety precaution.

Riding the Space Scooter actually wasn’t that hard once you got going and have a nice rhythm down. I even had my 9 year old niece try it out and she caught on to it WAY faster than I. She also used the brakes unlike myself while riding it; I was more about the crash landings.

The Space Scooter® comes in two models; the Junior X360 (for ages 5-8) and X580 (for ages 8+ and up to 200lbs). The Junior is priced at $99.00 and the X580 is $149.00 on their site. Shipping is always free but if you want to go to an actual store and check it out before purchasing it click here for the store locator.

I have had a ton of fun reviewing this scooter and it certainly is an attention getter. If you are in the market for a convertible kick scooter I strongly suggest checking out the Space Scooter®.


VAUX; The First Battery-Powered Speaker to Transform Dot to a Cordless Sound System and Home-Command Center

A couple weeks ago Ninety7 announced the second generation VAUX, the first battery powered speaker and home command center, to be shipped to consumers in early April 2017. The VAUX comes in “ash” or “carbon and is currently available for pre-order for $49.00 on Ninety7Life.com.

I am also excited to inform you all that I will be receiving a VAUX to review to give you all the specifications and an unboxing sneak peak video! Till then below is the official press release for VAUX:

Palo Alto, CA, March 8, 2017 – Amazon’s Alexa and Echo Dot have made the potential for a “digital assistant,” a reality in every consumer’s home. To help elevate the Dot’s home automation capabilities, Ninety7, a technology lifestyle company, today announced VAUX – the first battery-powered speaker for the Amazon Echo Dot (second generation). VAUX allows users to “set their Dot free,” and enjoy portability and increased audio quality in a modern, stylish design.

Available for $49 pre-order at Ninety7Life.com, VAUX will ship to consumers in early April 2017 featuring:

A powerful speaker that enriches the audio quality of the Amazon Echo Dot. Whether listening to music or an audio book, or asking Alexa questions, VAUX enhances the sound quality and performance of the Dot, for a richer user experience. Additionally, users can connect their mobile devices or tablets via a 3.5mm jack and instantly use VAUX to upgrade their Dot to a portable sound system.

Portability. Users can now unleash the functionality of the Dot beyond the reach of the power cable – because, after all, we move around our homes. With a rechargeable battery, VAUX creates a companion home-command center as portable as your cell phone: order pizza from Dominos in the kitchen; grab the VAUX and listen to an audio book in the bath before heading to bed, set the alarm and request your favorite music to help you sleep.

Style. As an integral part of the user’s home, VAUX was created with both aesthetics and utility in mind.  Ninety7 believes that there should be no distinction between electronics and décor –VAUX complements its environment, visually and functionally.

VAUX is an easy and affordable way to make the Amazon Dot even more powerful and ubiquitous in the home. VAUX is fast to set up and simple to use – it securely holds the Amazon Dot creating a sophisticated home -command center for less than $50. With an average of 6 hours of “cordless use,” VAUX creates the right environment for extended periods of productivity, relaxation, discovery and entertainment.

“Amazon’s Echo Dot is a phenomenal device. By improving its audio quality and facilitating portability, VAUX elevates the Dot from gadget to indispensable home companion,” said Dave McLaughlin, brand director at Ninety7. “VAUX improves communication with Alexa and, with enhanced portability, puts her within speaking distance, anywhere in the home. VAUX unleashes the potential of the Dot.”

About Ninety7

Ninety7 is a lifestyle company creating technology products that enhance the user’s everyday life through unsurpassed design, function and quality. We believe in setting a new bar and redefining what technology accessories can be. We make accessories that make products better. 1+1=3. More information about Ninety7 is available at www.ninety7life.com.


SXSW Interactive 2017 Recap; Part Duex

SXSW Interactive had so many great technology demos, events and parties that carried on through the entire festival, which has been rare in the years past. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to cover all the technology events; next year I should have a telepresence to cover everything I can’t. I didn’t make it to Youtube, Pandora, Capital One at the infamous Antone’s, OtterBox uniVERSE Case System, Mashable and many more.

While planning my SXSW schedule I picked out the below events based on my personal preferences. These four events were very fun and their lounges and or parties had a ton of interactive demos to try out during SXSW.

The SONY WOW Factory 

The SONY WOW Factory event was the most impressive virtual reality wise and the place I not only spent more time at than any others, I HAD A BLAST! The event had several booths but the below are my top three from the SONY WOW Factory.

The Spider-Man: Homecoming “Climbing Challenge” featuring SONY’s moving projector technology was another booth I had to check out.  It’s the first immersive interactive experience featuring SONY’s moving projector technology with distortion-free projection anywhere.“Hashilus”, a VR attractions production company and SONY’s Music Group proudly present our epic VR attraction making the fullest possible use of five senses.

Another great booth I got to visit was the Any Surface UI on Xperia™ Touch. The ” Any Surface” experience converges on a single point. The SONY’s ideal and the future of UI design. I tested this out with the keyboard and musical keyboard and it’s pretty innovative. At the same booth was the Xperia™ Ear “Open-Style Concept” hands free, eyes free and ears free with it’s “Open-Style Concept.” It uses unique wireless ‘open-ear’ stereo headsets that are also designed to also let you hear sounds from the world around you without jeopardizing your music that you are listening to. I got to try these out and if this is the future for wireless stereo headset bring it on because they were super light to try on. The SONY WOW Factory really did wow; the VR if not is going to explode even more with VR products and games.

The Experience by DELL Technologies

I used to work for DELL several moons ago so it was on my list to visit during SX. The Experience by DELL Technologies at SXSW had virtual reality demos, gaming and other best-in-class Dell technology. Dell also had a huge bus decorated like the inside of a plane to give visitors that customer experience of what their DELL products would look like on a plane.

Displayed on the DELL bus were the newest notebook lines plus some or their rugged notebooks. DELL had a pretty cool event but I wasn’t blown away by their products since I saw most at CES 2017. If you want to see the live tour broadcast on twitter I did at the Dell event during SXSW click here. Fair warning the video is a tad shaky, I guess I was having too much fun with DELL!

Panasonic

Innovation was a wide spread theme throughout SXSW Interactive this year. I ran out of time spending so much time at Sony that I had to do a brisk walk throughout the Panasonic House but I had to stop by Panasonic! In the SXSW Panasonic House they showcased a dry-cleaning  for the regular consumer home called the MonStyle, an Ambient Media Player that turned TV display into a work of art (I think the Intel Lounge had something very similar), DIY home-fermenting machine for kimchi fans, clothing and entertainment, including IoT, sensing technology and much more I did not get to check out.

My favorite Panasonic demo was the Monstyle which is a dry-cleaning machine for the consumer home. It would save me allot of time plus it also washes silk. I’m not sure if this is a regular Panasonic SXSW event from previous years but the Panasonic House this year showcased for a lot of prototypes. In fact most of the devices that were on display do not have a “suggested retail price” or “launch date.”

IBM

This year at SXSW IBM had different themes for days and I went to the Build a TJBot (see above picture) and Take Him Home day. I got a chance to learn about Build TJBot and get a demo (see below) but I did not have time to build one.

Each day they also had the:

The IBM Makers’ Garage which was dedicated space on the first floor set aside specifically for developer-focused deep-dives. These deep-dives give attendees an opportunity to engage with our developer tools in more depth, inviting them to open up the terminal and actually dig into the code. I had fun in the Makers Garage and checking out the innovative products on display though some were a tad over my head when it dealt with coding.

The rooftop of Brazos Hall is part lounge space, part live studio audience. Attendees can kick back and relax with some refreshments from the bar while watching live tapings of our IBM Asks and THINK Podcast series, which will be broadcast simultaneously on IBM Community Radio. I loved the lounge! Not only did we get to geek out on podcasts and broadcasts but we also got a nice adult beverage.

This concludes my “Part Duex” portion for SXSW Interactive experience.

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Bi-Annual Spa Week from Spaweek.com starting on April 17, 2017

Spa week from SpaWeek.com  is a bi-annual event every April and October. During Spa Week hundreds of spa and wellness locations across North America provide two to three full-service spa treatments for just $50 each. I have participate almost every event, who doesn’t need to be pampered for only $50.00?

If you are interested in participating in Spa Week it takes only 4 steps.

  1. If you are already a member,  OR if you are new to Spa Week you can  here. FYI I didn’t see an option to log in using your Facebook account so if you never used this site you will need to create a new account
  2. After signing up or logging in you  ca n now search for $50 spa treatments by city and state or zipcode
  3. Once you find the deal and spa you are looking for you can book your appointments online at SpaWeek.com or call the spa to book your appointment
  4. Congratulation you are finished booking your appointment! Enjoy your spa treatment during Spa week!

To find out more about Spa Week click here and if you want to keep updated you can check out their blog here. Have a SPARIFIC time during Spa Week!


SXSW® Interactive Innovation Awards 2017

I have never attended the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards before this year. I promise I always made a valiant effort but for those who have attended SXSW understand the events, films, and live music are overwhelming. Proudly this year folks “I MADE IT!”

It was held at the Austin downtown Hilton location which was very convenient to the Austin Convention Center. The ceremony was slow going and frankly not that entertaining then again it’s the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards so I should not be too harsh.

I did not stay for the entire ceremony since I had another SXSW event but below is the official press release along with a few videos from the ceremony I had the great chance to experience.

The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals (March 10-19, 2017) celebrated the digital industry’s most transformative advancements of 2017 with its SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards ceremony Tuesday evening.

Emceed by “Sleepy Hollow” actresses Janina Gavankar and Lyndie Greenwood, the 20th annual ceremony showcased evolving and broadening trends of the digital industry through its ever-widening variety of platforms, software, apps and devices.

Thirteen awards and six special honors, including Best of Show, People’s Choice, Breakout Trend of the Event, Speaker of the Event, Meme of the Year and the David Carr Prize, were presented to esteemed innovators for exceptional work spanning categories from healthcare to sustainability, privacy & security, music, finance, communication integration and beyond.

New to the Awards ceremony this year was the second annual David Carr Prize, awarded for the best essay submitted from writers, bloggers and journalists. Created last year to honor the late David Carr, a friend and great contributor to SXSW and the journalistic community, the essay topic follows Carr’s interest in the convergence of new media, technology, and culture. Mike Armstrong took home this year’s David Carr Prize for his essay “The Heart of Something Heartless,” about morality and emotions in Artificial Intelligence.

The ceremony also inducted Kara Swisher into the SXSW Interactive Hall of Fame as the sixth inductee, where she stressed the importance of a free and inspired press. Swisher is the executive editor and co-founder of Recode, host of the Recode Decode podcast, and co-executive producer of the Code Conference series.

A panel of judges comprised of industry peers and experts selected the winners based on four criteria: creativity, form, function and overall experience, except for the People’s Choice Award. SXSW Interactive attendees voted for the People’s Choice Award at the second annual Innovation Award Finalist Showcase on Sunday, March 12, where the 65 finalists had the opportunity to exhibit and demo their work.

“The Interactive community extends our sincere congratulations to this year’s winners for this esteemed industry accolade and well-deserved recognition,” said Mason Stewart, SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards Coordinator. “Over the next few years, we look forward to seeing many more outstanding achievements from the winners of the 2017 SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards.”

2017 SXSW INTERACTIVE INNOVATION AWARD WINNERS:

HEALTH, MED & BIOTECH

Awarded for the new technology that best improves the quality, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care in health and medicine

PRIME Needle Free Injector by Portal Instruments, Cambridge, MA

INNOVATION IN CONNECTING PEOPLE

Awarded for the best new way to connect and communicate with others

Blendoor by Stephanie Lampkin, San Francisco, CA

INNOVATIVE 3-DIY

Awarded for making 3D printing technology more accessible or affordable, or to the Maker using such technology in new and exciting ways

3Doodler PRO by 3Doodler, New York, NY

MUSIC & AUDIO INNOVATION

Awarded for 2016’s best device or service that changes and improves the way we listen to and enjoy music

HOLOPLOT Wave Field Generator by Holoplot GmbH, Berlin, DEU

NEW ECONOMY

Awarded to those redefining the exchange of goods and services, from the sharing economy, to virtual currency, to micro-finance, to mobile-device-payment systems and beyond

Blinker App by Blinker Inc., Denver, CO

PRIVACY & SECURITY

Awarded for 2016’s most progressive accomplishment in the way we go about securing our data and ensuring our privacy

D3CRYPT3D by PADECA LLC, Chamblee, GA

RESPONSIVE DESIGN

Awarded for excellent digital design, creating the best-integrated interaction in terms of content, aesthetics, and functionality

My Grandmother’s Lingo by SBS Online Australia, Sydney, NSW, AUS

SCIFI NO LONGER

Awarded for the coolest scientific achievement or discovery that before 2016 was only possible in science fiction

DuoSkin by MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA | Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA

SMART CITIES

Awarded for innovations in eco-friendly or sustainable energy, transportation, and IoT technology, making life in the connected world a smarter, cleaner, greener, and more efficient Internet of Everything

V3 by Pavegen, London, UK

STUDENT INNOVATION

Awarded to the student with an exceptional interactive technology project or startup; both of which are the future

BionicM – Powering Mobility for All by Xiaojun Sun | JSK robotics lab at The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, JPN

VISUAL MEDIA EXPERIENCE

Awarded for content creation and delivery that moves beyond passive viewership by providing a more immersive and engaging entertainment experience

JourneyMaker by The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

VR & AR

Awarded for breakthroughs in augmented reality & virtual reality technology including the application of new hardware or software which truly make the Virtual a reality

Tilt Brush by Google, San Francisco, CA

WEARABLE TECH

Awarded for the new hardware that revolutionizes the convenience, comfort, functionality, efficiency, and fashion of having a device literally “on you”

Halo 2 Made for iPhone Hearing Aids by Starkey Hearing Technologies | Karten Design, Eden Prairie,   MN

SPECIAL HONORS

BEST OF SHOW

Finalist from the competition, who, overall, best exemplifies the values of innovation, inspiration and creativity.

The Sensel Morph by Sensel, Mountain View, CA

PEOPLE’S CHOICE

Voted on by the SXSW Interactive community at the second annual Interactive Innovation Awards Finalist Showcase  

Johnson & Johnson CaringCrowd by CI&T and R/GA, New York, NY

BREAKOUT TREND OF THE EVENT

Trend that gained the most traction during SXSW Interactive 2017.

Deep Machine Learning

SPEAKER OF THE EVENT

Speaker from SXSW Interactive 2017 whose presentation makes the biggest impact on the digital community.

Joe Biden

MEME OF THE YEAR

Most ubiquitous meme that went viral in calendar year 2016 and that we just can’t get out of our heads or off of our screens

Prankster Joe Biden

For a complete list of SXSW Interactive Innovation Award finalists and winners, visit the following: https://www.sxsw.com/awards/interactive-innovation-awards/. SXSW 2017 is sponsored by Esurance, Mazda, Monster Energy, Bud Light, Capital One, McDonald’s, The Austin Chronicle, Sonicbids and Pandora.

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SXSW 2017 Film Festival Starts Tomorrow! Do You Have Your Pocket Guide?

The SXSW 2017 Film Festival will host nine days of screenings starting tomorrow till March 18th. This year the film festival has a diverse film lineup, programming ranges from independent films by new filmmakers to Hollywood comedies and genre standouts.

For the first time the film festival will run simultaneously with SXSW Interactive and SXSW Music which is AWESOME! I love the convergence between all the festivals this year, truly lets you experience at least 2 festivals with just one badge. Those attending the film festival will have the unique opportunity to connect with tech and music industry experts.

I suggest downloading the Film Festival Pocket Guide that you can download from here: http://read.uberflip.com/i/792741-sxsw-film-2017-pocket-guide.

It will be super helpful getting around especially if you are going from film to film. The Film Festival guide has a very detailed festival listing of films with a picture, a summary of the film and also list the director, screenwriters and cast. It also has all the information about what your film badge will get you into and detailed maps of the festival. The Film Festival guide pretty much EVERYTHING you need to know about the film festival so if your attending download the guide.

SXSW Film Festival Program has raw innovation and emerging talent both behind and in front of the camera. To see the lineup click here and you can browse films at SXSW Film Festival by section see below:

Narrative Feature Competition | Documentary Feature Competition | Headliners | Narrative Spotlight | Documentary Spotlight | Visions | Midnighters | Episodic | 24 Beats Per Second | Global | Festival Favorites | Special Events | Narrative Shorts | Documentary Shorts | Animated Shorts | Midnight Shorts | Music Videos | Texas Shorts | Texas High School Shorts | VR | Excellence in Title Design

If you are interested in attending the Film Awards click here for more information. To view the SXSW schedule and start planning your film festival schedule click here. For any other information or questions about attending contact the SXSW Attendee Services here.

To follow me throughout the festival I will be posting and doing LIVE posts on my twitter (@nrpena) and on Hi-Tech Chic’s (@hitechchic) twitter. I will also be posting and doing LIVE coverage on my Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/nina.pena) and Hi-Tech Chic’s (https://www.facebook.com/hitechchic/) Facebook.

See all of you SXSW Film Festival goers tomorrow!


Note from Editor: Hi-Tech Chic's Journey for 2017

As of last week I will no longer be writing for Cutegeek.com. My main focus will now be growing and building up this site, Hi-Tech Chic.

Hi-Tech Chic has been off to a great start this year with events like CES 2017 in Las Vegas. I experienced more robots than I have ever seen, the drone rodeo in the desert and several different booths with virtual reality. Needless to say it was a blast!

Another great event I attended was GDC in San Francisco and the AMD launch events including the after party with Mix Master Mike, which was AWESOME!

There have already been some awesome product reviews like being one of the first to preview the new Logitech Spotlight Presentation Remote before it went to market. This year I plan to be more aggressive on product reviews and gift guides. I will also attempt to start doing LIVE unboxings on Facebook and Twitter.

The year has just begun and in 1 day I will be on ground zero covering SXSW 2017 Interactive and Gaming in my hometown of Austin, Texas. Throughout SXSW I will be posting live on twitter, Facebook and Youtube on both Hi-Tech Chic’s and my accounts. This will be our first year also of covering the 3 day SXSW Gaming Expo.

Coming up in the next couple months is the Silicon Valley Comic Con, Dallas Fan Expo, E3, ACL and Austin Startup week and many more throughout the year that I will be covering.

I am very excited on Hi-Tech Chic’s new chapter and what the rest of the year will bring. If you want to follow Hi-Tech Chic’s journey you can follow us at @hitechchic or https://www.facebook.com/hitechchic/. If you would like to learn about how Hi-Tech Chic started click here.

Thanks to all those who followed me throughout the 8 years I was with Cutegeek and hope you all will continue to follow me throughout Hi-Tech Chic’s new journey. It’s just the beginning of something fantastic!


Happy International Women's Day! WOMEN ROCK!

My abuelita and I around the same age!

Happy International Women’s Day! When I think of all the amazing women in my life and those I had the lovely experience to meet I realize how awesome us women are.

What woman inspires you every day? For me it’s my abuelita for starting off as a secretary at the airforce base and retired as the Chief Transportation Officer. How inspiring as that? Every time I think I can’t do something I think of her and remind myself that I can. If she was able to overcome the obstacle of not only being a woman in the work place but also being Hispanic in a time where it wasn’t that accepted I can overcome any thing.

I am also inspired by all the little girls and woman that have Crohn’s or Colitis who have such amazing courage and grace all the while they’re sick and in pain. Did you know that 1 out of every 12 men and 1 out of every 9 women have autoimmune diseases? Last year during the Take Steps Walk for Crohn’s and Colitis that I do for my disease each year a little girl about the age of 5 came up to me and said “I have Crohn’s too can I hold your hand?”

Such a simple request and made me think if just holding her little hand made her day better imagine when you are in bad times and simply asked a fellow woman “Can I please hold your hand?” I know it would make my day. I’m not saying it would heal the world what I am saying is we need to praise each other and embrace each other during the good and hard times. Sometimes you just need someone to hold your hand. This little girl also reminded me not only how courageous she is but also to be as courageous even when your cards are down or your scared. Any time I have Pan Ulcerative Colitis attack I think of how courageous she is and it makes me stronger and fight through the attack.

Today I encourage you to thank your fellow women friends, family and peers for being amazing, strong and courageous. “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” – Michelle Obama

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SXSW Updated Guest Pass Info and Tips for SXSW Badge Holders

For those who will be attending any of the SXSW (SX) Festivals here is some updated information on the SXSW Guest Pass and tips for SXSW badge holders to make your SXSW experience easy!

The key once you arrive into Austin (ATX) is to know where the Austin Convention Center is located in regards to where you are staying during SX. The Austin Convention center is located at 500 E. Cesar Chavez St. Austin, TX 78701 and parking is very limited.

The Austin Convention Center contains:

  • SXSW Registration: Badge pickup is available in Exhibit Hall 5
  • SXSW Conference: Keynotes, Features Speakers sessions, interviews, mentor sessions, and more
  • SXSW Exhibitions: Trade Show, Pitch Stage, Next Stage, SXSW Gaming Expo, Flatstock 59 Poster Show, SXSW Job Market, and more
  • Film Screenings
  • Music Radio and International Day Stages

Eventbrite is your best friend at SXSW to locate SXSW day events, happy hours and evening parties. If you’re attending SXSW I suggest getting the Eventbrite app along with the SXSW app. It is very helpful especially if you’re stuck at a lame event or party; it gives you the option to leave the lame party and look for something else during SXSW.

Do512 is also a great resource to find SXSW events. They have an entire section of SXSW events and parties that you can RSVP for before SXSW event starts. Click here if you like to see their list of SXSW events.

If you don’t have any SXSW festival badges but want to be part of the fun, sign up for the SXSW Guest Pass. Getting your SXSW Guest Pass is quick and easy by just clicking the “Get Your Guest Pass Now” button on the SXSW Guest Pass site and proceed to create your account. Once checked out you can also start building your SXSW Guest Pass schedule and RSVP for events.

The SXSW Guest Pass is your free credential to events going on at the SXSW Job Market, SXSW Create, Open Source Pavillion, Flatstock 59, SXSW Marketplace, films on the lawn or shows at Lady Bird Lake.

  • SXSW Create is the hardware hacking and maker arm of the SXSW festival has returned with more space, more hands-on technology and a diverse mix of activities from 3D printing to drones to biohacking.
    • Open Source Pavilion at SXSW Create
      • The Open Source Pavilion at SXSW Create showcases the collaborative engineering, shared design, and open source hardware that is presented by Red Hat.
    • SXSW Create starts Friday, March 10 through Sunday, March 12 from 11:00am – 6:00pm at the Palmer Events Center. All Badges are accepted and open to the public with free SXSW Guest Pass.
  • Flatstock 59 Stage will display the works of the world’s top gig poster artists
    • The show features posters of varying styles, colors and techniques for sale by the talented artists who created them
  • SXSW Job Market is a convenient meeting spot for innovative thinkers and equally innovative companies
    • Job Market enables these professionals to match their skills with 21st century, cutting-edge employers
    • Starts on March 11th through 12th
  • SXSW Market Place is the first installment of the SXSW Marketplace
    • It brings together local Austin boutiques and hand-selected national/global brands to create a unique shopping experience at the epicenter of SXSW
    • It begins March 16th through the 18th.
  • Lady Bird Lake is where most of the free films and concerts with your SXSW Guest Pass that you can attend during SXSW
    • The lawn looks over the lake and downtown Austin and is just breath taking
    • It does get crowded so show up early
    • To check out the SXSW outdoor concert schedule click here.

Below are two ways to win prizes with your SXSW Guest Pass:

#1 Download The SXSW Go App

  • Download SXSW GO, the official SXSW mobile app, then log in with the account used for your Guest Pass to instantly become eligible to win one of two pairs of SXSW 2017 badges, to be given away on March 9 and 14.*
  • SXSW GO allows you to create a custom schedule, see maps and get directions, discover new events, and keeps you up-to-date on all things SX.
  • *Terms & Conditions apply

#2 Check Daily SXSW Guest Pass Emails During Sxsweek®

  • Daily Guest Pass emails identify access to new events, provide updates, and let you in on our daily prize giveaway!
  • Answer a fun poll or quiz question for your chance to win a pair of Music, Film, or Gaming wristbands, or a $100 Waterloo Records gift certificate.

Austin does NOT have Uber or Lift so your other options that are the official car services of SXSW are:

  • FASTEN is the Official Rideshare Service of SXSW 2017
    • Fasten doesn’t just find you a ride in no time, they do it in a way that is fair for everyone.
    • Drivers are charged just 99¢ a trip instead of 25% or more.
    • Download the app and get $5 off your first ride with promo code: RIDEON. Download the Fasten App »
  • Enterprise is the preferred rental car vendor for SXSW
    • Bookings: www.enterprise.com or 800-RENT-A-CAR. Use group code L65SXSW and 3-digit PIN: SXS.
  • SXSW Festival free shuttle service:
    • The SXSW circulating shuttle runs between the Austin Convention Center and most festival venues. Shuttles leave the Convention Center during conference hours every 10 minutes.
    • The SXSW Festival Shuttle is located outside the Convention Center on Trinity Street and below is the shuttle schedule.
    • Shuttle Schedule:
      • Friday, March 10 | 10:30am – 3am
      • Saturday, March 11 – Saturday, March 18 | 9am – 3am
      • *Sunday, March 12 the shuttles will run until 3:30am due to daylight savings time

As you pack for SXSW don’t forget these key must have’s for the festival:

  • Pack an insane amount of business cards
  • Portable Charger
  • Tide stick
  • Anti-Bacterial gel
  • Rain Pancho (it has rained here every SXSW that I have attended best to be safe than sorry)
  • Bottle Water
  • Snacks (I always forget to eat at these things)

If you want to follow where I will be throughout the festival I will be tweeting LIVE on @nrpena and @hitechchic plus YouTube videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/nrcpena. I will also be going LIVE on Facebook on https://www.facebook.com/nina.pena.

See all you SXSW goers in a couple days!

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Source: SXSW Site


Snoop Dogg Joins Artists Advocacy Panel at SXSW Conference

WWWWHHHHHHAAAAATTTTT?!?!?!?! I never and I mean never go to panels anymore mostly because they are boring and I’m a class clown which has gotten me in trouble before while at a panel. I have a feeling that this will not be a boring panel far from in fact! So bummed I only have my press badge SXSW for interactive and gaming only. Maybe some nice person will take pity on me and let me in, afterall I am one of Snoops his biggest fan! Here is the official press release from SXSW:Snoop Dogg joins the Artist to Advocate: Fighting for Criminal Justice panel featuring Weldon Angelos (Extravagant Records), Vikrant Reddy (Charles Koch Institute), and Mark Holden (Koch Industries) for the SXSW Conference on the Music Influencers Track on March 18 at 2pm in the Austin Convention Center in Room 18ABCD.

The Artist to Advocate: Fighting for Criminal Justice panel leads with the question: How did a 25 year-old music producer become the national face for criminal justice reform in the U.S.? Weldon Angelos is the founder of Extravagant Records, a Utah-based record label that worked with Snoop Dogg and Jay Z. In 2002, he was caught selling less than $1,000 worth of marijuana and charged with the most severe mandatory sentence the law allowed: 55 years in prison. In 2016, Weldon was released from prison thanks to the mercy of his prosecutor who had a change of heart. In this event, Weldon will speak directly to the music community about his experience in prison serving an unjust sentence, and describe how artists can work together to achieve lasting reform.

For more information or to check out what other celebrities will be at panels click here.


Vice President Joe Biden to Speak at the 2017 SXSW Conference with an Introduction by Dr. Jill Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden will be doing a keynote in regards to Connect to End Cancer series at SXSW.

Below is the official press release from  SXSW released yesterday. Enjoy!

The SXSW Conference is honored to announce that The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., the 47th Vice President of the United States, will speak on Sunday, March 12 at 3:30pm at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX. He will be introduced by Dr. Jill Biden.Vice President Biden will outline his plans for a Biden cancer initiative, calling on attendees at  SXSW to join him in taking on the disease. In his remarks, he will reflect on the progress made under his leadership of the White House Cancer Moonshot; call for innovative solutions to tackle the barriers that prevent faster gains in ending cancer as we know it; and describe how he plans to remain in the fight.

“We’re excited to have Vice President Biden address the creative innovators and entrepreneurs that attend  SXSW,” said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer. “His commitment and leadership is crucial at a time when the smartest minds from the worlds of technology and healthcare are working together to create groundbreaking new solutions in the battle to end cancer.”

Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., represented Delaware for 36 years in the U.S. Senate before becoming the 47th Vice President of the United States. In this role, Biden continued his leadership on important issues facing the nation and represented our country abroad, traveling over 1.2 million miles to more than 50 countries. Vice President Biden convened sessions of the President’s Cabinet, led interagency efforts, and worked with Congress in his fight to raise the living standards of middle class Americans, reduce gun violence, address violence against women, and end cancer as we know it. Last year, he established the National Cancer Moonshot, which aligns with MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program™.

Biden’s talk is part of the Connect to End Cancer series in collaboration with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the AT&T Foundry for Connected Health, and Merck & Co., Inc.

The Connect to End Cancer series at SXSW takes place on Sunday, March 12 in the Health Track. It provides education, exposure and potential development support to entrepreneurs and encourages collaboration among innovators, industry executives, venture capitalists, celebrities, philanthropists and SXSW attendees who share a commitment to Making Cancer History®.

Vice President Joe Biden’s SXSW talk is open to all SXSW registrants. The video of his talk will be available to watch following this event at sxsw.com.

 SXSW Conference programming is organized into 24 Tracks divided between Interactive, Film, Music, and Convergence, presented in a variety of session formats. Explore the full list of previously announced Keynotes and Featured Speakers, as well as the full list of Conference programming on the online schedule.

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CONTEST: Enter to Win the #BeAnOriginal Prize Package Featuring a Gretsch Guitar, VOX Amp, Penguin Gift Card, and FLOOD Subscription

FLOODfest Austin will be returning to SXSW for it’s 3rd year at Cedar Street Courtyard. Embarrassingly I have never attended it during SXSW but this year it’s on and hope to get into FLOODfest Austin!

To celebrate the upcoming FLOODfest Austin at SXSW, iconic American lifestyle brand Original Penguin and FLOOD Magazine are launching the #BeAnOriginal contest. Beginning today, fans have a chance to win an exclusive Original Penguin Prize Pack that includes a $4,000 Gretsch Limited Edition Penguin with Bigsby guitar, a $500 Original Penguin Gift Card, and a free subscription to FLOOD Magazine. The #BeAnOriginal contest will run until April 3rd and anyone is eligible to enter through floodmagazine.com/beanoriginalcontest.

In addition, on-site at FLOODfest Austin Original Penguin will be bringing Austin’s Rolling Revival services to Cedar Street Courtyard, offering a select number of lucky attendees IV Hydration and B12 to refresh and stay in top shape to enjoy the day. The first 20 guests to show that morning’s FLOODfest Austin and Original Penguin social post shared via their profile will receive the IV bar treatment. This is such a clever idea, not sure about the other SXSW goers but I do get dehydrated during the festival. I definitely will be checking this out, I may like it so much I’ll never leave till I get kicked out.

Original Penguin will also treat guests to Voo Doo Doughnuts and capture all the FLOODfest Austin moments on Polaroid at the dedicated Original Penguin #BeAnOriginal art wall in Cedar Street Courtyard. LOL, VooDoo Donuts?! Now I’m really not going to leave the event!

Finally, FLOODfest Austin adds Black Lips as Friday’s headlining act. See the full FLOODfest Austin lineup here: floodmagazine.com/floodfestaustin2017

Good Luck to all and if you’re attending SXSW and this event I’ll be there so come by and say hi!


AMD's 2017 GDC and Ryzen 7 Announcements

GDC (Game Developers Conference) happened last week in San Francisco at the Moscone Convention Center from February 27th through March 3rd. I went this year to GDC and AMD was one of my favorite announcements plus they had a killer after party with Mix Master Mike. In all honesty I am an AMD girl and have been waiting on their new launch of their products that will hopefully prevail over their competitors.

While at GDC, AMD  had several announcements at the one-hour Capsaicin livestream event that included: AMD and Bethesda Softworks Partner to Propel PC Gaming Forward, AMD‘s “Vega” GPU to Power LiquidSky Platform for Enthusiast-Level Gameplay Anywhere, and lastly AMD and its Developer Partners Embrace Forward Rendering in Unreal Engine 4 to Improve VR Performance & Fidelity. The AMD event gave a preview of AMD‘s latest graphics and processor technologies plus unveiled new details surrounding Vega for gaming enthusiasts and developers around the world. Separate from GDC, AMD also announced the new CPU called Ryzen 7 on March 2nd.

Though I’m a smart technology geek an engineer I am not therefore below is a more detailed recap of each of the AMD announcements during GDC week provided by AMD’s staff.

AMD and Bethesda Softworks Partner to Propel PC Gaming Forward:

  • AMD and Bethesda have announced a long-term, multi-title partnership to rapidly advance game technology development, fuel new PC game experiences, and reshape the gaming landscape.
  • This brings together two titans of the gaming industry: Bethesda Softworks, which has sold more than 80 million copies of legendary games series like Fallout, DOOM and Dishonored, and AMD, whose CPU and GPU technologies power the experiences of 400 million gamers worldwide.
  • The two companies will work together to develop and accelerate the implementation of new technologies, including:
    • Harnessing the full potential of low-level APIs such as Vulkan
    • Maximizing the capabilities of the computing and graphics power of AMD’s multicore AMD Ryzen CPUs, Radeon GPUs and AMD server solutions across Bethesda’s existing Bethesda franchises

AMD’s “Vega” GPU to Power LiquidSky Platform for Enthusiast-Level Gameplay Anywhere:

  • AMD announced that its upcoming Vega architecture-based GPUs have been selected to power LiquidSky, enabling gamers around the world to enjoy the extraordinary power of Vega from anywhere.
  • LiquidSky already lets their 1.4 million beta users play any PC video game as it was meant to be enjoyed on Android phone or tablet, low-spec Windows, Mac, and even Linux devices.
  • With Vega’s powerful Radeon Virtualized Encode feature, subscribers will relish a high-quality gaming experience on par with enthusiast gaming PCs, but at a much lower cost through LiquidSky’s low-cost and free subscription models.
  • Gamers across the world can benefit from the exceptional GPU performance by connecting to any of the 13 LiquidSky global data centers.

AMD and its Developer Partners Embrace Forward Rendering in Unreal Engine 4 to Improve VR Performance & Fidelity:

  • VR developers today are constantly challenged to strike the right mix of technical features and computational power for the best balance of performance and visual fidelity.
  • Deferred rendering, used by many of today’s big game engines, does all of the geometry work first and then shades pixels last to save work but it’s not a great fit for VR.
  • AMD is working to enable a forward rendering path in Unreal Engine 4.15, giving developers more choice in how they develop VR games and helping to achieve a stunning looking game while delivering the high frame rates necessary for a good experience.
  • AMD is also working with leading game developers to explore the benefits of forward rendering in VR games, including Survios, First Contact Entertainment and Limitless Studios.

AMD Ryzen 7 Announcement:

  • Innovation and competition return to high-performance PCs March 2nd with worldwide Ryzen™ 7 availability
  • The AMD Ryzen 7 lineup includes the world’s highest performing and lowest powered 8-core PC processors
  • Immediate pre-order availability from more than 180 retailers and boutique OEMs

Lastly I attended AMD’s after party while at GDC which as I said had DJ Mix Master Mike performing and it was awesome since I am a HUGE fan! Here are some great videos of the AMD after party event. The first video is just him performing and the other is me pointing out no one is dancing while Dj Mix Master Mike is on stage (priceless).

The next video is of me pointing out no one was dancing. Best quote of the video “No one is dancing…absolutely no one!” Too funny!

Now that GDC is over it is SXSW time so keep checking back as I will be on ground zero covering all SXSW events humanly possible! SXSW 2017 here I come!

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The 411 on the Newly Expanded SXSW Gaming Expo 2017

The SXSW (South by Southwest) annual festival that has been here in my hometown of Austin, Texas for the past 24 years in coming up! For my 4th consecutive year as press I will be attending and covering all the SXSW festivals LIVE from March 10th to the 19th. This years SXSW Festivals include: Film, Music, Interactive, and Comedy events. SXSW will also have the newly expanded SXSW Gaming Expo and the new 3 day gaming pass which will include the SXSW Gaming Awards, Esports Tournament Stage, Indie Corner, Tabletop Experience, and Free Open Play Arena.

Since the gaming new portion of SXSW this year below is some great information to gear you up for SXSW Gaming Expo.

Registration New Location and Hours for Gaming Wristband Pick-Up:

Gaming wristbands can be picked up in the Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5 (enter at 4th & Neches Streets) at the days and times shown. Remember: Upon receiving your credentials, you must wear your wristband on your wrist for security reasons. If your wristband is lost/stolen/confiscated, a replacement will only be issued at the walk-up price.

Registration Desk Hours:

Wednesday, March 15

| 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Thursday, March 16 | 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Friday, March 17 | 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday, March 18

| 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

The SXSW Gaming Schedule is now LIVE:

You can now view online lists of current 2017 programming! With more panels, sessions, meet ups, special events, and parties than ever, our online schedule will help you navigate your way through the prodigious amount of programming SXSW Gaming 2017 has to offer. Go to schedule.sxsw.com to browse through events to start planning your SXSW schedule today. Note: The SXSW Schedule site includes SXSW Music, Interactive, and Film events that will not be accessible by a SXSW Gaming wristband. I suggest to check your credentials and if you are allowed via the Primary Access section of each listing.

SXSW Gaming Expo Events That You Should Not Miss Include:

  • The SXSW Gaming Opening Party featuring the Cosplay Contest with metal cover band Powerglove | Thursday, March 16 from 8pm – 11pm at the Hilton in downtown Austin.
  • SXSW Gaming Awards presented by IGN and Imaginary Forces | Mar 18, 2017 | 8:00pm – 10:00pm |Downtown Hilton Ballroom
    • The SXSW Gaming Awards celebration of the SXSW Gaming festival with special hosts Xavier Woods and Sonja “OMGitsfirefoxx” Reid
    • Half-time entertainment performance by Rockit Gaming.
    • This year, everyone who tunes into the Gaming Awards on Twitch will be able to have a direct impact on the show as it takes place at SXSW Gaming 2017
    • Primary Access: Platinum Badge, Interactive Badge, Film Badge, Music Badge, Gaming Wristband

  • SXSW Gaming Closing Party Fueled by Monster Energy featuring EDM star Alan Walker | Mar 18, 2017 | 10:00pm – 1:00am | Monster Energy Outbreak House on 5th and Lavaca
    • Doors open at 10:00pm and space is very limited
    • Primary Access: Platinum Badge, Interactive Badge, Film Badge, Music Badge, Gaming Wristband
 Open Play Lounges and PC Arena:
  • PC Arena presented by Logitech and Rocket League | Powered by DreamHack
    • Daily tournaments, tons of prizes, and a welcoming environment for both new and veteran gamers
  • Arcade Bunker | Powered by Arcades4Homes
    • Dozens of the finest classic arcade cabinets and several newly-fitted rigs featuring the latest games
  • Mobile Gaming Dome | Powered by The Slurred Nerd and NVIDIA
    • Daily tournaments, tons of prizes, and an inclusive environment for gamers of all skill levels

If you would like more information about the SXSW Gaming panels and sessions click here. To keep up on the latest SXSW Gaming expo news click here, it will continue to be updated throughout SXSW. For more information about the SXSW Gaming Expo 2017 you can go to SXSW Attendee Services or visit the SXSW Gaming FAQ page.


2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards Tonight

The infamous iHeartRadio Music Awards are live tonight  at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on TBS, TNT and truTV. The awards show will also be live streaming on iHeartMedia stations nationwide and on the iHeartRadio site. The performers for the awards show include: Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Ed SheeranThe ChainsmokersShawn MendesThomas RhettNoah Cyrus ft. Labrinth, and Big Sean. Hosting the iHeartRadio Music Awards will be Ryan Seacrest.Drake leads nominees with 12 nominations, including Male Artist of the Year! About time since he is such an amazing artist that deserves recognition. The Chainsmokers received 11 nominations, including the inaugural Best New Pop Artist category. Other artists who have received multiple nominations include Rihanna, twenty one pilots, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, Daya, Halsey, Nicky Jam and Sia.  For a full list of the iHeartRadio Music Awards nominations visit CLICK HERE.

Fan voting will determine this year’s Best Fan Army presented by Taco Bell®, Best Lyrics, Best Collaboration, Best Cover Song, Best Song from a Movie and the first-ever Best Music Video, Social Star and Best Underground Alternative Band awards. Social voting for the Social Star Award and Best Fan Army Award presented by Taco Bell began through iHeartRadio’s social sites and in the iHeartRadio app will be unveiled at the end of the night. Fan voting for the Social Star Award and the Best Fan Army Award presented by Taco Bell,  will continue through the evening of the awards so there is still time to vote! To vote for your favorite 2016 artist for the Social Star Award and the Taco Bell Best Fan Army click here. You can also vote for Best Performance and Best dressed throughout the night on the iHeartRadio site.

If you want to listen to the nominees songs before the awards today click here to be directed to the iHeartRadio site. If you are a super fan and want to know where Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus or where your favorite artist is sitting during the awards click here for the official iHeartRadio Music Awards seating chart. Below is the current list of winners so far with updates throughout the night on the iHeartRadio site so keep checking back.  Good luck to all the nominees; it looks to be like an amazing evening!

Innovator Award: Bruno Mars
Song of the Year:

  • “CAN’T STOP THE FEELING!” – Justin Timberlake
  • “Cheap Thrills” – Sia featuring Sean Paul
  • “Closer” – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
  • “One Dance” – Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla
  • “Stressed Out” – twenty one pilots

Female Artist of the Year: 

  • Adele
  • Ariana Grande
  • Rihanna
  • Selena Gomez
  • Sia

Male Artist of the Year:  

  • Drake
  • Justin Bieber
  • Luke Bryan
  • Shawn Mendes
  • The Weeknd

Best New Artist presented by the all-new 2017 Subaru Impreza®:

  • The Chainsmokers
  • Chance The Rapper
  • Bryson Tiller
  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • The Strumbellas
  • Joss Favela
  • CNCO

Best Duo/Group of the Year: 

  • Coldplay
  • DNCE
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • The Chainsmokers
  • twenty one pilots
Best New Pop Artist: 

  • Alessia Cara
  • Daya
  • Lukas Graham
  • The Chainsmokers – WINNER
  • ZAYN

Pop Album of the Year: 

Producer of the Year: 

  • Benny Blanco
  • Greg Kurstin
  • Max Martin
  • Mike Elizondo
  • The Chainsmokers 

Alternative Rock Song of the Year:

  • “Bored to Death” – blink-182
  • “Dark Necessities” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • “Heathens” – twenty one pilots – WINNER
  • “Ride” – twenty one pilots
  • “Trouble” – Cage The Elephant

 Alternative Rock Artist of the Year:

  • blink-182
  • Cage The Elephant
  • Coldplay
  • The Strumbellas
  • twenty one pilots – WINNER

Rock Song of the Year:

  • “Bang Bang” – Green Day – WINNER
  • “Dark Necessities” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • “Take Me Down” – The Pretty Reckless
  • “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” – Volbeat
  • “The Sound Of Silence” – Disturbed

Rock Artist of the Year:

  • Disturbed – WINNER
  • Five Finger Death Punch
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Shinedown
  • Volbeat

Rock Album of the Year: 

Best New Rock/Alternative Rock Artist: 

  • Foals
  • Kaleo
  • Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
  • Red Sun Rising
  • The Strumbellas – WINNER

Alternative Rock Album of the Year: Blurryface – twenty one pilots

Country Song of the Year:

  • “Church Bells” – Carrie Underwood
  • “Snapback” – Old Dominion
  • “Somewhere On A Beach” – Dierks Bentley
  • “T-Shirt” – Thomas Rhett
  • “You Should Be Here” – Cole Swindell

Country Artist of the Year:

  • Carrie Underwood
  • Jason Aldean
  • Keith Urban
  • Luke Bryan
  • Thomas Rhett
Best New Country Artist: 

  • Chris Lane
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Granger Smith
  • Kelsea Ballerini – WINNER
  • Maren Morris

Country Album of the Year: 

Dance Song of the Year:

  • “Closer” – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
  • “Cold Water” – Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber and MØ
  • “Don’t Let Me Down” – The Chainsmokers featuring Daya
  • “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” – Mike Posner
  • “Let Me Love You” – DJ Snake featuring Justin Bieber

 Dance Artist of the Year: 

  • Calvin Harris
  • DJ Snake
  • Flume
  • Major Lazer
  • The Chainsmokers

Dance Album of the Year: 

Hip-Hop Song of the Year: 

  • “All The Way Up” – Fat Joe and Remy Ma featuring French Montana and Infared
  • “Controlla” – Drake
  • “For Free” – DJ Khaled featuring Drake
  • “One Dance” – Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla
  • “Panda” – Desiigner

Hip-Hop Artist of the Year:

  • Desiigner
  • DJ Khaled
  • Drake
  • Future
  • J. Cole

Best New Hip-Hop Artist: 

  • Chance The Rapper – WINNER
  • Desiigner
  • D.R.A.M.
  • Kent Jones
  • Kevin Gates

Hip Hop Album of the Year: 

R&B Song of the Year:

  • “Exchange” – Bryson Tiller
  • “Needed Me” – Rihanna
  • “No Limit” – Usher featuring Young Thug
  • “Sorry” – Beyoncé
  • “Work” – Rihanna featuring Drake – WINNER

 R&B Artist of the Year: 

  • Beyoncé
  • Bryson Tiller
  • Rihanna
  • The Weeknd
  • Usher

R&B Album of the Year: Anti – Rihanna

Best New R&B Artist:

  • Belly
  • Bryson Tiller – WINNER
  • Dreezy
  • Kayla Brianna
  • Ro James

Latin Song of the Year: 

  • “Ay Mi Dios” – IAmChino featuring Pitbull, Yandel and El Chacal
  • “De Pies A Cabeza” – Mana featuring Nicky Jam
  • “Duele El Corazon” – Enrique Iglesias featuring Wisin
  • “La Carretera” – Prince Royce
  • “Ya Me Enteré” – Reik featuring Nicky Jam

 Latin Artist of the Year: 

  • Enrique Iglesias
  • J Balvin
  • Nicky Jam
  • Prince Royce
  • Yandel

Best New Latin Artist:

  • Carlos Rivera
  • Christian Daniel
  • CNCO – WINNER
  • IAmChino
  • Sofia Reyes 

Latin Album of the Year: 

Regional Mexican Song of the Year:

  • “Amor Del Bueno” – Calibre 50
  • “Cicatrices” – Regulo Caro
  • “Me Está Gustando” – Banda Los Recoditos
  • “¿Por Qué Terminamos?” – Gerardo Ortiz
  • “Solo Con Verte” – Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizárraga

 Regional Mexican Artist of the Year: 

  • Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizárraga
  • Banda Los Recoditos
  • Calibre 50
  • Gerardo Ortiz
  • Remmy Valenzuela

Regional Mexican Album of the Year: 

Best New Regional Mexican Artist:

  • Adriel Favela
  • Banda Los Sebastianes
  • Cheyo Carrillo
  • Joss Favela – WINNER
  • La Séptima Banda

Best Tour:

Best Lyrics: *Socially Voted Category

  • “7 Years” – Lukas Graham
  • “Came Here to Forget” – Blake Shelton
  • “Cheap Thrills” – Sia featuring Sean Paul
  • “Closer” – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
  • “Heathens” – twenty one pilots
  • “Love Yourself” – Justin Bieber
  • “Scars To Your Beautiful” – Alessia Cara
  • “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” – Adele
  • “Too Good” – Drake featuring Rihanna
  • “You Should Be Here” – Cole Swindell

 Best Collaboration: *Socially Voted Category

  • “Cheap Thrills” – Sia featuring Sean Paul
  • “Closer” – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
  • “Don’t Let Me Down” – The Chainsmokers featuring Daya
  • “This Is What You Came For” – Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna
  • “Work” – Rihanna featuring Drake
Best Cover Song: *Socially Voted Category

  • “All I Ask” – Bruno Mars
  • “Ex’s and Oh’s” – Fifth Harmony
  • “Fast Car” – Justin Bieber
  • “Hands to Myself” – DNCE
  • “Here” – Shawn Mendes
  • “How Will I Know” – Ariana Grande
  • “Love on the Brain” – Kelly Clarkson
  • “Purple Rain” – Jennifer Hudson and the cast of The Color Purple
  • “Sound of Silence” – Disturbed
  • “Too Good” – Zara Larsson

Best Song from a Movie: *Socially Voted Category

  • “CAN’T STOP THE FEELING” – Justin Timberlake (Trolls)
  • “Falling for You” – Ellie Goulding (Bridget Jones’s Baby)
  • “Girls Talk Boys” – 5 Seconds of Summer (Ghostbusters) – WINNER
  • “Heathens” – twenty one pilots (Suicide Squad)
  • “Just Like Fire” – P!nk (Alice Through the Looking Glass)

Best Music Video: *Socially Voted Category

  • “CAN’T STOP THE FEELING” – Justin Timberlake
  • “Don’t Let Me Down” – The Chainsmokers featuring Daya
  • “Formation” – Beyoncé
  • “Hasta El Amanecer” – Nicky Jam
  • “Heathens” – twenty one pilots
  • “Hymn for the Weekend” – Coldplay
  • “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” – Mike Posner
  • “Pillowtalk” – ZAYN
  • “Side to Side” – Ariana Grande featuring Nicki Minaj
  • “This Is What You Came For” – Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna
  • “Work” – Rihanna featuring Drake
  • “Work From Home” – Fifth Harmony featuring Ty Dolla $ign
Best Underground Alternative Band: *Socially Voted Category

  • Hey Violet
  • Pierce the Veil
  • PVRIS
  • Sleeping With Sirens
  • Tonight Alive

Social Star Award: *Socially Voted Category

  • Alex : from YouTube
  • Baby Ariel from Musical.ly
  • Emma McGann from YouNow
  • Hailey Knox from YouNow
  • Jack and Jack from Snapchat
  • Jacob Satorius from Musical.ly
  • Marcus Perez from Facebook
  • Steph Clavin from Instagram
  • Todrick Hall from YouTube
  • Xyego from Smule

Best Fan Army presented by Taco Bell: *Socially Voted Category

  • 5 Seconds of Summer – 5SOSFam
  • Ariana Grande – Arianators
  • Beyoncé – Beyhive
  • Britney Spears – Britney Army
  • Demi Lovato – Lovatics
  • Fifth Harmony – Harmonizers
  • Justin Bieber – Beliebers
  • Katy Perry – KatyCats
  • Lady Gaga – Little Monsters
  • Rihanna – Rihanna Navy
  • Selena Gomez – Selenators
  • Shawn Mendes – Mendes Army
  • twenty one pilots – #twentyonepilots

Most Thumbed Up Artist of the Year:

Most Thumbed Up Song of the Year:

Label of the Year: 

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SwapBots' New Kickstarter Campaign

 

In a world of crowd funding sometimes the concept products aren’t that great or innovate. Since there are so many campaigns that are launched daily they all start to blur together.

I do however get excited when a cool product campaigns and SwapBots caught my attention. I was intrigued! The concept was first conceived over a pint of beer, 18 months later they designed and manufactured prototypes of the toys with a demo of the associated augmented reality video game.

What is a SwapBots?

SwapBots are collectible toys that use augmented reality to create a spectacular, interactive video game world around a physical toy. By swapping pieces of the SwapBots, the player can influence in-game attributes. The player simply points their phone or tablet at the SwapBot toy to see it come to life as the digital animation is overlaid onto it.

Launching in early 2017, SwapBots is part of SOSV’s HAX Boost Accelerator in San Francisco. SwapBots is a recipient of UK Games Fund support and a winner of Tech North’s Northern Stars award for UK startups.

Their Kickstarter campaign launches and goes live on March first plus they will also be at GDC and SXSW (see more information below).

 

 

GDC San Francisco – Feb 27th-Mar 3rd

SwapBots are exhibiting at GDC, one of biggest and best gatherings in the video game industry’s calendar. You can find us on stand PL4127 (North Hall) and we’ve been selected as one of ten companies taking part in the GDC Pitch competition too. While we are at the show we will be launching our Kickstarter campaign too.

SXSW Austin – Mar 10th-19th

Another week another State as we head to Texas for SXSW where we are attending as part of Tech North and Tech City’s delegation of exciting UK startups. You will also find us exhibiting as part of an array of companies in Great Britain House and we are pitching during the Gaming Expo too. We are super excited for our Kickstarter campaign to go live on March 1st. Become a part of our exciting journey by backing SwapBots on Kickstarter.

I will be at both events and hope to do a product review to share with you all plus live on the floor action posting on my FB and Twitter! See all my fellow geeks at GDC in SF and SXSW in ATX! It is going to be huge fun!

 


MACY’S LAUNCHES YYIGAL, AN EXCLUSIVE LIMITED-TIME COLLECTION BY DESIGNER YIGAL AZROUEL

One of the great perks about writing for technology and fashion now is that I receive press releases from different fashion designers and tech companies. Below is today’s latest press release from Macy’s in regards to a limited time collection by Yigal Azrouel Enjoy!

Macy’s today announced the release of an exclusive, new collection by famed designer Yigal Azrouel. YYIGAL, an architecturally-influenced, limited-edition line, embodies the sophisticated and feminine spirit of the Yigal Azrouel brand through signature tops, blouses, faux-leather motorcycle jackets, intricate dresses and a statement jumpsuit. YYIGAL is available at 149 Macy’s stores and on macys.com today.

 “YYigal represents the effortless style, cool confidence and modern sophistication that is at the core of my brand,” said Yigal Azrouel. “From the intricate lace detailing and architectural silhouettes, to the delicate draping that has become signature to my design; each piece was created to stand out and make the wearer feel empowered. This is my first collaboration with Macy’s, and they’ve been an incredible partner in helping bring my point-of-view to their customers.”

 The dynamic line taps into the core aesthetic of Yigal Azrouel’s design DNA—as it combines delicate draping with expert construction, resulting in a collection that is fresh and modern, but also exudes the timelessness inherent in high style. Vivid prints are rendered in a refined color palette of black, white and blush, and lace embellishments, inserts and bodices are new and edgy interpretations of the traditionally hyper-romantic and feminine fabric.

 Yigal Azrouel is an iconic New York designer known for his impeccable attention to detail and designs that make women look and feel amazing,” said Cassandra Jones, senior vice president of Macy’s Fashion. “He is a master at drawing inspiration from his various interests in travel, architecture, and of course, New York City, and creating breathtaking clothing that speaks to the modern woman. We’re bringing this seasoned, fashion-first practical approach to every day dressing to the Macy’s customer in a new way through this collection, and she’s going to love it.” 

 The pieces are reflective of Azrouel’s New York roots and global vision, and thoroughly embody today’s woman and her life. The clothing is bold and powerful, yet sophisticated and continental, and clean silhouettes make for easy wearing, day-to-night dressing. The effortlessly cool collection projects confidence, style and an ultra-chic urbane flare.

 The exclusive, limited-edition collection retails between $69 and $199, and is available in 149 Macy’s stores and on macys.com.

 

 


How Artificial Intelligence Could Have Predicted the Ivanka Trump Clothing Line Meltdown By: Carol Ozemhoya

I stumbled onto this article from Carol Ozemhoya and wanted to share it with you all as it’s very telling of the Ivanka Trump brand and its decline of popularity. Below is her full article and also the Press Release for Vector.

When someone is in the news as much as President Donald J. Trump, you’d think his daughter’s clothing line would gain popularity. But instead, it miserably failed, much, it seems, to the surprise of just about everyone, including its stockholders. The line, which was dropped by high-end retailer Nordstrom, followed by a reduction in promotions by TJ Maxx and Marshalls, is listed on the stock market as JWN.While the move to drop the line seems to coincide with a social media campaign that encouraged consumers to boycott the brand – called #Grab Your Wallet – Nordstrom immediately claimed the move came because of poor sales, adding that it drops about 10 percent of brand name products a year.

The President didn’t just sit by, going on social media himself and criticizing Nordstrom for treating his daughter “unfairly.” The stock reacted and the stock fell dramatically but recovered by the end of the day after the New York Times reported that retailers were told to move the products to be less conspicuous.

All this panic and drama could have been avoided with the use of artificial intelligence and its sentiment subjectivity analysis via Vector. Social media often moves faster than the news, but the thing is there are now tools in place that can use those very postings to predict the comings and goings of businesses, transactions and yes, even the stock market. The Nordstrom stock price reaction to President Trump’s tweet can be largely explained with a simple sentiment subjectivity analysis study using Vector.

Recently developed tools would have utilized sentiment analysis on the phrase “Ivanka Trump” in news articles as well as social media. The indication of negative sentiment would have sent up a red flag and given analysts and other interested parties the chance to prepare for and perhaps even prevent the stock drop.

In addition, these artificial intelligence tools would also have realized a correlation between Trump’s daughter’s product line, its revenue and weakening of the brand. It took almost a whole day for the stock to recover, but the near fiasco could have been prevented in the first place if the company had been using Vector’s sentiment analysis tools.

Using Vector’s tools, you can run sentiment polarity analysis to determine if there are strongly negative feelings about a person, organization, geopolitical entity or brand… in this case, the Ivanka Trump brand.

Here’s another example. It’s entirely possible that the transportation company Lyft picked up on sentiment analysis in a recent boost in popularity.

Reports CrooksAndLiars.com:

In this environment, staying neutral over the biggest political controversies, such as the travel ban, can be more dangerous to a company than taking sides; losing a moderate share of the big anti-Trump majorities in these places is a bigger risk than losing a larger share of the small group of his supporters. Uber didn’t immediately grasp this lesson. But Lyft, its smaller rival, did. After the immigration order was executed, the firm quickly announced a $1 million donation to the American Civil Liberties Union, which was fighting the ban. Hordes of progressive Uber users made the switch to Lyft.”

It’s a different world out there from when your dad or grandparents started the company. The Internet has changed the game, and Vector has new plays to enable any business owner the capacity to keep his brand hot to the sentiments of the buying public.

Press Release About Vector

Vector Transforms Internet into Goldmine of Invaluable Quantifiable Data Utilizing real-time quantitative research and advanced algorithms, Vector stands apart from existing analytical platforms by extracting more content, with greater efficiency, than has ever been possible before.

Houston, Texas – Feb. 8, 2017Indexer, a Houston-based technology start-up, today announced the public availability of Vector, a groundbreaking analytical platform that transforms the internet into unprecedented tangible, meaningful data. Utilizing real-time quantitative research and advanced algorithms, Vector stands apart from existing analytical platforms by extracting more content, with greater efficiency, than has ever been possible before.

Monitoring half-a-billion news sources simultaneously with Natural Language Processing (NLP), including social media, Vector precisely searches speech patterns and accurately translates languages to dig deep into the core of the internet; resulting in the extraction of all facets of information, including unstructured text and images.

“Vector provides feature-vector transformations of text, which are an integral feedstock that fuels the customized algorithms we design,” explains Vector’s co-founder, Anton Gordon, an award-winning data scientist, machine learning researcher and commodities expert. “The outcome is unparalleled aid to economists, traders, scientists, and executives for predicting market price movements.”

In addition to asset price predictions, Vector identifies the primary organizations, individuals and geopolitical entities that influence asset prices, markets and customers most. This helps investors to decipher which sell-side equity analysts and economists to be influenced by.

“While several quantitative financial tools exist, they are primarily designed to examine historical data to predict future prices. Little progress has been made in the processing of real-time, unstructured qualitative data into a more useful quantitative format until now,” says Gordon. “We recognize that unstructured content holds the key to understanding hidden demand for products and brands,” says Jo Fletcher, Indexer’s head of data visualization.

In addition to data extraction, Fletcher believes that Vector’s subjectivity and polarity analysis could provide the key in filtering non-fact-based news content (commonly referred to as “fake news”). Key Features

  • Sentiment analysis to determine if the writer is positive, negative or neutral on a topic;
  • Real-time text analysis to receive access to millions of articles per day;
  • Summarization of text to obtain a summary of the most important points of the text;
  • Collaborative learning to solve problems as a team using saved searches and messaging;
  • LDA topic extraction to automatically discover topics contained in millions of documents;
  • Faceted news search to explore a collection of information by applying multiple filters;
  • API Access for developers and quantitative analysts;
  • Feature vectors to use n-dimensional feature vectors to represent a document;
  • Real-time updates to receive dynamic analysis and real-time intelligence.

Applications for Vector include: Technology, finance, academia, biostatistics, law, healthcare, entertainment/media.

Vector is available on a monthly or annual subscription basis


SXSW Updates, Free Shows, Eventbrite & dot512

Last week SXSW announced 25 new featured speakers from Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin to Senator Cory Booker, and Veep actress Julia-Louis Dreyfus to pop singer and songwriter Kesha. Lets not forget about Seth Rogan plus the many others listed at the bottom of this post that will also be speaking at SXSW.

Did you know?

I have been attending SXSW as press for 4 years in a row and I did not realize there is an entire SXSW Comedy Festival as well. I went to events by Comedy Central in the past BUT I did not know that there is an entire week of the SXSW Comedy FestivalSXSW Comedy Festival from March 11-18, 2017 includes showcases, live podcast recordings, panels and late night parties. The diverse line-ups featuring rising stars, established greats, and surprise guests. All badgeholders are welcome to all SXSW Comedy Festival events. Wristband holders are also welcome to SXSW Comedy Festival events at select venues. I will definitely be exploring this more while attending SXSW.

The SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake features a three-day series of charity beneficiary concert events, which are free and open to the public with a SXSW Guest Pass. It is SXSW’s largest stage with more than 50,000 attendees over three days. The Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake is open to the public with free SXSW Guest Pass.

Visit guestpass.sxsw.com for more information. SXSW Badge and Wristband holders do not need a Guest Pass to attend. Don’t forget to register and get the SXSW Go app so you can sign up to win free prizes during SXSW. The SXSW Go app is available both on Google Play and the Apple store.

The do512.com site is a great resource for  free shows and events during SXSW that also includes non-official shows. Registering with do512.com is simple, just sign in using your facebook account and then you will be able to RSVP to events and do512.com will also send you SXSW updates you via email on SXSW before and throughout the festival. If you would like to learn more about do512.com or to start RSVPing click here.

Eventbrite is also a great resource and great app to have on your smartphone during SXSW. Eventbrite has events several different free events that range from SXSW Community meet ups to SXSW shows you can RSVP to before and during the festival. Eventbrite also has events that charge either a cover or you have to purchase a ticket. After you have created an account you will be able to RSVP to all their events posted. Last year I used the Eventbrite app before and throughout the festival and it was very handy, especially if you are at a lame SXSW party and want to attend something better. Click here for more information, to RSVP to Eventbrite events and to create an account.

The SXSW site also has a free official SXSW events however it is not updated for 2017 yet so you will have to keep checking back until they post the events here. There will be more updates this week I am told so stay tuned and can’t wait to see all my fellow SXSW goers, this year is going to be legendary!

 


JUISIR - Juicing With Zero Cleaning and More Juice

One of the biggest hassles of juicing is clean up. It is one of the key reasons why I don’t like juicing. I like the juice but not the huge mess that requires taking apart my juicer to clean it out fully. There had to be another way to juice. Introducing the JUISIR, the worlds first cold press juicer that requires absolutely no clean up.

Your eyes are not deceiving you it truly requires no clean up! My mind was blown when I found out about this juicer. How is this possible? JUISIR is a cold press juicer that extracts juice from fresh fruit and vegetables through a press with about eight-tons of force (approximately equal to the size of two adult elephants) in only 90 seconds. The JUISIR uses biodegradable juicing bags that come in either single use or multiple use sizes.

The JUISIR is quite easy to use. Simply chop fruit and vegetables into pieces roughly the size of a dollar coin for maximum yield. Put about 300g-350g (0.7lb-0.8lb) raw products per bag, you can get approximate 200-250ml (6.8oz-8.5oz) juice. The fruit is squashed to a paper-like thinness and virtually every drop of juice is captured in the glass. After you’re finishing juicing either recycle the juice bags for a quick clean up or rinse it out for future use.

JUISIR is scheduled to introduce the prep juice packs with exclusive recipes shortly, offering customers an even easier way to juice with JUISIR. JUISIR is looking for local fruit and vegetable suppliers from around the world to produce J-PACK. In order to reduce the delivery cost and make juicing bags cheaper, JUISIR’s team is currently looking for qualified local manufacturers from all over the world as well.

JUISIR is on it’s last two days of it’s Kickstarter campaign that already has $353,085 pledged of their initial goal of $35,199.  There is still time to back their campaign and if you pledge $570.00 you will receive a JUISIR plus 60 juicing bags. The JUISIR will retail for $399.00 and you will be able to find JUISIR on Amazon once launched. To pledge towards their Kickstarter campaign click here and for more information about the JUISIR click here.

I am hoping to receive a review unit to test this out and maybe even do some live broadcasting of the JUISIR in action. Stay Tuned!


PolarPro Launches Kickstarter Campaign for WAVe: A Battery-Integrated Case for Wireless Headphones

 

Yesterday, PolarPro, developer of products inspired by adventure, kicked off its latest Kickstarter campaign for the WAVe, a  battery-integrated carrying case for wireless headphones. Safeguarded in the WAVe’s Napa leather clad protective shell, most wireless headphone models can be recharged up to 10 times off the integrated battery.  This is genius especially for me for two reasons. First, I use my earbuds or headphones at least 3 hours a day if not more and I hate when I get a low battery because the sound quality goes down the tubes. Second, it will make me actually put the headphones back in their case which I am horrible about doing. Normally I would just throw the headphones in my purse exposed to the elements and the black whole of my purse.

The WAVe will accommodate a vast majority of the wireless headphones on the market between the two versions PolarPro is offering through the initial crowdfunding campaign. Those include:

  • WAVe Universal: Purpose-built for fold-flat style headphones such as the Bose® QuietComfort®25, QuietComfort®35, SoundLink®, and similar models
  • WAVe Contoured: Crafted to meet the dimensions of popular over-ear styles such as BeatsTM Solo2, Solo3, Studio Wireless and similar designs

Each model of the WAVe case features an integrated 3000 mAh rechargeable battery to power most wireless headphones up to 10 times before needing to be recharged itself. The WAVe also features an external full size USB port allowing users to charge just about any other desired device.

While the WAVe provides plenty of protection, it was also designed to be extremely lightweight, with the WAVe Streamlined tipping the scales at a mere eight ounces and the WAVe Contoured at just 10 ounces. The WAVe’s integrated battery pack can be fully charged in 2 hours and 45 minutes plus the integrated battery will hold its charge for up to an entire year. Charging times for various headphones will vary, but most should realize 90 percent charge in just 20 minutes and a full 100 percent charge in 30 minutes.

WAVe’s Kickstarter campaign has $682 pledged towards the $55,000 goal with 28 days to go. The Kickstarter campaign packages start at $29.99 which is the super early bird special and goes up to $99.00. The WAVe Kickstarter page can be found here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/444368761/the-wave-battery-powered-headphone-case.

I’m requesting a sample once they have one available for me to review and can’t wait to share with you all my experience using the WAVe case.

About PolarPro

Founded on the simple mission to design products that inspire people to get out and explore the world, PolarPro designs by adventure, for adventure. With headquarters in Costa Mesa, CA, its team of action sport enthusiasts and cinematographers aim to develop products inspired by real experiences that solve real problems. Since launching its flagship action camera filters in 2011, PolarPro has realized explosive growth with a diverse product catalogue for urban and off-grid adventurers alike. For more information on PolarPro, please visit http://www.polarprofilters.com, or follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

 

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beGlammed for Valentine's Day with Too Faced and Sugarfina

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Valentine’s Day but I am a huge fan of going out all glammed up for the occasion. I learned about beGlammed a while ago and it is astonishing how many people still don’t know about this fabulous beauty service and app.

beGlammed is the leading on-demand beauty service that delivers professional hairstylists and makeup artists straight to your door. Tap the app to book a personal beauty team and get pampered on demand in the comfort of your home, office, hotel, or any other location. The go-to hair and makeup provider for everyone from working professionals, students, and busy mothers to brides, jetsetters, and celebrities. Book. Relax. beGlammed.

You can book your appointment three way via telephone, on their site or on their app. When you book online all you need to do is fill out your city, date and time for the appointment. The next screen will bring you the services page. Users can choose between “Expert” or “Elite” services and either Make-Up, Hair or both. The rest from there is pretty self explanatory.

The beGlammed app is free, easy to use and you can sign in via your Facebook account. Once logged in you will be on the “Book Hair and Make-Up” screen. You will be able to choose from the three below options which are Hair Do, Make-Up or Bridal. From there booking it is a breeze and should not take you long to book your beGlammed appointment. 

This year beGlammed has teamed up with Sugarfina and Too Faced to bring you luxury candy paired with lip makeovers in Sugarfina Stores on February 10th starting at 6pm.  Time to get your sassy lips ready to pucker up for your hot and steamy Valentine’s Day date! Too RSVP for this event send an email with your city and state to heysugar@sugarfina.com. I am told there may be some in store Valentine’s day specials but we will all have to attend the event to find out now won’t we?

 

beGlammed is currently offering services in 23 cities in the U.S. and Canada, including Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, Orange County, San Diego, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Nashville, Orlando, Atlanta, Toronto, Boston, Chicago and the Inland Empire. Below is a list of the participating stores and you can click here to see them on the beGlammed site.

I hope everyone has a marvelous Valentine’s Day and don’t forget to RSVP for this awesome beauty event!!

 


Artificial Intelligence Drives Kolibree's Ara Smart Toothbrush

 

Spring cleaning doesn’t just mean cleaning up your pad it also means it’s time to freshen yourself up. In today’s market what isn’t smart anymore? Now your toothbrush can be smart too. Ara, the first toothbrush with embedded artificial intelligence (AI), will be available in March.

Why in the world would I need a smart toothbrush? I asked myself the same and what I found below will not only give you a “Ah Ha” moment but will make you want to invest in a smart toothbrush.

What makes Ara by Kolibree so unique, even among the new breed of smart toothbrushes, is the microprocessor inside the toothbrush handle. This gives the toothbrush the capability to capture, store and sync data whether you use the app or not when you brush your teeth.

Deep learning algorithms inside Ara emulate the way the brain works. This machine learning improves accuracy of data collection and provides step-by-step guidance through the Coach feature when you need it. To check up on yourself, just open the Kolibree app for a quick glance of the personalized Checkup feature to see where in your mouth you brushed, and where you missed in each of 16 brushing zones. Is your mind blown?

Ara by Kolibree is the smartest way to build confidence about improving healthy habits when it comes to dental hygiene and preventive oral health. Priced at USD $129, Ara can be pre-ordered at kolibree.com for $79 through February 28, 2017.

More than 10,000 of the Ara by Kolibree toothbrushes have already been pre-sold through Kolibree‘s website and an arrangement with a major health insurer interested in the risk assessment potential of AI in health care.

I have requested a review sample so I can give you guys the 411 on what the Ara toothbrush is all about so keep checking back and for more information about the Ara click here.

About Kolibree

Kolibree, the smart oral care company, is dedicated to innovation of connected health solutions, such as the first toothbrush with embedded AI (artificial intelligence) and the first connected sonic toothbrush with 3-D motion sensors. Kolibree uses proprietary technology for data capture and patented M2M technology to provide a personalized, interactive tooth brushing experience for children and adults.


Logitech ZeroTouch Brings Amazon Alexa to Your Car

Considering the amount of Logitech posts and product reviews I do one would think I’m getting paid under the table, I am not. Truth be told I have been a huge Logitech fan since my very first PC. Their products have always been reliable, affordable and durable; what else could a girl ask for?

Today Logitech (SIX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) announced its collaboration with Amazon Alexa to bring Alexa voice control to the Logitech ZeroTouch™ Air Vent and Logitech ZeroTouch Dashboard smart car mounts for Android™ smartphones. Now, you can use Logitech ZeroTouch™ and the power of your voice to interact with Alexa and your smart home devices including lights, locks and thermostats – on the road, right from the driver’s seat.

Logitech ZeroTouch™ smart car mounts let you use your voice to place calls, text back and forth and engage with apps, such as Yelp, all without using your hands. Now, with Alexa, you can do more while keeping your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, including:

  • Quickly access the weather, news or more than 8,000 Alexa skills, such as to-do lists, ordering products from the road, or listening to a joke
  • Ask Alexa to change your compatible thermostat from the road, so when you get home, your house is heated or cooled
  • Tell Alexa to turn on your compatible smart lights on your way home from work
  • Listen to your favorite Kindle books from the road during a long drive
  • Ask Alexa to lock the front door when you’ve already left the home

I feel like Logitech should start partnering with automotive companies as well to have this as a add on when you buy a new or used car so it promotes people to use hands free features while driving. I live in Austin and I swear I see more people texting and on the phone not using Bluetooth or hands free more so than in California!

In addition to Alexa, Logitech ZeroTouch has also introduced the ability to read out and respond to emails, accept or decline calendar invites, and read out calendar meetings for the day. To connect your car, simply snap your phone to the magnetic air vent or dashboard mount to activate the Android app, and speak freely. Another clever partnership since I’m full of ideas would be that Logitech partner with the Texas DMV, again Austin drivers are awful and the Logitech ZeroTouch™ Air Vent and Logitech ZeroTouch Dashboard should just be mandatory. I may be a tad over dramatic.

The newly updated ZeroTouch app with the Alexa feature is now available in the U.S. and UK for free on the Google Play store. Users need an Amazon account to access the newest Alexa feature within the ZeroTouch app. The Logitech ZeroTouch™ Air Vent and Logitech ZeroTouch™ Dashboard are available at Logitech.com and Amazon.com for a suggested retail price of $59.99 or $79.99 respectively.

Unfortunately iPhone users will have to wait and see if they make something for iOS, sorry guys! I am hoping to get a sample to do a full product review so keep checking back or on my twitter. For more information, please visit Logitech.com.

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SXSW FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES REMAINDER OF 2017 MIDNIGHTERS, SHORTS, AND INAUGURAL VR PROGRAMS

As SXSW gets closer I hope I am your “go to” when it comes to news, event or show updates and announcements for the festival this year. Today at 1:00pm CDT SXSW announced the remainder of its fill festival which will include James Franco’s The Disaster Artist among 21 features added to the lineup.

Below is the official press release with more information and list of additions. If you want to attend SXSW 2017 click here. Don’t forget that registration fees go up in 3 days so time is of the essence!

Austin, Texas, February 7, 2017 – The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals announced the remainder of its Film Festival program, including the Midnighters, Shorts and VR lineup for the 24th edition of the Festival, running March 10-19, 2017 in Austin, Texas. The acclaimed Film program draws thousands of fans, filmmakers, press and industry leaders every year to immerse themselves in the most innovative, smart and entertaining new films of the year.

The SXSW Midnighters section is a perennial favorite for SXSW audiences thrilled by the weird, electric, and sometimes terrifying selections. Featuring 10 genre films, including eight World Premieres, the slate includes dark comedies, thrillers, and slasher horror from a mix of established and first-time filmmakers. The Midnighters, as well as nine additional films, are included in the 128 total features now to be screened at the SXSW 2017 Film Festival.

“In this current political climate, genre filmmakers are more necessary than ever,” said Jarod Neece, SXSW Senior Film Programmer. “They give us the chance to escape the horrors in our daily lives and spend some time in the dark, hallowed halls of the cinema. This year’s batch of Midnighters span the gamut of splatter horror, dark comedy, revenge, and satire, and explore mortality, sociopathy and survival. 10 films, eight world premieres from four countries, all ready to keep you squirming in your seats at Midnight!”

128 short films were selected from 4,975 submissions. A comprehensive list of the Short Film Program is below and will screen as part of 12 curated shorts programs.

“In this year’s Short Film Program you can feel the motivation to express and address concerns of our modern time,” said Claudette Godfrey, Senior Film Programmer. “Our diverse group of filmmakers push boundaries, experiment with story, form, and style to explore the familiar narratives of love, life, growth, the digital age, and social issues in new ways that move us. The sense of discovery in our Short Film Program is what I love most, and it’s rewarding to see our filmmakers grow through short film and go on to make larger scale work. It’s truly exciting and I can’t wait to share this new work with our exceptional and adventurous audiences.”

This year, SXSW launched a new Virtual Reality section of the Film Festival to showcase the newest and most cutting-edge work in our Virtual Cinema. SXSW resides at the intersection of film and technology, and there is no better place to present this innovative format. The 38 projects emphasize storytelling, ingenuity and also showcase how other industries are embracing this new medium.

“This year we have expanded our Virtual Reality programming, launching the Virtual Cinema and elevating the medium to its own category in the SXSW Film Festival,” said Blake Kammerdiener, VR Programmer. “We not only put an emphasis on storytelling and ingenuity but also showcase how other industries are embracing VR. With collaboration at the core of SXSW, this year’s Virtual Cinema includes industry leaders and independent creators who have come together with projects from the health, fashion, music industries and more.”

SXSW Conference announced separately a swath of new Keynotes, Featured Speakers and Sessions. They include Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Senator Cory Booker, actress Julia-Louis Dreyfus and the cast of Veep, GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis, Fleetwood Mac namesake Mick Fleetwood, pop singer and songwriter Kesha, actor Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad), WWE superstar John Cena, Nick Denton and Jeff Goodby, featured in Nobody Speak, the creative teams behind Animals and last year’s SXSW premiere of Preacher, Frank Oz (Muppet Guys Talking) and Leonard Maltin, and more. They join previously announced Keynotes Lee Daniels, Gareth Edwards, Jill Soloway, plus Featured Speakers Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President, AMPAS, and the Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

New for 2017, the Interactive, Film, and Music badges will now include expanded access to more of the SXSW Conference and Festivals experience. Attendees will still receive primary entry to programming associated with their badge type, but can now enjoy secondary access to most other SXSW events. This means the exchange between SXSW’s creative industries can now curate and discover their SXSW experience like never before. SXSW’s next registration deadline is February 10, 2017 at 11:59pm PT. Early registrants benefit from discounted rates.

Additions to the 2017 SXSW Film Festival lineup include:

FEATURES

MIDNIGHTERS

Scary, funny, sexy, controversial – provocative after-dark features for night owls and the terminally curious.

68 Kill

Director: Trent Haaga, Screenwriters: Trent Haaga based on the novel by Bryan Smith

Chip’s problem is that he can’t say no to beautiful women. This weakness gets him into a world of trouble when he agrees to help his girlfriend steal $68,000. Cast: Matthew Gray Gubler, Annalynne McCord, Alisha Boe, Sheila Vand, Sam Eidson, Lucy Faust, Eric Podner, Peter James, Hallie Grace Bradley, James Moses Black (World Premiere)

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon: 10th Anniversary Screening

Director: Scott Glosserman, Screenwriters: David Stieve, Scott Glosserman

At SXSW in 2006 AICN’s Quint wrote: “…it just had its world premiere at the Alamo a few hours ago. I hope to see this one get picked up, but I guarantee this one will make it.” 10 years after its 2007 theatrical, the 35mm print returns to the fest! Cast: Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals, Robert Englund, Scott Wilson, Zelda Rubinstein, Kate Lang Johnson, Britain Spellings, Bridgett Newton, Ben Pace

Game of Death (Canada, France)

Directors: Laurence “Baz” Morais, Sebastien Landry, Screenwriters: Laurence “Baz” Morais, Sebastien Landry, Edouard Bond and adapted by Philip Kalin-Hajdu

In the middle of small-town nowhere, seven friends are forced to kill or be killed when they play the Game of Death. When faced with their own mortality, will they turn on each other to survive? Cast: Sam Earle, Victoria Diamond, Emelia Hellman, Catherine Saindon, Nick Serino, Erniel Baez D., Thomas Vallieres, Jane Hackett (World Premiere)

The Honor Farm

Director/Screenwriter: Karen Skloss

After prom night falls apart, Lucy finds herself at very different kind of party… On a psychedelic trip that could be a dangerous trap. Cast: Olivia Applegate, Louis Hunter, Dora Madison, Liam Aiken, Katie Folger, Michael Eric Reid, Mackenzie Astin, Michelle Forbes, Josephine McAdam, Christina Parrish (World Premiere)

Lake Bodom (UK)

Director: Taneli Mustonen, Screenwriters: Taneli Mustonen, Aleksi Hyvärinen

Reconstructing a legendary campsite murder turns fatal when the girls decide to rewrite history. As night falls, turns out not all of them are there to play. Cast: Nelly Hirst-Gee, Mimosa William, Mikael Gabriel, Santeri Mäntylä

Mayhem

Director: Joe Lynch, Screenwriter: Matias Caruso

After being framed for corporate espionage on the same day that a mysterious virus is unleashed on his company, attorney Derek Cho is forced to savagely fight tooth and nail for not only his job but his life. Cast: Steven Yeun, Samara Weaving, Dallas Mark Roberts, Caroline Chikezie, Mark Stewart Frost, Kerry Fox, Lucy Chappell, Steven Brand (World Premiere)

Meatball Machine Kodoku (Japan)

Director: Yoshihiro Nishimura, Screenwriters: Yoshihiro Nishimura, Sakichi Sato

A long-awaited sequel to the internationally acclaimed full-throttle splatter sci-fi action horror Meatball Machine directed by Yoshihiko Nishimura, an acclaimed makeup artist and special effects designer (“Godzilla Resurgence”). Cast: Yoji Tanaka, Yurisa, Takumi Saito (World Premiere)

PIG: The Final Screenings

Director: Adam Mason

A savage satire of gender politics in America, Adam Mason is guaranteed to shock and offend with Pig. Created with actor and long time collaborator Andrew Howard, Pig is a virtuoso piece of pure cinema. Cast: Andrew Howard, Guy Burnet, Lorry Stone, Juliet Quintin-Archard, Molly Black (World Premiere)

Tragedy Girls (Canada, USA)

Director: Tyler MacIntyre, Screenwriters: Chris Lee Hill, Tyler MacIntyre, based on an original screenplay by Justin Olson

A twist on the slasher genre following two budding teenage sociopaths who use their online show about real-life tragedies to send their small midwestern town into a frenzy, cementing their legacy as modern horror legends. Cast: Brianna Hildebrand, Alexandra Shipp, Craig Robinson, Josh Hutcherson, Kevin Durand, Jack Quaid, Timothy V. Murphy, Nicky Whelan, Austin Abrams, Kerry Rhodes (World Premiere)

Two Pigeons (UK)

Director: Dominic Bridges, Screenwriter: Rae Brunton

A wide-boy estate agent unknowingly shares his home with a malicious tenant, one with a totally surprising agenda. Two Pigeons is a dark urban morality tale with an underlying streak of jet black comedy. Cast: Mim Shaikh, Javier Botet, Mandeep Dhillon, Kola Bokinni, Michael McKella (World Premiere)

Additional Features:

HEADLINERS

Big names, big talent: Headliners bring star power to SXSW, featuring red carpet premieres and gala film events with major and rising names in cinema.

The Disaster Artist

Director: James Franco, Screenwriters: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, based on the book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room

This is a true story about the making of The Room – the cult classic described as the “Citizen Kane of bad movies”. Cast: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Josh Hutcherson, Ari Graynor, Jacki Weaver, Alison Brie (World Premiere)

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT

High profile narrative features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.

Paris Can Wait

Director/Screenwriter: Eleanor Coppola

A devoted American wife (Diane Lane) with a workaholic inattentive husband (Alec Baldwin), takes an unexpected journey from Cannes to Paris with a charming Frenchman (Arnaud Viard) that reawakens her sense of self and joie de vivre. Cast: Diane Lane, Arnaud Viard, Alec Baldwin (U.S. Premiere)

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT

Shining a light on new documentary features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.

Mission Control:  The Unsung Heroes of Apollo (UK)

Director: David Fairhead, Screenwriters: David Fairhead, Keith Haviland

At the heart of the Apollo program was the special team in Mission Control who put a man on the moon and helped create the future. (World Premiere)

VISIONS

Visions filmmakers are audacious, risk-taking artists in the new cinema landscape who demonstrate raw innovation and creativity in documentary and narrative filmmaking.

Porto (Portugal)

Director: Gabe Klinger, Screenwriters: Larry Gross, Gabe Klinger

Jake and Mati are two outsiders in Porto who once experienced a brief connection. A mystery remains about the moments they shared, and in searching through memories, they relive the depths of a night uninhibited by the consequences of time. Cast: Anton Yelchin, Lucie Lucas, Françoise Lebrun, Paulo Calatré (North American Premiere)

24 BEATS PER SECOND

Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music and musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.

Song of Granite (Canada, Ireland)

Director: Pat Collins, Screenwriters: Pat Collins, Eoghan McGiolla Bhríde, Sharon Whooley

Acclaimed filmmaker Pat Collins brings the dramatic life story of legendary seannós singer Joe Heaney to the screen in Song of Granite, an audacious exploration of the man and his music. Cast: Macdara Ó Fatharta, Mícheál Ó Chonfhaola, Jaren Cerf, Pól Ó Ceannabháín, Colm Seoighe (North American Premiere)

FESTIVAL FAVORITES

Acclaimed standouts & selected previous premieres from festivals around the world.

David Lynch – The Art Life

Director: Jon Nguyen

A film that deeply explores the experiences that shaped one of cinema’s most distinctive voices: David Lynch. Presented by FilmStruck.

Person to Person

Director/Screenwriter: Dustin Guy Defa

A record collector hustles for a score while a lovelorn roommate regrets a dire mistake, a teenager bears witness to her friend’s new relationship, and a rookie reporter and her demanding boss chase clues to a homicide involving a jaded watchmaker.

Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Michael Cera, Tavi Gevinson, Philip Baker Hall, Bene Coopersmith, George Sample III, Isiah Whitlock, Ben Rosenfeld, Olivia Luccardi

Trophy (USA, South Africa)

Director: Shaul Schwarz, Screenwriter: Christina Clusiau

Endangered African species like elephants, rhinos, and lions march closer to extinction each year. Trophy investigates the powerhouse businesses of big game hunting, breeding, and wildlife conservation.

Through the Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film

Director: Sam Wainwright Douglas

Some fences don’t divide.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Live soundtracks, cult re-issues and much more. Our Special Events section offers unusual, unexpected and unique one-off film events.

Le Ride

Director: Phil Keoghan, Screenwriters: Phil Keoghan, Louise Keoghan

Television personality Phil Keoghan retraces the 1928 Tour de France riding an original vintage bicycle, with no gears, as he tells the forgotten ‘underdog’ story about the first English speaking team to take on the toughest sporting event on earth.

Doug Benson Master Pancake & Doug Loves Movies Podcast

Doug Benson returns in the continuing tradition of our annual St. Patrick’s Day screening of the Leprechaun series. On March 17 we present Leprechaun 5: In The Hood, directed by Rob Spera.

SHORTS PROGRAM

NARRATIVE SHORTS

A selection of original, well-crafted films that take advantage of the short form and exemplify distinctive and genuine storytelling.

Adult (Australia)

Director/Screenwriter: Jamieson Pearce

It is 1996. A middle-aged woman sits on a city bench on the wrong side of town. Waiting. Is anyone watching her? A pause in the traffic. The woman stands and shuffles across the road. The door to the Adult Store swings shut behind her.  (North American Premiere)

American Paradise

Director/Screenwriter: Joe Talbot

Folk tale meets modern tragedy, American Paradise is the story of a man in Donald Trump’s America who attempts to shift his fate with the perfect crime: a bank heist in a ‘black-guy-mask.’

Cla’am (UK)

Director/Screenwriter: Nathaniel Martello-White

A dark, surreal comedy about a local man who becomes convinced that a vast conspiracy is behind the impossibly rapid gentrification in his London area. But is it all in his head, or is the truth even darker than he imagines?  (World Premiere)

Cubs (Iceland)

Director/Screenwriter: Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir

A single father wants to fulfil his young daughter’s wish to throw a slumber party for her friends, but it turns out to be more of a challenge than he thought due to the rules of modern society. (North American Premiere)

DeKalb Elementary

Director/Screenwriter: Reed Van Dyk

Inspired by a 911 call placed during a school shooting incident in Atlanta, Georgia. (North American Premiere)

Forever Now (Denmark)

Director: Kristian Håskjold, Screenwriters: Kristian Håskjold, Trille Cecilie Uldall-Spanner After several years together William and Cecilie break up. To treat the sorrow with love the same night they decide to do the drug, MDMA, together. This results in a emotional rollercoaster ride for better or worse over a whole weekend. (World Premiere)

Fry Day

Director: Laura Moss, Screenwriters: Laura Moss, Brendan O’Brien

An adolescent girl comes of age against the backdrop of serial killer Ted Bundy’s execution in 1989. (World Premiere)

Gamechanger (Netherlands)

Director: Christian van Duuren,  Daan Gielis On his way to another tour of duty abroad, thirty-year-old Max gets caught up in a game with the young boys next door. Max gradually loses sight of reality, and the boys lose their innocence.  (World Premiere)

I Know You From Somewhere

Director/Screenwriter: Andrew Fitzgerald

A young woman incurs the wrath of the internet after she inadvertently becomes a viral sensation.

Laps

Director/Screenwriter: Charlotte Wells

On a routine morning, a woman on a crowded New York City subway is sexually assaulted in plain sight.

Melon Rainbow (Denmark)

Director/Screenwriter: Laurits Flensted-Jensen Melon

Rainbow is a young girl who yearns to be seen. (North American Premiere)

The Mess He Made

Director: Matthew Puccini A man spends 15 minutes waiting for the results of a Rapid HIV test in a small-town strip mall.  (World Premiere)

Mutt

Director/Screenwriter: Erin Sanger

A family’s plan to stage an intervention unravels. (World Premiere)

The Robbery

Director: Jim Cummings, Screenwriter: Dustin Hahn

Crystal robs a liquor store and it goes pretty ok.

Rubber Heart

Director: Lizzy Sanford, Screenwriters: Lizzy Sanford, Anna Cordell

A one night stand that just doesn’t click.

Spring

Director/Screenwriter: Laurel Parmet

Amanda struggles as she spends the day taking pictures of her best friend. (World Premiere)

Submarine (Lebanon)

Director: Mounia Akl, Screenwriters: Mounia Akl, Clara Roquet

Under the imminent threat of Lebanon’s garbage crisis, Hala, a wild child inside of a woman is the only one to refuse evacuation, clinging to whatever remains of home.

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

Slices of life from across the documentary spectrum.

The Collection

Director/Screenwriter: Adam Roffman

Two friends stumble upon the mother lode of movie memorabilia in the most unexpected of places. (World Premiere)

Foam Sweet Foam

Directors: Kelly Loudenberg, Jillian Mayer

Simplistic catalogue­-style photographs, sound design, and narration are used to create a moving portrait of the furniture made of solid foam in a vast stage where officers in training play out every disaster imaginable. (World Premiere)

Gut Hack

Directors/Screenwriters: Kate Mclean, Mario Furloni

A former NASA scientist turned bio-hacker attempts an experiment that makes him confront the multitudes inside. (World Premiere)

Little Potato

Directors: Wes Hurley, Nathan M. Miller, Screenwriter: Wes Hurley

An autobiographical doc that tells the story of Little Potato’s journey growing up gay in the Soviet Union before and after the fall of communism and their eventual escape to America. (World Premiere)

The Moderators (USA, Ireland)

Directors: Ciaran Cassidy, Adrian Chen

A group of new employees at a consultancy in India are trained in their responsibilities as the moderating backbone of the Internet.  (World Premiere)

Nidal

Director: Tarek Turkey

Born female, Nidal has identified as a boy since he was 9, coinciding with his family’s escape from Syria. As he matures, he has to deal with the complexity in the confines of a refugee camp and a culture that cannot comprehend gender fluidity.   (World Premiere)

No Harm No Foul

Director: Cheng Zhang

In the tendency to assume that science-based conclusions are objective and reliable, public health tragedies are allowed to occur repeatedly.  (World Premiere)

Perfectly Normal

Director: Joris Debeij

A high-functioning autistic man balancing reality with his imaginary world, proves that one can make deliberate choices to find stability and to be more present in life.  (North American Premiere)

Raised by Krump (Germany, Sweden, USA)

Director: Maceo Frost

Raised by Krump is a 22-minute documentary film that explores the Compton/South Central, Los Angeles-born dance movement called “Krumping”, and the lives and emotional issues of some of the area’s most influential and prolific dancers.  (U.S. Premiere)

Refuge

Director: Matthew K. Firpo

Refuge is a multimedia project chronicling human stories from the European Refugee Crisis, focused on humanity and hope. Shot on location in Greece, January 2016.  (U.S. Premiere)

Übermensch (Denmark)

Director/Screenwriter: Jesper Dalgaard

Two transient young men breaks into an empty church by the sea to form a blood pact: to get rid of their childhood demons and escape the cycle of anxiety and authorities. “It’s not really goth to be afraid of the darkness” they agree.  (World Premiere)

Waiting for Hassana (Nigeria, USA)

Director/Screenwriter: Ifunanya “Funa” Maduka

In 2014, 276 teenage girls came together for exams in Chibok, Nigeria — by dawn, nearly all had disappeared and their school was burnt. Jessica, an escapee, shares her haunting account of a friendship violently interrupted by Boko Haram.

The Watchmaker (UK)

Director: Marie-Cécile Embleton

A poetic portrait of a Persian watchmaker, whose philosophical musings on his craft invite us to reflect on how we engage with time in a globalised, fast-paced world.  (North American Premiere)

ANIMATED SHORTS

An assortment of stories told using traditional animation, computer-generated effects, stop-motion, and everything in-between.

Birdlime (Canada)

Director: Evan DeRushie

A birds-eye-view of the exotic bird trade industry.  (World Premiere)

Bloop’s Birthday

Director: Julian Glander

Bloop’s Birthday is the story of an odd little pink creature bouncing around an acid-pastel landscape in search of fun. The looming presence of a mysterious shadow figure makes things a little more complicated for the B-day gal and her friends.  (World Premiere)

Catherine (Belgium)

Director/Screenwriter: Britt Raes

The bittersweet life story of a young girl, who grows up to be a crazy old cat lady.  (North American Premiere)

Glucose

Director/Screenwriter: Jeron Braxton

Glucose is sweet, marketable, and easy to consume, but its surface satisfaction is a thin coating on the pain of many disenfranchised people.  (World Premiere)

Hot Dog Hands

Director: Matt Reynolds

This woman can’t stop growing fingers.  (World Premiere)

It Should Be Easy (Canada)

Director: Ben Meinhardt

What happens when your mom calls for help with the computer.  (World Premiere)

Lou

Director/Screenwriter: Dave Mullins

When a toy stealing bully ruins recess for a playground full of kids, only one thing stands in his way: the “Lost and Found” box.  (World Premiere)

Pussy (Poland)

Director/Screenwriter: Renata Gasiorowska

A young girl spends the evening alone at home. She decides to have some sweet solo pleasure session, but not everything goes according to plan.

Summer Camp Island

Director/Screenwriter: Julia Pott

Oscar has to accept that his totally normal sleepover with Hedgehog isn’t going to be totally normal.

Tough (UK)

Director: Jennifer Zheng

Some things can only be understood with maturity. New light is shed on childhood cultural misunderstandings when a Chinese mother and her British born daughter speak as adults for the first time.

Wednesday with Goddard (Canada)

Director/Screenwriter: Nicolas Menard

A personal quest for spiritual enlightenment leads to romance and despair.  (U.S. Premiere)

MIDNIGHT SHORTS

Bite-sized bits for all of your sex, gore, and hilarity cravings.

Boss Bitch

Director: Winona Regan

Find out the meaning of boss ass bitch in this animated music video.

Coyanuscocksee (Canada)

Director: Gary Ye

Koyaanisqatsi, but with dicks (pls don’t sue).  (World Premiere)

Do No Harm (New Zealand)

Director/Screenwriter: Roseanne Liang

Save the patient. Nothing else.

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Director: Tony Grayson

We take a poor humans person, like you, and treat them like a pawn in our game. It will be candy for your tum tum. Watch as neuroscientist, Wallace L. Graybill, attempts to receive money coins from grants for his important research.  (World Premiere)

Hi Stranger

Director/Screenwriter: Kirsten Lepore

Hi Stranger. It’s been a while…  (World Premiere)

It Began Without Warning

Directors/Screenwriters: Santiago C. Tapia, Jessica Curtright

Change is coming.  (World Premiere)

Kisses

Director/Screenwriter: Sean U’Ren

Walking home from school, two boys discuss their problems with girls.  (World Premiere)

Kookie (Canada)

Director/Screenwriter: Justin Harding

Bree, a dishonest 9-year-old receives a terrifying visitor after a parenting lesson goes horribly wrong.

Mouse

Directors/Screenwriters: Celine Held, Logan George

Fueled by coke, Vanessa and Danny attempt to capitalize on an unlikely opportunity.  (World Premiere)

Mr. Popular

Director/Screenwriter: Charlie Mayforth

A well-liked jock discovers the true dangers of his popularity when he encounters an obsessed classmate.   (World Premiere)

The Saurus

Director/Screenwriter: Drew Maynard A man with a robust vocabulary must write a scornful letter to an old friend.

Summer’s Puke is Winter’s Delight (Japan)

Director/Screenwriter: Sawako Kabuki

Painful events become memories over time. Still, we vomit and eat again. Life is Eco.

The Suplex Duplex Complex

Director: Todd Rohal, Screenwriters: Todd Rohal, Zack Carlson, Bryan Connelly

A neighboring pair of tag team wrestlers learn the downsides of life without a landlord.  (World Premiere)

Tickle Monster (UK)

Director/Screenwriter: Remi Weekes

You better not giggle.  (U.S. Premiere)

Whiskey Fist

Director/Screenwriter: Gillian Wallace Horvat

A branding intern loses the life he once had after an encounter with a mysterious blonde and her whiskey bottle — magical realism ensues.  (World Premiere)

TEXAS SHORTS

An offshoot of our regular narrative shorts program, composed of work shot in, about, or somehow relating to the Lone Star state.

Beach Day

Directors: Matt Stryker, Dalton Allen

On a slow day, Matt and Dalton decide to go to the beach.  (World Premiere)

Chasing Grace

Director/Screenwriter: Julia Barnett

A young woman reluctantly meets with her estranged father only to discover the truth about the events of the wild 70’s summer that drove them apart.  (World Premiere)

Hold Me (Ca Caw Ca Caw)

Director/Screenwriter: Renee Zhan

Flap flap flap flap flap. A large bird and a small boy cohabit in an unhappy relationship, trapped by four walls and a mutual codependency.

Lucia, Before and After

Director/Screenwriter: Anu Valia

After traveling 200 miles, a young woman waits out Texas’s state-mandated 24-hour waiting period before her abortion can proceed.

Makeup

Director/Screenwriter: Hannah Whisenant

A young girl tries to get close to her absent mother by putting on her makeup, only to realize why she shouldn’t emulate her.

The Rabbit Hunt

Director: Patrick Bresnan, Screenwriter: Ivete Lucas

On the weekends during harvest season, 17-year-old Chris and his family hunt rabbits in the sugarcane fields of the Florida Everglades.

Robert Ellis – ‘California’

Directors: Erica Alexandria Silverman, Cullen Kelly, Screenwriter: Erica Alexandria Silverman The moment you fall in love and the moment it falls apart. Life is ephemeral, but we are lucky it happens at all.

The Wait (Mexico, USA)

Director/Screenwriter: Juan Pablo González

The Wait portrays at once the straits of immigrant life and the haunting soundscape of reprieve.

TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHORTS

A preview of the next filmmaking generation, as Texas High Schoolers present shorts of 5 minutes or less.

After Thoughts

Director: Xavier Hernandez, Screenwriters: Xavier Hernandez, Cooper Shapiro

What goes through a teenagers mind after they have had intercourse? After Thoughts explores just that. Witness as a teenage woman and a teenage boy struggle to understand their feelings for each other.

All You Need

Directors/Screenwriters: Taylor Butler, Raven Robinson

Everyone’s constantly searching for that one person who’ll be there for them.

Be Anyone, Do Anything

Director: Alyssa “Midori” Brown

Be Anyone, Do Anything follows Krystle Starr at the 2016 Dallas Fan Expo and to her Comic Club at My Possibilities. She encourages nerd culture and shares advice along with James Enelow and Calen Hoffman to help those new to the convention scene.

Behind the Scenes

Director/Screenwriter: Jake Billard

A teenage with a film crew gets away with a robbery and murder.

Better Late Than Never

Director/Screenwriter: Atheena Frizzell

A teenage girl must figure out a way to keep a secret from her devout family.

Boxed In

Directors/Screenwriters: Andrew Fleming, Nate Grizzell

A young adult struggles with loss of his family. He sees no way to deal with his pain other than boxing.

Breakfast

Director/Screenwriter: Rohun Vora

Breakfast is a dramatic piece that explores a morning in the life of a broken marriage.

Chroma

Director/Screenwriter: Demar Gunter

A young girl must find courage within herself to rebel against an oppressive society.

Darcy’s Quinceañera

Director: Sam Cooper, Screenwriters: Sam Cooper, Jonathan Randall

Darcy’s Quinceañera is a 360° multimedia audio-visual xxx-perience.

Flightless

Director: Sarah Fonville, Screenwriters: Max Wilson, Madison Duckworth, Brennan Guffey

An injured bird of prey must figure out a way to take flight and soar to survive.

Game Room

Director/Screenwriter: Siri Ketha

A young girl has some family issues like no other. With intrusive parents and pressure to be perfect she is pushed over the edge. Like mother, like daughter, it’s all just family matters.

Inge

Director: Rachel Schlesinger

Inge Stanton vowed to never return to Germany after she fled her home there days before World War II began. This film follows Inge as she returns to her hometown to show her children and grandchildren the world she escaped from as a little girl.

Jawn Otis’s Wall

Directors: Carmela Moreno, Daisy Cervantes, Screenwriter: Carmela Moreno

“Jawn Otis’s Wall” is about an 8 year old boy named Jawn Otis, who is abused by his single mother.  Jawn escapes his home and gives us a glimpse into his daily routine to show us the true meaning of innocence.

La Mano

Director/Screenwriter: Grace Snyder

A tiny butler comes in handy.

Limbo

Director/Screenwriter: Pierson Hawkins

Limbo is an experimental film chronicling the struggles of a man after entering purgatory and his endless efforts to escape.

Newcomers

Director/Screenwriter: Haley Bunn

Newcomers is a documentary about refugee students at Anderson High School who come from various background and face many challenges upon living here.

One

Directors/Screenwriters: Emily Ma, Grace Zhang

A girl embarks on a physical exploration to seek the answer of an age-old question: Who am I?

Red Line

Directors/Screenwriters: Quinn O’Brien, Arfa Chowdhary

A little girl finds herself on a train to discover new places.

Roll for Initiative

Directors/Screenwriters: Adam Weider, Cameron Potter

Four adventurers journey into an unforgiving thieves’ den.

The Silent Paracosm

Director/Screenwriter: Dylan Banfield

The Silent Paracosm is a silent horror film following Faust , a young blind boy coming to terms with events that with change him deeply.

Split Ends

Director: Miranda Potter

A film portraying female body hair in a different, untraditional way.

Stripped

Directors/Screenwriters: Kendra Fogleman, Logan Sullivan

Olivia, a senior in high school, takes advantage of an innocent freshman.

VR Program

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality and augmented reality technologies are finding new ways to enhance our ability to perceive the world that surrounds us, and in many instances they are redefining how we experience the world.  The 38 projects presented in our new Virtual Cinema emphasize storytelling, ingenuity and also showcase how other industries are embracing this new medium.

After Solitary

Directors: Cassandra Herrman, Lauren Mucciolo

After Solitary, a collaboration between Emblematic and FRONTLINE, allows viewers to experience interactively the story of 38-year-old Kenny Moore, a recently released inmate who spent 5½ years straight in solitary confinement. (World Premiere)

Amor de Abuela (A Grandmother’s Love) (Australia, Guatemala, USA)

Director: Jessie Hughes

A Guatemalan family’s life is transformed when their grandmother gains access to electricity and light. (World Premiere)

BattleScar (Spain, USA)

Directors/Screenwriters: Nico Casavecchia, Martin Allais

BattleScar is a linear short film with interactive components that follows a year in the life of Lupe, a Puerto Rican-American, living in the 1978 Punk rock scene of New York City.

Behind The Fence

Directors: Lindsay Branham, Jonathan Olinger

The Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar must survive a Buddhist-led campaign to eliminate them. (World Premiere)

Chocolate

Director: Tyler Hurd

Cats, champagne and joy overflows in Chocolate, a psychedelic VR Music video experience set in a chrome cat-centric world, for the song Chocolate by Giraffage. By acclaimed VR creator Tyler Hurd. presented by Viacom NEXT.

Cycling Pathways to Mars

Directors: Lex Halaby, Daniel Schechter, Guil Rambelli , Screenwriters: Buzz Aldrin, Andy Aldrin, Lex Halaby, Christina Korp

Buzz Aldrin’s Cycling Pathways to Mars is a volumetric VR experience that takes you on a journey from the moon to Mars with Aldrin’s hologram as your guide, and brings his vision of cyclers, landers and rovers, to life. (World Premiere)

Dear Pigeon Man (Netherlands)

Director/Screenwriter: Daniël Ernst

Dear Pigeon Man is a hand painted virtual reality experience. It is the fifth piece of the Shoebox Dioramas, a series of virtual stories. All the stories in the series overlap, as the series grows so will the world of the Shoebox Dioramas.

DeathTolls Experience (Islamic Republic of Iran)

Director/Screenwriter: Ali Eslami

A virtual journey from the refugee crisis in Europe to the bloodbath in Syria, placing the dry “data reality” of the news in an emotional perspective. (U.S. Premiere)

Decay Theory (UK)

Director/Screenwriter: Nick Pittom

Decay Theory is an Episodic Sci-Fi Storytelling Experience, that follows the intergalactic adventures of SuRei, a young girl and FeiMa, the bio-mechanical horror that protects her.

Dreams of “O” (Canada)

Directors: Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël, Screenwriters: Francois Blouin, Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphael

Dive into the hypnotic world of Dreams of ‘’O’’. Submerge yourself into a virtual reality universe comprised of aerial acrobatics, daring dives, and the surreal amphibious characters of the breathtaking aquatic masterpiece “O” by Cirque du Soleil.

Fistful of Stars

Director/Screenwriter: Eliza McNitt

Fistful of Stars is the world’s first Virtual Reality exploration of the cosmos alongside the Hubble Telescope that transports you inside of the Orion Nebula and reveals the cosmic connections between humans and the stars. (World Premiere)

The Giant

Director: New Media Ltd, Screenwriter: Mike Anderson

A tale of a girl who never stops growing, her destructive plight, and ultimate transcendence. (World Premiere)

In Harmony

Director: Elliot Dillman, Screenwriters: Chris Collins, Elliot Dillman

For some LA kids, music is not just a form of art, it’s the key to overcoming the odds. When Deonte and Amy’s high schools cut their music programs, The Harmony Project steps in with mentoring and music training. (World Premiere)

Life of Us  

Directors: Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin

Life of Us is a shared VR journey from within that tells the complete story of the evolution of life on Earth. Created by Chris Milk & Aaron Koblin, with music by Pharrell Williams.

Mars 2030

In partnership with NASA and MIT’s Space Systems Laboratory, FusionVR welcomes you to Mars 2030. This immersive experience lets you play the role of one of the first scientists tasked with establishing a human presence on the Red Planet. (World Premiere)

The Melody of Dust

Directors: Viacom NEXT, Hot Sugar

A musical journey for the HTC Vive. Explore a mysterious world where every object contains a unique melody. From Viacom NEXT and musician Hot Sugar, this experience brings you inside the fantasies of a romantic composer. (World Premiere)

Movements

Directors: Michael Catalano, Elliot Cole

Movements is an interactive experience for virtual reality that gives you the thrill of conducting a live orchestra.

Museum of the Impossible

Directors: Ben Vance, Kate Parsons

Museum of The Impossible (MOTI) is a new type of museum for virtual reality that curates the best in immersive art.

Next Nature Habitat VR (Netherlands)

Director: Koert van Mensvoort

The natural habitat of the polar bear is the Arctic. The natural habitat of the scorpion is the dessert. How about humans? What is our natural habitat? As a species, we need to discover what it means to live in a world where the born and the made are  (North American Premiere)

Notes to My Father (India, UK, USA)

Director/Screenwriter: Jayisha Patel

Notes To My Father is a story of love, grief, and reconciliation, between father and daughter. (World Premiere)

Out of the Blue

Director/Screenwriter: Sophie Ansel

A family of fishermen in Mexico sacrifice their livelihood to save open ocean sea life from extinction. Narration by Sylvia Earle. (World Premiere)

Playthings VR

Director: George Michael Brower

Playthings puts virtual drumsticks in your hands and sets you loose on a musical playground from another world.

Reinvent

Directors: Ian Forester, Sook-Lei Liew, Phd

VR Playhouse has partnered with neuroscientist Dr. Sook-Lei Liew and her team at USC’s Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation Lab to create content for Reinvent, a new method that uses VR to promote motor recovery for victims of severe strokes.  (World Premiere)

Rise Above

Director: Ben Ross

One girl’s journey of empowerment as she confronts and overcomes abuse. (World Premiere)

See Beyond Labels

Director: Sarah Hill, Screenwriter: StoryUP Studios

An examination of bias through the stories of six people who are often seen through societal filters. (World Premiere)

Show It 2 Me

Directors: Mark Brooks, Dylan Carter

An interactive music video created using Tilt Brush’s audio reactive brushes featuring Night Club’s single, “Show It 2 Me.” (World Premiere)

Spatium (UK)

Directors/Screenwriters: Roland Lane, Alex Lambert

INITION and Roland Lane take you on a journey inspired by a famous hat by legendary designer Philip Treacy. In VR, structure and form are explored on a scale that escapes the bounds of the physical, creating a fantasy of light, sound and shadow.  (World Premiere)

Square the Circle (Netherlands)

Directors: Harm van de Ven, Sara Kolster

Square the Circle is an interactive experience which explores the possibilities of interacting with Touch controllers in room scale.

Synesthesia (Netherlands, USA)

Director: Kaleidoscope VR

Synesthesia is an interactive experience comprised of six movements each inspired by a different stage of life.

Use Your Imagination

Director: Roberto Drilea, Screenwriters: Roberto Drilea, Garth Herberg, Jason Weissbrod

A VR musical written and performed by young artists on the autism spectrum. (World Premiere)

Vestige (UK)

Director: Aaron Bradbury

Vestige is a journey into the mind of a man who lost his lover in a car accident.

Vibrant Matter

Director: FLOAT

A Within Original Experience, Vibrant Matter invites you to step inside a new world pulsing with an original score by Toro Y Moi. Twist and play through memories as you explore this new dimension.  (World Premiere)

Waba

Director: EDWON

Waba is an interactive video game character, empathic petting simulator, and virtual wobble pet combined into one.

We Who Remain (Sudan, USA)

Directors: Sam Wolson, Trevor Snapp

We Who Remain is an immersive live action documentary that explores life during a brutal fighting season in Sudan’s decades long civil war. (World Premiere)

Women on the Move (Niger, USA)

Director: Shannon Carroll, Screenwriters: Shannon Carroll, Kate Crosby, Brian Feagans, Raegan Hodge, Andisheh Nouraee

A woman in Niger joins a local women’s savings group to fund previously unattainable opportunities for girls—including her own granddaughter. (World Premiere)

Wonder Buffalo VR

Director: Christine T. Berg, Screenwriters: Christine Berg, Simon Shterenberg

Just another Saturday listening to records and drawing comics until Ann is challenged by an archnemisis: her mother. Tired of being called a fat lazy water buffalo, Ann stands up for herself. Find the hero within. The Wonder Buffalo VR Experience.

MUSIC VIDEOS

A range of classic, innovative, and stylish work showcasing the scope of music video culture.

Avalanches – ‘Subways’ (France) / The Directors/Screenwriters: Mrzyk and Moriceau

Beyoncé – ‘Formation’ / Director: Melina Matsoukas

Blonde Redhead – ‘Dripping’ / Director: Eric Wareheim

BOKKA – ‘Answer Me’ (Poland) / Director: Katarzyna Sawicka

DJ Shadow ft. Run the Jewels – ‘Nobody Speak’ (UK) / Director: Sam Pilling

Frank Ocean – ‘Nikes’ (UK) / Director: Tyrone Lebon

Hinds – ‘Garden’ (UK) / Director/Screenwriter: Pedro Martin-Calero

Khruangbin – ‘Two Fish and an Elephant’ (UK) / Director: Scott Dungate

Leon Bridges – ‘River’ / Director/Screenwriter: Miles Jay

LORN – ‘ANVIL’ (France, UK) / Directors/Screenwriters: Hélène Jeudy, Antoine Caëcke

Millington – ‘Being’ (Australia) / Directors: Josh Thomas, Darcy Prendergast

Mykki Blanco ft. Woodkid – ‘High School Never Ends’ (Germany) / Director: Matt Lambert, Screenwriters: Matt Lambert, Mykki Blanco

Pussy Riot – ‘Straight Outta Vagina’ / Director: Phillip R Lopez

Roseau – ‘Disintegrate’ (UK) / Director: Hannah Jacobs

Run the Jewels ft. Gangsta Boo – ‘Love Again’ (UK, USA) / Director: Ninian Doff

Symbion Project – ‘Arcadian’ / Director/Screenwriter: Sherif Alabede

Tame Impala – ‘The Less I Know The Better’ (Spain) / Director: CANADA

Tesla Boy – ‘Circles’ / Director: Ryan Patrick

Yeasayer – ‘I Am Chemistry’ / Director/Screenwriter: New Media Ltd

Zeds Dead ft. Rivers Cuomo & Pusha T – ‘Too Young’ (Canada) / Director: Chris Ullens, Screenwriters: Chris Ullens, Jade Bogue, Jamie Durand

Excellence in Title Design

Inspired by an essential part of the theatrical experience, these are works of art in their own right. The 27 sequences selected represent the very best and most original of the past year.

Animal Kingdom / Company: Sarofsky / Designer: Erin Sarofsky and Duarte Elvas

Barbie Beach / Company: Coat of Arms / Designer: Courtney Dixon

The Crown / Company: Elastic / Designer: Patrick Clair

De 16 / Company: GRID VFX / Designer: Willem Wallyn

Dogma / Company: diecinueve36 / Designer: Maribel Martinez

Dr. Strange / Company: Sarofsky / Designer: Erin Sarofsky

El Rey Tuerto (The OneEyedKing) / Company: Pavlo Sánchez / Designer: Pablo Sánchez

Golden Life / Company: Digital Apes / Designer: Gergely Regula

Into the Badlands / Company: Huge Designs / Designers: Paul McDonnell, Hugo Moss, Ben Hanbury

Into The Current / Company: CR Moberg / Designers: Chris R Moberg and Jarod Young

IRA (Wrath) / Company: Pastrana Lab / Designers: Kike A. Pastrana and Ángel A. Pastrana

Jessica Jones / Company: Imaginary Forces / Designer: Michelle Dougherty

LOCA / Company: Gabaeff Pictures, The Creative Alliance / Designer: Nathan Gabaeff

New York City Blues / Company: Ian Glaum / Designer: Ian Glaum

OFFF By Night 2016 / Company: The Mill  / Designer: Mario Stipinovich

OFFF CDMX / Company/Designer: Outro Studio

Outsiders / Company: Shine / Designer: Michael Riley

PANICROOM 13 / Company: PanicProgram / Designer: Guido Ekker

Preacher / Company / Picturemill / Designer: William Lebeda

The Shannara Chronicles / Company: Huge Designs / Designers: Tamsin McGee and Andrew Popplestone

St. Nickel / Company: Oily Film Company Inc. & Morro Creative / Designers: Jay Bond and Garry Tutte

Stranger Things / Company: Imaginary Forces / Designer: Michelle Dougherty

Style Frames Design Conference / Company: Hornet / Designer: Eran Hilleli

Voyages des Cleauvard / Designer: Federico Pessa

Westworld / Company: Elastic / Designer: Patrick Clair

COMPETITION AWARDS AND CEREMONY

The films in the Short Film Program are eligible for Jury Awards within their respective screening categories, announced during the SXSW Film Awards on Tuesday, March 14 at 8:00 pm at the Paramount Theatre. Other awards announced will include the Narrative Feature Competition, the Documentary Feature Competition, Design Awards, and Special Awards. All feature film categories, except Special Events, will be eligible for category-specific Audience Awards, announced via sxsw.com on Saturday, March 18. SXSW is proud to be an official qualifying festival for the Academy Awards® Short Film competition. Winners of our Best Animated, Best Narrative and Best Documentary Short Film categories become eligible for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards (Oscars). Any British Short Film or British Short Animation that screens at SXSW is eligible for BAFTA nomination.

Now in its 24th year, SXSW Film brings together creatives of all stripes over nine days to experience a diverse lineup and thousands of Conference sessions with visionaries from all corners of the entertainment and media industries.

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2017 will take place March 10-19, 2017.

SXSW is proud to be an official qualifying festival for the Academy Awards® Short Film Competition. The Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short and Best Animated Short winners become eligible for the Academy Awards.

SXSW 2017 is sponsored by Esurance, Mazda, Monster Energy, Bud Light, Capital One, McDonald’s, and The Austin Chronicle.

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Scollar Mini for Small Dogs and Cats

Scollar Mini is a smart cat and small dog collar built on an open hardware and software platform that includes GPS tracking with no monthly fees, a tappable display, up to 30-day battery life, On-collar magnetic portable charging, and expandable functionality.

The Scollar Mini also has add-on vibration module for perimeter barriers and training. The feature I like best of the Scollar Mini is the feeding, flea/tick, and medication reminders and logging. That function is perfect if your are like me and forget when you fed your pet. My dog would get double fed sometimes by accident so the Scollar would have been perfect for her. I also think the Scollar Mini is very useful if you have roomates and share pet duties.

What’s a smart collar without it’s own app? The Scollar Mini also has it’s own mobile App for iOS and Android that lets you add multiple pets, find your pet, set up feeding and medication reminders, and track your pet’s training progress.

Recently Scollar launched their Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $15,000. As of today and only 10 days into their Kickstarter campaign $29,129 has been pledged. Though they have hit their goal they still need more backing to launch the Scollar Mini. If you want to back the Scollar Mini Kickstarter campaign you have several options to choose from. You can either make a pledge without a reward or choose from their 15 different packages that start at $99 and goes up from there. To check out Scollar Mini‘s Kickstarter campaign or if you would like to back them click here.

I may get a sample to review once they are available so stay tuned and keep checking back for my product review of Scollar Mini.

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Updated Festival and Travel Information for SXSW 2017

SXSW (South by Southwest) is less than 2 months away and Austin is ready to host one of the best festivals of the year! Since I am on ground zero and press I continue to get updates about SXSW 2017 will keep you all informed as more updates occur.

If you want to register to attend SXSW the cut off date to buy online is February 10th and after that it’s “walk up” only the day of the festivals. Click here to register for SXSW and below is the current pricing till February 10th.

ALL BADGES RECEIVE ACCESS TO: SXSW Gaming, SXSW Create, SXSW Job Market, Flatstock Poster Show, Registrants Lounge, Spotlights, The Dewey Winburne Community Service Awards, SouthBites Trailer Park, SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake concerts.

In just a couple of weeks, you will be able to sign up to “Get On The List” and download a 2017 SXSW Guest Pass. SXSW will also reveal the daily giveaway prize list. The SXSW Guest Pass gets you into to free events, shows, and prize giveaways throughout SXSW 2017 that do not require a badge. In the past Austin locals would go to either Waterloo Records or Whole Foods to get a SXSW Guest Pass since locals get priority but I am not sure if that will be the same for this year. Stay tuned!

As I informed you all a couple weeks ago for 2017, the SXSW Gaming Expo has officially become the SXSW Gaming Conference & Festival, and is no longer a part of the SXSW Guest Pass program. SXSW Gaming now requires a Gaming Wristband, starting at $25, to attend all of its affiliated events. Join your fellow gamers at the Gaming Expo, Gaming Awards, Gaming Sessions, and more special events than ever before. SXSW badge holders are also able to attend the SXSW Gaming Conference & Festival. Below is the full list of wristband prices as of today.

Hotels in Austin: Attendee can search for hotels using SXSW search engine located here to get the best available rate during the festival. You can book a room, change an existing reservation or cancel your housing entirely via your shopping cart:

  1. Sign in to the same shopping cart used to purchase your registration and click “Hotels.”
  2. Select “Request Hotel” for each registration that requires accommodations.
  3. Enter your dates and follow the simple steps to complete your hotel request.
  4. Follow steps 1-3 for each hotel reservation you need to make.

Traveling to Austin: Use the SXSW Travel search engine to search the web for the best fares and itineraries to Austin from your home city. Just 8 miles from Austin’s city center, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) offers flights daily including non-stops from 50 cities and one-stop connections to hundreds more. Amtrak also provides train service to Austin via the Texas Eagle. MegaBus and Greyhound are also an alternative to flying.

CREDIT CARD AUTHORIZATIONS: Don’t plan to travel with the credit card you’re using to pay for your stay? Authorize your credit card in advance. When the hotel receives your reservation in late February, you will receive a new confirmation email with your confirmation number. Use your confirmation number to fill out your hotel’s credit card authorization form and submit it directly to the hotel. Most SXSW Hotel authorization forms are available for download on our Reservation Policies page.

A few other reminders or tips for those attending SXSW include:

  • Activate your SXSW Social profile and upload your badge photo
  • Create your schedule by favoriting events
  • Follow @SXSW on Facebook and Twitter for the latest announcements
  • Download the SXSW Go Mobile App before the festival
  • Bring an umbrella or poncho; it has rained at SXSW for the past 3 years I have attended.

I will continue to post updates about SXSW including information about the SXSW Guest Pass till the festival. If you want to follow me during the festival I will be on twitter using handles: @nrpena, @cutegeek, and @hitechchic.

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Rate Super Bowl Commercials Today on USA Today's Ad Meter

I love the Super Bowl and not because I am a huge football fan, it’s because the commercials are always funny and awesome! This year you can rate your favorite commercial before the Super Bowl on USA Todays Ad Meter. In order to rate the different commercials you will need to create an account on USA Todays Ad Meter site located here.

I logged in using facebook since it’s the easiest way to create an account. While creating your account the only other information they ask of you is household income and zip code. I’m guessing this is the way they look at demographics of those voting. Once you are all set up now you will be able to rate your favorite commercials. Voting is easy so I won’t go into great detail about how to vote just know when you do vote your screen should have this on it. If it doesn’t you did something wrong which I don’t think is possible since it’s very simple to vote.

I have to be honest there are some hilarious commercials but this SQUARESPACE commercial with John Malkovich had me cracking up therefore it got a 9. “Get out of my name!” is the most hilarious and best line by John Malkovich in the “Calling JohnMalkovich.com” commercial.

There are tons of hilarious Super Bowl commercials so here are some of my favorites but this time I won’t share what I rated them.

Sprint’s Commercial with the “Can you hear me now?” guy is also hilarious then again anytime you see a person pushing a car off a cliff is entertaining. Starting Super Bowl weekend Sprint customers can get the best price for unlimited data available for a single line. Switch to Sprint and get unlimited data, talk and text for just $50 per month. Add a second line and pay just $90 per month for both. Add additional lines for just $30 per line. That is just $150 for a family of four.

The Avacados from Mexico commercial is the best so far staring Jon Lovitz who is using subliminal messages throughout the “Secret Society” and the “Big Game Teaser #AvoSecrets” commercial is beyond hilarious!

The funniest NFL themed commercial or so I think is the “Big Game Commercial with Cam Newton & Miranda Kerr for Buick.

What’s a Super Bowl without a funny beer commercial? Though the Budweiser commercial was cool and very long the BUSCCCHHHH commercial is too funny!

These are my top five favorites but there were tons of funny commercials that will keep us entertained during the Super Bowl. For those who either live under a rock or live outside the united states as a reminder Super Bowl is this weekend on  February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas and airing on FOX – 6:30 PM EST. If you don’t have access to a TV during game day click here for are other ways you can catch the game.

Good luck to the Patriots and Falcons teams and the fans, may you all have a fun Super Bowl!

 


Ripple: World’s First Wearable Support Network

Even in a world of social media and smartphones sometimes your personal safety is still at risk. In fact I think social media makes it easier to put yourself in danger especially if you are “checking in.” I own mace and a lipstick taser but that only goes so far especially if your alone at night in a parking garage. Today I learned about a new technology that you can wear instead of scrambling through your purse to find mace or the taser.

Ripple Network Technologies, Inc. announced today the launch of a Kickstarter campaign for a first-of-its-kind personal safety device and service, Ripple. Users have on-the-go, nationwide access to Tunstall’s professional monitoring team 24/7. Ripple users can discreetly signal their monitoring team for help with the click of a penny-sized Bluetooth wearable, designed by the creators of 360fly and Misfit Shine. Casey Pittock, President and CEO of Tunstall  Americas, stated, “We are excited to partner with Ripple to offer its customers a true solution to personal safety. Whether walking alone at night, meeting somebody new for the first time, facing immediate danger, or even traveling the country, Ripple’s device and service, utilizing Tunstall’s state-of-the-art response center, keep you one-click from the help you need.”

Click the wearable or app, and the user will immediately receive a call from the professional Tunstall monitoring team to his or her smartphone. They know who and where the user is, and have resources to immediately dispatch emergency services if the user needs it.

If a user requires emergency help but can’t talk on the phone, he or she can click three times and the monitoring team will send first responders directly to their location.

Founder and COO Rees ‘Bo’ Gillespie was inspired to develop the breakthrough device and service for his three younger sisters and mother, a real-estate agent would often ask him  to  check  on  her  when  she attended showings with unknown clients.

“Even in today’s connected world, there are moments when we feel alone and unsafe. Help can seem a little too far away, or we may be too embarrassed to ask for it,” said Gillespie.  “I developed Ripple for the comfort and peace-of-mind it provides; knowing someone  always  has  your back,  anytime, anywhere, is an incredibly empowering feeling.”

Ripple’s Kickstarter campaign launched today is currently at $1,054 pledged with a $50,000 goal with 29 days to go.

For a limited time, exclusively  on Kickstarter,  Ripple  is  offering  its  Bluetooth  wearable  along  with  an  entire  year  of  service  for  $129.  In  addition, Ripple has partnered with world renowned, fourth  generation  jewelry  designer Louis Tamis & Sons to make available  a one-of-a-kind silver Bluetooth locket monogrammed for  $199, with one year  of service. Ripple is scheduled to ship April 2017.

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SXSW Film Festival Announces 2017 Features Lineup

Being an Austin native and living downtown SXSW is a big deal and fortunately I get to cover portions of it as press. The excitement for SXSW 2017 keeps revving up in Austin as it gets closer especially when they have new announcements. Today SXSW announced the line up for the 24th annual Film Festival that will feature 124 films and runs from March 10th through the 19th.

The SXSW Film Festival categories include:

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION

Ten world premieres; ten unique ways to celebrate the art of storytelling. Selected from 1,407 narrative feature submissions in 2017.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION

Ten world premieres: ten real world stories that demonstrate innovation, energy and bold voices. Selected from 973 feature documentary submissions in 2017.

HEADLINERS

Big names, big talent: Headliners bring star power to SXSW, featuring red carpet premieres and gala film events with major and rising names in cinema.

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT

High profile narrative features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT

Shining a light on new documentary features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.

VISIONS

Visions filmmakers are audacious, risk-taking artists in the new cinema landscape who demonstrate raw innovation and creativity in documentary and narrative filmmaking.

EPISODIC

Featuring innovative new work aimed squarely at the small screen, Episodic tunes in to the explosion of exciting material on non-theatrical platforms, including serialized TV, webisodes and beyond.

24 BEATS PER SECOND

Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music & musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.

GLOBAL

A diverse selection of international filmmaking talent, featuring innovative narratives, artful documentaries, premieres, festival favorites and more.

FESTIVAL FAVORITES

Acclaimed standouts & selected previous premieres from festivals around the world.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Live soundtracks, cult re-issues & much more. Our Special Events section offers unusual, unexpected and unique one-off film events.

The 2017 SXSW Film Festival Awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, March 14 at the Paramount Theatre on Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas. If you are interested in attending the SXSW festival click here and to check out the schedule click here.

Below is the official press release that includes all the films that will be at SXSW.

Austin, Texas, January 31, 2017 – The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals announced the features lineup for the 24th edition of the Film Festival, running March 10-19, 2017 in Austin, Texas. The acclaimed program draws thousands of fans, filmmakers, press and industry leaders every year to immerse themselves in the most innovative, smart and entertaining new films of the year.

During the nine days of SXSW 125 features will be shown, with additional titles yet to be announced. The full lineup will include 51 films from first-time filmmakers, 85 World Premieres, 11 North American Premieres and 5 U.S. Premieres. These films were selected from 2,432 feature-length film submissions, with a total of 7,651 films submitted this year.

“It’s exciting for us to unveil the talent reflected in this year’s line up. We intentionally curate a wide-ranging program reflecting unique and new voices that examine, explore, and celebrate the creative process, the cultural zeitgeist, and glimpses of the universal through deeply personal stories,” said Janet Pierson, Director of Film. “Whether genre, big crowd pleasers, quiet meditations, hard hitting docs, or microbudget indies, we can’t wait to share these films with our smart, passionate audiences.”

New for 2017, the Interactive, Film, and Music badges will now include expanded access to more of the SXSW Conference and Festivals experience. Attendees will still receive primary entry to programming associated with their badge type, but can now enjoy secondary access to most other SXSW events. This means the exchange between SXSW’s creative industries can now curate and discover their SXSW experience like never before. SXSW’s next registration deadline is February 10, 2017 at 11:59pm PT. Early registrants benefit from discounted rates.

Feature films in the SXSW lineup screen in 12 sections: Narrative Feature Competition, Documentary Feature Competition, Headliners, Narrative Spotlight, Documentary Spotlight, Visions, Midnighters, Episodic, 24 Beats Per Second, Global, Festival Favorites, and Special Events.

Midnighters, the Short Film and VR Program will be announced on February 7. All feature categories, with the exception of Special Events, will be eligible for category specific Audience Awards.

The Narrative Feature Competition includes: A Bad Idea Gone Wrong directed by Jason Headley; A Critically Endangered Species directed by Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak; Dara Ju directed by Anthony Onah; Fits and Starts directed by Laura Terruso;  La Barracuda directed by Julia Halperin and Jason Cortlund; The Light of the Moon directed by Jessica M. Thompson;  Like Me directed by Rob Mockler; MFA directed by Natalia Leite; Most Beautiful Island directed by Ana Asensio; The Strange Ones directed by Lauren Wolkstein and Christopher Radcliff.

The Documentary Feature Competition includes: Bill Frisell, A Portrait directed by Emma Franz; Dealt directed by Luke Korem; I Am Another You directed by Nanfu Wang; Let There Be Light directed by Mila Aung-Thwin; Maineland directed by Miao Wang; Mommy Dead and Dearest directed by Erin Lee Carr; Served Like A Girl directed by Lysa Heslov; The Blood is at the Doorstep directed by Erik Ljung; The Secret Life of Lance Letscher directed by Sandra Adair; The Work directed by Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous.

A selection of other highlights include: Baby Driver directed by Edgar Wright; Becoming Bond directed by Josh Greenbaum;  Free Fire directed by Ben Wheatley; Gemini directed by Aaron Katz; Hot Summer Nights directed by Elijah Bynum; Lemon directed by Janicza Bravo; May it Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio; Mr. Roosevelt directed by Noël Wells; Muppet Guys Talking directed by Frank Oz; Prevenge directed by Alice Lowe; Stranger Fruit directed by Jason Pollock; The Big Sick directed by Michael Showalter; Unrest directed by Jennifer Brea; Win it All directed by Joe Swanberg;  in Episodics, I LOVE BEKKA & LUCY directed by Rachel Holder and The Son directed by Tom Harper.

Plus previously announced highlights: Song to Song directed by Terrence Malick;  American Gods directed by David Slade; Residente directed by René Pérez Joglar; Small Town Crime directed by Ian and Eshom Nelms; Signature Move directed by Jennifer Reeder; and Spettacolo directed by Jeff Malmberg.

The 2017 SXSW Film Festival will include:

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION

Ten world premieres; ten unique ways to celebrate the art of storytelling. Selected from 1,407 narrative feature submissions in 2017.

A Bad Idea Gone Wrong

Director/Screenwriter: Jason Headley

Two would-be thieves forge a surprising relationship with with an unexpected housesitter when they accidentally trap themselves in a house they just broke into. Cast: Matt Jones, Eleanore Pienta, Will Rogers, Jonny Mars, Sam Eidson, Jennymarie Jemison (World Premiere)

A Critically Endangered Species (Poland, United States)

Directors/Screenwriters: Zachary Cotler, Magdalena Zyzak

An internationally respected poet announces she is going to kill herself and needs an heir and executor. Young writers drive up the mountain to compete for the position and are challenged intellectually, emotionally, and erotically. Cast: Lena Olin, Rosanna Arquette, Jordan Gavaris, Alexander Koch, Nathan Keyes, Chris Voss (World Premiere)

Dara Ju

Director/Screenwriter: Anthony Onah

A young Nigerian-American financier struggles with love, family, and a prescription drug dependency as his ambitions steer him down a criminal path. Cast: Aml Ameen, Lucy Griffiths, Michael Hyatt, Peter Vack, Hope Olaidé Wilson, Souléymane Sy Savané, Craig muMs Grant, Bill Sage (World Premiere)

Fits and Starts

Director/Screenwriter: Laura Terruso

A struggling writer can’t seem to escape his wife’s literary success. When a road trip to a publisher’s salon takes an unexpected turn, he has to face his own creative shortcomings and find a way to regain control of his life and work. Cast: Wyatt Cenac, Greta Lee, Maria Dizzia, Alex Karpovsky, Ben Sinclair, Onur Turkel, John Rothman, Louis Cancelmi, Larry Murphy, Sam Seder (World Premiere)

La Barracuda

Directors: Julia Halperin, Jason Cortlund, Screenwriter: Jason Cortlund

A strange woman comes to Texas to meet her half-sister and stake a claim to the family music legacy—one way or another. Cast: Allison Tolman, Sophie Reid, JoBeth Williams, Luis Bordonada, Larry Jack Dotson, Butch Hancock, Bob Livingston, The Mastersons (World Premiere)

The Light of the Moon

Director/Screenwriter: Jessica M. Thompson

After her world is irrevocably changed, a successful New York City architect struggles to regain intimacy and control in her life. Cast: Stephanie Beatriz, Michael Stahl-David, Conrad Ricamora, Catherine Curtin, Olga Merediz, Cindy Cheung, Susan Hayward, Craig Walker, Cara Loften, Michael Cuomo (World Premiere)

Like Me

Director/Screenwriter: Rob Mockler

A reckless loner, desperate for human connection, sets out on a crime spree that she broadcasts on social media. Her reality quickly splinters into a surreal nightmare as her exploits spiral out of control. Cast: Addison Timlin, Ian Nelson, Larry Fessenden, Jeremy Gardner, Stuart Rudin, Nicolette Pierini (World Premiere)

MFA

Director: Natalia Leite, Screenwriter: Leah Mckendrick

The accidental death of her rapist sets an art student on a course for justice, fueling the inspiration for her thesis exhibition. Cast: Francesca Eastwood, Clifton Collins Jr, Peter Vack, Leah Mckendrick, Marlon Young, David Sullivan, Michael Welch (World Premiere)

Most Beautiful Island (Spain, United States)

Director/Screenwriter: Ana Asensio

An undocumented young woman struggling to begin a new life in New York City is offered an opportunity she can’t pass up. But as day turns to night she discovers she’s been lured to the center of a dangerous game. Cast: Ana Asensio, Natasha Romanova, David Little, Nicholas Tucci, Larry Fessenden, Caprice Benedetti (World Premiere)

The Strange Ones

Directors: Lauren Wolkstein, Christopher Radcliff, Screenwriter: Christopher Radcliff Mysterious events surround the travels of two brothers as they make their way across a remote American landscape. On the surface all seems normal, but what appears to be a simple vacation soon gives way to dark and complex truths. Cast: Alex Pettyfer, James Freedson-Jackson, Emily Althaus, Gene Jones (World Premiere)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION

Ten world premieres: ten real world stories that demonstrate innovation, energy and bold voices. Selected from 973 feature documentary submissions in 2017.

Bill Frisell, A Portrait (Australia)

Director/Screenwriter: Emma Franz

An intimate, behind-the-music portrait of one of the most unassuming yet influential creative artists of our time, guitarist Bill Frisell. Frisell said of the film, “It’s like the inside of my brain!” (World Premiere)

The Blood is at the Doorstep

Director: Erik Ljung   After Dontre Hamilton, a black, unarmed man diagnosed with schizophrenia, was shot 14 times and killed by police in Milwaukee, his family embarks on a quest for answers, justice and reform as the investigation unfolds. (World Premiere)

Dealt

Director: Luke Korem, Screenwriters:  Bradley Jackson, Luke Korem

Sixty-two year old Richard Turner is renowned as one of the world’s greatest card magicians, yet he is completely blind.  This is an in-depth look at a complex character who is one of magic’s greatest hidden treasures. (World Premiere)

I Am Another You

Director/Screenwriter: Nanfu Wang

Through the eyes of a young drifter who rejects society’s rules and intentionally chooses to live on the streets, Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang explores the meaning of personal freedom – and its limits. (World Premiere)

Let There Be Light (Canada)

Director/Screenwriter: Mila Aung-Thwin

Let There Be Light follows the story of dedicated scientists working to build a small sun on Earth, which would unleash perpetual, cheap, clean energy for mankind. After decades of failed attempts, a massive push is now underway to crack the holy grail of energy. (World Premiere)

Maineland (China, United States)

Director: Miao Wang

Chinese teenagers from the wealthy elite, with big American dreams, settle into a boarding school in small-town Maine. As their fuzzy visions of the American dream slowly gain more clarity, their relationship to home takes on a poignant new aspect. (World Premiere)

Mommy Dead and Dearest

Director: Erin Lee Carr

Child abuse, mental illness, and forbidden love converge in this mystery involving a mother and daughter who were thought to be living a fairy tale life that turned out to be a living nightmare. (World Premiere)

Served Like A Girl

Director: Lysa Heslov

Five women veterans who have endured unimaginable trauma in service create a shared sisterhood to help the rising number of stranded homeless women veterans by entering a competition that unexpectedly catalyzes moving events in their own lives. (World Premiere)

The Secret Life of Lance Letscher

Director: Sandra Adair

Witness the collision of memory, color, and chaos in this unprecedented journey through the visionary mind of collage artist Lance Letscher. (World Premiere)

The Work

Directors: Jairus McLeary, Gethin Aldous

Set entirely inside Folsom Prison, The Work follows three men during four days of intensive group therapy with convicts, revealing an intimate and powerful portrait of authentic human transformation that transcends what we think of as rehabilitation. (World Premiere)

HEADLINERS

Big names, big talent: Headliners bring star power to SXSW, featuring red carpet premieres and gala film events with major and rising names in cinema.

Baby Driver

Director/Screenwriter: Edgar Wright

A talented, young getaway driver relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss, he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom. Cast: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx (World Premiere)

Free Fire (UK)

Director: Ben Wheatley, Screenwriters: Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump

Bold, breathless and wickedly fun, Free Fire is an electrifying action comedy about an arms deal that goes spectacularly and explosively wrong. Directed by Ben Wheatley. Starring Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, Sharlto Copley, Jack Reynor. Cast: Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Jack Reynor, Babou Ceesay, Enzo Cilenti, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley, Noah Taylor (U.S. Premiere)

On The Road (UK)

Director/Screenwriter: Michael Winterbottom

Michael Winterbottom follows acclaimed British rock band and Grammy nominees Wolf Alice on their tour, recording their gigs as well as the romance and routine of their daily life backstage. (North American Premiere)

Song to Song

Director: Terrence Malick

In this modern love story set against the Austin, Texas music scene, two entangled couples — struggling songwriters Faye and BV, and music mogul Cook and the waitress whom he ensnares — chase success through a rock ‘n’ roll landscape of seduction and betrayal. Cast: Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett (World Premiere)

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT

High profile narrative features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.

The Archer

Director: Valerie Weiss, Screenwriter: Casey Schroen

Archer champion Lauren Pierce escapes a corrupt juvenile correctional facility with Rebecca, a fierce but alluring inmate and together they must survive a desperate warden who is bow-hunting his prey to make sure his secret stays buried. Cast: Bailey Noble, Bill Sage, Jeanine Mason, Michael Grant Terry, Kurt Fuller, Dendrie Taylor, Grace Victoria Cox, Andrew Caldwell (World Premiere)

The Ballad of Lefty Brown

Director/Screenwriter: Jared Moshé

Aging sidekick Lefty Brown (Bill Pullman) has ridden with Eddie Johnson (Peter Fonda) his entire life. But when a rustler kills Eddie, Lefty is forced from his partner’s shadow and must confront the ugly realities of frontier justice. Cast: Bill Pullman, Kathy Baker, Jim Caviezel, Tommy Flanagan, Peter Fonda, Joe Anderson, Diego Josef, Michael Speers, Lewis Pullman, Joseph Anderson (World Premiere)

Daphne (UK)

Director: Peter Mackie Burns, Screenwriter: Nico Mensinga

Daphne is London. Daphne is the crowd of faceless strangers we brush past everyday. Daphne is being young and always searching for more. Daphne is life, an unpredictable mixture of comedy and tragedy. Cast: Emily Beecham, Geraldine James, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Nathaniel Martello-White (World Premiere)

Easy Living

Director/Screenwriter: Adam Keleman

Sherry Graham, a self-destructive makeup saleswoman, hopes a new man and business venture will provide her a fresh start. After her plans are foiled, she takes control of her life in a dramatic turn of events. Cast: Caroline Dhavernas, McCaleb Burnett, Elizabeth Marvel, Charlie Hofheimer, Jen Richards, Daniel Eric Gold, C.J. Wilson, Taylor Richardson, Mary Catherine Garrison (World Premiere)

Gemini

Director/Screenwriter: Aaron Katz

A heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant and her Hollywood starlet boss. As the assistant unravels the mystery, she must confront her own understanding of friendship, truth, and celebrity. Cast: Lola Kirke, Zoë Kravitz, John Cho, Greta Lee, Michelle Forbes, Nelson Franklin, Reeve Carney, Ricki Lake, Jessica Parker Kennedy, James Ransone (World Premiere)

Going to Brazil (France)

Director: Patrick Mille, Screenwriters: Julien Lambroschini, Sabrina Amara, Patrick Mille Four childhood friends are reunited at a wedding in Rio. But when they accidentally kill a young man during a party that gets out of hand, they are forced to flee the city in a crazy adventure. Cast: Alison Wheeler, Vanessa Guide, Margot Bancilhon, Philippine Stindel, Patrick Mille (International Premiere)

Hot Summer Nights

Director: Elijah Bynum

Hot Summer Nights is a dark coming-of-age story set in Cape Cod, Massachusetts during the sweltering heat of summer 1991. Cast: Timothee Chalamet, Maika Monroe, Alex Roe, Maia Mitchell, William Fichtner, Thomas Jane, Emory Cohen (World Premiere)

Hounds of Love (Australia)

Director/Screenwriter: Ben Young

In the mid 1980’s seventeen-year-old Vicki Maloney is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple. As she observes the dynamic between her captors she quickly realizes she must drive a wedge between them if she is to survive. Cast: Ashleigh Cummings, Emma Booth, Stephen Curry, Susie Porter, Damian de Montemas, Harrison Gilbertson, Fletcher Humphrys (North American Premiere)

Lane 1974

Director: SJ Chiro, Screenwriters:  SJ Chiro, Clane Hayward

At 13 years old and the eldest of three kids, Lane struggles to keep her family together as her iconoclast mother moves without warning through the communes and dusty back woods of Northern California. Cast: Sophia Mitri Schloss, Katherine Moennig, Sara Coats, Linas Phillips, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Sarah-Eve Gazitt, Annette Toutonghi, Harry Curtis, Ronin West, Shayla Timbermoon (World Premiere)

Madre (Chile)

Director/Screenwriter: Aaron Burns

A pregnant woman, who is taking care of her son with development problems, is at her breaking point when a caregiver from the Philippines steps into her life. Diana suspects that she’s using voodoo against her after the quick improvements of her son. Cast: Daniela Ramirez, Cristobal Tapia Montt, Aida Jabolin, Matias Bassi, Ignacia Allamand, Nicolás Durán (North American Premiere)

Most Hated Woman In America

Director: Tommy O’Haver, Screenwriters: Tommy O’Haver, Irene Turner

Darkly funny, true story of the rise and untimely demise of Madeline Murray O’Hair—crank, swindler, iconoclast, and America’s most outspoken atheist. Cast: Melissa Leo, Adam Scott, Juno Temple, Vincent Kartheiser, Josh Lucas, Peter Fonda (World Premiere)

Mr. Roosevelt

Director/Screenwriter: Noël Wells

After a death in her family, struggling LA-based comedian Emily Martin returns to Austin. There she finds herself in the awkward position of staying with her ex and his new girlfriend until the funeral, while trying to close old doors from her past. Cast: Noël Wells, Nick Thune, Britt Lower, Daniella Pineda, Andre Hyland, Doug Benson, Armen Weitzman, Sergio Cilli (World Premiere)

Small Crimes

Director: Evan Katz, Screenwriters: Evan Katz, Macon Blair

Small Crimes is a delightfully suspenseful, blackly comic tale that follows a disgraced former cop, fresh off a six-year prison sentence for attempted murder, who returns home looking for redemption but winds up trapped in the mess he left behind. Cast: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jacki Weaver, Robert Forster, Gary Cole, Molly Parker, Macon Blair, Pat Healy (World Premiere)

Small Town Crime

Directors/Screenwriters: Ian Nelms, Eshom Nelms

Ex-cop, Mike Kendall, finds the body of a young woman and, in an act of self-redemption, becomes hellbent on finding the killer.  While his uncouth, quirky detective style helps break the case, his dogged determination puts his family in danger. Cast: John Hawkes, Anthony Anderson, Octavia Spencer, Robert Forster, Clifton Collins, Jr., Michael Vartan, James Lafferty, Daniel Sunjata, Caity Lotz, Jeremy Ratchford (World Premiere)

This Is Your Death

Director: Giancarlo Esposito, Screenwriters: Kenny Yakkel, Noah Pink

This Is Your Death is an unsettling look at reality T.V. where a disturbing hit game show has its contestants ending their lives for the public’s enjoyment. It captures the sad truths about the world’s desire to be famous. Cast: Josh Duhamel, Famke Janssen, Giancarlo Esposito, Sarah Wayne Callies, Caitlin Fitzgerald, James Franco (World Premiere)

Us and Them (UK)

Director/Screenwriter: Joe Martin

Working class Danny aims to kick start a revolution by turning the tables on the establishment with a deadly game of chance. Cast: Jack Roth, Tim Bentinck, Andrew Tiernan, Daniel Kendrick, Sophie Colquhoun, Paul Westwood, Carolyn Backhouse, Louis Dempsey (World Premiere)

Win It All

Director: Joe Swanberg, Screenwriters: Joe Swanberg, Jake Johnson

Small time Chicago gambler, Eddie Garrett, agrees to watch a duffel bag for an acquaintance who is heading to prison. When he discovers cash in the bag, he hatches a plan to win big, against the advice of his gambling sponsor and his brother. Cast: Jake Johnson, Aislinn Derbez, Joe Lo Truglio, Keegan-Michael Key (World Premiere)

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT

Shining a light on new documentary features receiving their World, North American or U.S. premieres at SXSW.

Barbecue (Australia)

Director: Matthew Salleh

Barbecue is about more than grilling a piece of meat. It’s a ritual performed religiously across the world. For some it’s a path to salvation. It is the pride of nations. And the stories told around the fires become a way to bring the world together. (World Premiere)

Bill Nye: Science Guy

Directors/Screenwriters: David Alvarado, Jason Sussberg

A famous television personality struggles to restore science to its rightful place in a world hostile to evidence and reason. (World Premiere)

Disgraced

Director: Pat Kondelis

The untold story of the summer of 2003 at Baylor University that exposes the attempted cover-up, and the corruption that became the most bizarre scandal in college sports history. (World Premiere)

Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web (New Zealand)

Director: Annie Goldson

Discover the story of the most wanted man online. (North American Premiere)

Meth Storm: Arkansas USA

Directors: Craig Renaud, Brent Renaud

With unparalleled access on both sides of the law, METH STORM: Arkansas USA is a thrilling non-fiction cops and robbers drama told from inside the American drug war.

(World Premiere)

Muppet Guys Talking – Secrets Behind the Show the Whole World Watched

Director: Frank Oz

Five of the original Muppet performers come together for the first time ever to share behind-the-scenes secrets of the Muppets. Includes rare performance footage, surprising stories and insights into how Jim led his team to produce legendary work. (World Premiere)

Pornocracy (France)

Director: Ovidie

Never before have we watched as much porn as today yet the traditional porn industry is dying. The arrival of web sites showing amateur clips has transformed the way porn is made and consumed. Behind this transformation lies one opaque multinational. (World Premiere)

Spettacolo

Directors: Jeff Malmberg, Chris Shellen, Screenwriter: Chris Shellen

Once upon a time there was a tiny hill town in Tuscany that found a remarkable way to confront their issues – they turned their lives into a play. (World Premiere)

Stranger Fruit

Director/Screenwriter: Jason Pollock

What happened on August 9th, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri? On that hot summer day, Officer Darren Wilson killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. Stranger Fruit is the unraveling of what took place that day, told through the eyes of Mike Brown’s family. (World Premiere)

Todrick Hall Documentary

Director: Katherine Fairfax Wright

After building an empire on YouTube, Todrick Hall leaps beyond his comfort zone and deep within his own backstory to create his most dazzling and vital work yet, but with only a few weeks and a few coins, will he crush it or will it crush him? (World Premiere)

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

Director: Jennifer M. Kroot

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin celebrates one of the world’s most beloved storytellers, following his evolution from a conservative son of the Old South into a gay rights pioneer whose novels inspired millions to reclaim their lives. (World Premiere)

Walk With Me (UK)

Directors: Max Pugh, Marc J. Francis

Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, Walk With Me is a cinematic journey into the world of a monastic community who practice the art of mindfulness with Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh. (World Premiere)

VISIONS

Visions filmmakers are audacious, risk-taking artists in the new cinema landscape who demonstrate raw innovation and creativity in documentary and narrative filmmaking.

Assholes

Director/Screenwriter: Peter Vack

Adah and Aaron are recovering addicts who are struggling to stay sober. After meeting in their psychoanalyst’s waiting room, they fall in love, relapse on poppers, and become the biggest assholes in New York City. Cast: Betsey Brown, Jack Dunphy, Peter Vack, Patrick LaBella, Jane Brown, Ron Brown, Eileen Dietz (World Premiere)

Becoming Bond

Director/Screenwriter: Josh Greenbaum

The stranger-than-fiction true story of George Lazenby, a poor Australian car mechanic who, through an unbelievable set of circumstances, landed the role of James Bond despite having never acted a day in his life. (World Premiere)

California Dreams

Director: Mike Ott

A look at how the American Dream and Hollywood affect those they touch. Cast: Cory Zacharia, Patrick Llaguno, Neil Harley, Kevin Gilger aka K-Nine Dog the Impersonator, Carolan J. Pinto, Mark Borchardt (North American Premiere)

DRIB (Norway)

Director/Screenwriter: Kristoffer Borgli

The inside story of how Amir (29) scammed his way to viral fame, fooled an advertising agency, and almost became the international face of a well-known energy drink – before everything went wrong. Cast: Amir Asgharnejad, Brett Gelman, Adam Pearson, Annie Hamilton, Alexandra Marzella, Hugo Armstrong, Joe Hartzler, Andrew Lauer (World Premiere)

Flesh and Blood

Director/Screenwriter: Mark Webber

Mark Webber boldly explores family dynamics using his real family as the cast and real-life situations for the story. Combining reality with fiction he exposes a disturbing truth: his family tree is full of broken branches that may never be repaired. Cast: Mark Webber, Cheri Honkala, Guillermo Santos, Madeline Brewer (World Premiere)

Infinity Baby

Director: Bob Byington, Screenwriter: Onur Tukel

A comedy about babies that don’t age. Cast: Kieran Culkin, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Nick Offerman, Martin Starr, Kevin Corrigan, Megan Mullaly, Noel Wells, Stephen Root (World Premiere)

Inheritance

Directors/Screenwriters: Laura E. Davis, Jessica Kaye

A woman learns her estranged father has died and returns with her brother and new lover to her childhood home of Belize, where she must face her past while fighting for intimacy in the present. Cast: Jessica Kaye, Daniel Ahearn, Mark Webber, Shamira Gill-Card, Myrna Manzanares, Louis Oberlander (World Premiere)

Lucky

Director: John Carroll Lynch, Screenwriters: Logan Sparks, Drago Sumonja

Lucky follows the spiritual journey of a 90 year old atheist (Harry Dean Stanton), having outlived and out smoked his contemporaries, as he comes to terms with his own mortality, and searches for ever elusive enlightenment. Cast: Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston, Ed Begley Jr., Tom Skerritt, Beth Grant, James Darren (World Premiere)

Paa Joe & The Lion (Ghana, United Kingdom)

Director: Benjamin Wigley

A true story about the art of love and death.  A thought provoking and cinematic documentary film rooted in the universal themes of love, death and legacy set against one of the most beautiful art-forms in the world – Ghana’s very own fantasy coffin. (North American Premiere)

Rat Film

Director/Screenwriter: Theo Anthony

Across walls, fences, and alleys, rats not only expose our boundaries of separation but make homes in them. “Rat Film” is a feature-length documentary that uses the rat—as well as the humans that love them, live with them, and kill them. (U.S. Premiere)

The Relationtrip

Directors: Renée Felice Smith, C.A. Gabriel, Screenwriters: C.A. Gabriel, Renée Felice Smith, Dana Scanlon

After bonding over their mutual disinterest in relationships, self-proclaimed loners, Beck and Liam, decide to go away together on a ‘friend’ trip where things get weird. Really, really weird. Cast: Renée Felice Smith, Matt Bush, Eric Christian Olsen, Linda Hunt, Nelson Franklin, Brandon Kyle Goodman, Sally Struthers, Georgia Mischak, Owain Rhys Davies (World Premiere)

Signature Move

Director: Jennifer Reeder, Screenwriters: Fawzia Mirza, Lisa Donato

A secret new romance with Alma forces Zaynab to confront her complicated relationship with her recently widowed mother. In this coming-of-age Muslim melodrama, Zaynab copes by taking up Lucha-style wrestling. Cast: Fawzia Mirza, Shabana Azmi, Sari Sanchez, Audrey Francis, Charin Alvarez, Mark Hood, Molly Brennan (World Premiere)

Sylvio

Directors: Albert Birney, Kentucker Audley, Screenwriters: Albert Birney, Kentucker Audley, Meghan Doherty

A small town gorilla joins a local TV program and a series of on-air mishaps threaten to shatter his identity, sending him on an adventure of self-discovery where reality and fantasy start to blend. Cast: Albert Birney, Kentucker Audley, Tallie Medel, Meghan Doherty (World Premiere)

EPISODIC

Featuring innovative new work aimed squarely at the small screen, Episodic tunes in to the explosion of exciting material on non-theatrical platforms, including serialized TV, webisodes and beyond.

American Gods

Director: David Slade, Screenwriters:  Bryan Fuller, Michael Green

Adapted from Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novel, American Gods follows Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) and Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) in a hidden world where a battle is brewing between Old Gods and New. Cast: Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, Pablo Schreiber, Bruce Langley, Yetide Badaki, Jonathan Tucker, Mousa Kraish, Betty Gilpin, Gillian Anderson (World Premiere)

Dear White People

Director/Screenwriter: Justin Simien

Based on the critically-acclaimed 2014 film by the same name, Dear White People is a send-up of the now post “post-racial” America that weaves together a universal story of finding one’s own identity, as told from a biting millennial point of view. Cast: Logan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, Antoinette Robertson, DeRon Horton, John Patrick Amedori

I LOVE BEKKA & LUCY

Director/Screenwriter: Rachael Holder

Two inseparable and idiosyncratic best friends face the evolution of their friendship when one of them gets engaged. Cast: Jessica Parker Kennedy, Tanisha Long, Alexis Denisof, Christopher Nicholas Smith (World Premiere)

i’m Dying up here

Director: Jonathan Levine, Screenwriter: Dave Flebotte

Set in L.A.’s celebrated, infamous stand-up comedy scene of the 1970s, this new series delves into the inspired and damaged psyches that inhabit the hilarious, but complex business of making an audience laugh. Executive produced by Jim Carrey. Cast: Melissa Leo, Ari Graynor, Clark Duke, Michael Angarano, Andrew Santino, Stephen Guarino, Erik Griffin, RJ Cyler, Al Madrigal, Dylan Baker (World Premiere)

Nobodies

Showrunner, Director: Michael McDonald, Pilot Director: Ben Falcone, Screenwriters: Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf, Rachel Ramras

The series is inspired by the real lives of Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf and Rachel Ramras, who watched as their friends from The Groundlings went on to star in blockbuster comedies and win Oscars, while they were waiting for their one big break. Cast: Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf, Rachel Ramras (World Premiere)

The Son

Director: Tom Harper

Based on the New York Times best-selling and Pulitzer Prize finalist novel, The Son is a sweeping family saga that spans 150 years and three generations of the McCullough family. Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Jacob Lofland, Henry Garrett, Paola Nunez, Carlos Bardem, Zahn McClarnon, Jess Weixler, David Wilson Barnes, Sydney Lucas (World Premiere)

24 BEATS PER SECOND

Showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music & musicians, with an emphasis on documentary.

As I Walk Through The Valley

Directors: Ronnie Garza, Charlie Vela

As I Walk Through The Valley is a journey into the underground music scene of Texas’ southernmost border-region. Follow four generations of Valley musicians as they struggle to find a voice of their own in the land of charro beans and Tejano legends.   (World Premiere)

G-Funk

Director/Screenwriter: Karam Gill

G-Funk is the untold story of three childhood friends from East Long Beach who helped commercialize hip hop by developing a sophisticated and melodic new approach – merging Gangsta Rap with elements of Motown, Funk, and R&B. (World Premiere)

Give Me Future (aka Incoming Transmission) (United States, Cuba)

Director: Austin Peters Cuba as you have never seen it before.

A Life in Waves

Director: Brett Whitcomb, Screenwriter:  Bradford Thomason

A Life in Waves explores the life and innovations of composer and electronic music pioneer, Suzanne Ciani. (World Premiere)

Long Strange Trip

Director: Amir Bar-Lev

Emerging from the Bay Area’s vibrant 1960s counterculture, the Grateful Dead were a motley crew whose unique sound sprang from an eclectic blend of influences: bluegrass, folk ballads, R&B, free-form jazz, classical, and jug band.

May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers

Directors: Judd Apatow, Michael Bonfiglio

An intimate portrait of the acclaimed North Carolina band the Avett Brothers, as they create their hit album “True Sadness.” (World Premiere)

Patti Cake$

Director: Geremy Jasper

Straight out of Jersey comes Patricia Dombrowski, a.k.a. Killa P, a.k.a. Patti Cake$, an aspiring rapper fighting through a world of strip malls and strip clubs on an unlikely quest for glory. Cast: Danielle Macdonald, Bridget Everett, Siddharth Dhananjay, Mamoudou Athie, Cathy Moriarty

Residente (Armenia, Burkina Faso, China, Georgia, Mongolia, Niger, Russian Federation, USA)

Director: René Pérez Joglar

After taking a DNA test, Latin America’s most decorated artist – Rene Perez (AKA Residente), embarks on a global adventure, to trace the footsteps of his ancestors and record his latest album. (World Premiere)

Thank You, Friends: Big Star’s Third Live… and More

Director: Benno Nelson

A celebration of the musical legacy of Memphis’ best-known secret – Big Star – performed by a collective featuring members of Big Star, the dB’s, Let’s Active, the Posies, R.E.M., Semisonic, Wilco and Yo La Tengo with the Kronos Quartet and more. (World Premiere)

GLOBAL

A diverse selection of international filmmaking talent, featuring innovative narratives, artful documentaries, premieres, festival favorites and more.

Bad Lucky Goat (Colombia)

Director/Screenwriter: Samir Oliveros

After accidentally killing a bearded goat with their father’s pick-up truck, two incompatible siblings in their teenage years, embark on a journey of reconciliation. Cast: Honlenny Huffington, Kiara Howard, Elkin Robinson, Michel Robinson, Ambrosio Huffington, Jean Bush (World Premiere)

The Challenge (France, Italy)

Director/Screenwriter: Yuri Ancarani

In The Challenge, the director crosses the Persian Gulf to accompany a falconer to an important competition. Among SUVs, Lamborghini, private jets and Mad Max-like dune bashing contests, the film tells the story of an intense weekend in the desert. (North American Premiere)

The Cloud Forest (Mexico)

Director/Screenwriter: Mónica Álvarez Franco

A small community in Veracruz is the guardian of one of the ecosystems facing the most risk: the cloud forest. By redesigning their needs, education and relationship with other people and with nature, they search for a simpler and sustainable life. (World Premiere)

Divine Divas (Brazil)

Director: Leandra Leal, Screenwriters: Carol Benjamin, Leandra Leal, Lucas Paraizo, Natara Ney

Eight iconic performers of the first generation of Brazilian transvestite artists go on stage to celebrate their 50th career jubilee. The film depicts the human, personal dimension behind these icons, deconstructing gender stereotypes. (North American Premiere)

Inflame (Turkey)

Director/Screenwriter: Ceylan Ozgun Ozcelik

Her nightmare is reality, and the reality is a nightmare. Cast: Algi Eke, Ozgur Cevik, Kadir Cermik, Asiye Dincsoy, Selen Ucer, Ipek Turktan Kaynak (North American Premiere)

Satan Said Dance (Poland)

Director/Screenwriter: Kasia Roslaniec

Satan Said Dance is an Instagram film in times of the selfie. A kaleidoscope of moments from life of Karolina – a scandalous writer obsessed with parties, drugs, sexuality and complex relationships, on her way to self-destruction. Cast: Magdalena Berus, Lukasz Simlat, Tygo Gernandt, Hanna Koczewska, Marta Nieradkiewicz, Danuta Stenka (North American Premiere)

Tormentero (Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico)

Director: Rubén Imaz, Screenwriters: Fernando del Razo, Rubén Imaz

Romero Kantún is a retired fisherman, who lives mired in nostalgia, but feels that it is time to reclaim what he lost decades ago, when he discovered the great oilfield that ended fishing on his island and won him the fishermen’s rejection. Cast: José Carlos Ruiz, Gabino Rodríguez, Mónica Jiménez, Waldo Facco (U.S. Premiere)

Win By Fall (Germany)

Director: Anna Koch, Screenwriters: Anna Koch, Julia Lemke

At the age of 12, Janny, Lisa, Debby and Michelle leave their home for a sports school in the East German province to become wrestlers. A documentary about coming-of-age between boarding school corridors, wrestling gyms and boy band posters. (North American Premiere)

FESTIVAL FAVORITES

Acclaimed standouts & selected previous premieres from festivals around the world.

78/52

Director/Screenwriter: Alexandre O. Philippe

A feature-length documentary about the iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO, 78/52 takes an unprecedented look at the ‘man behind the curtain’ and the screen murder that profoundly changed the course of world cinema.

The Big Sick

Director: Michael Showalter, Screenwriters: Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani

A couple deals with their cultural differences as their relationship grows. Cast: Kumail Nanjani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupani Euler, Zienobia Sfiroff, Adeel Akfitar, Bo Burnhani, Mary Aidy Bryant, Kurt Braunohler

Chasing Coral

Director: Jeff Orlowski, Screenwriters: Davis Coombe, Vickie Curtis, Jeff Orlowski

Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.

Colossal

Director/Screenwriter: Nacho Vigalondo

An unapologetic party girl (Anne Hathaway) dreams of a fresh start only to discover a mysterious and fantastical connection between herself and a city-wrecking monster on the other side of the globe. Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Austin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson

GORAN (Croatia)

Director: Nevio Marasović, Screenwriter: Gjermund Gisvold

Some good news lead to chaos. Cast: Franjo Dijak, Nataša Janjić, Janko Popović Volarić, Goran Bogdan, Milan Štrljić (U.S. Premiere)

The Hero

Director: Brett Haley, Screenwriters: Brett Haley, Marc Basch

The Hero tells the story of movie star Lee Hayden whose career high as Western film icon is now several decades in the past. Cast: Sam Elliott, Laura Prepon, Krysten Ritter, Nick Offerman, Katharine Ross

Lemon

Director: Janicza Bravo, Screenwriters: Janicza Bravo, Brett Gelman

A man watches his life unravel after he is left by his blind girlfriend. Cast: Brett Gelman, Judy Greer, Michael Cera, Nia Long, Shiri Appleby, Rhea Perlman, Fred Melamed, Gillian Jacobs, Martin Starr, David Paymer

Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press

Director/Screenwriter: Brian Knappenberger

The trial between wrestler Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media pitted privacy rights against freedom of the press, but ended up as a case study in how big money can silence media through legal means. An examination of the free press in an age of inequality.

Prevenge (UK)

Director/Screenwriter: Alice Lowe

Alice Lowe (Sightseers) is a triple threat as the writer, director and star of this pitch-black comedy about a pregnant woman whose unborn child spurs her on to murder. Cast: Alice Lowe, Dan Renton Skinner, Jo Hartley, Tom Davis, Leila Hoffman, Kate Dickie, Kayvan Novak, Mike Wozniak, Tom Meeten, Gemma Whelan

The Transfiguration

Director/Screenwriter: Michael O’Shea

This atmospheric New York tale about love, loss, and vampires follows Milo, a 14-year-old boy with a dark secret. The surprise of the Cannes Film Festival 2016. Cast: Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine, Aaron Moten, Carter Redwood, Danny Flaherty, Larry Fessenden, Lloyd Kaufman (North American Premiere)

Unrest

Director: Jennifer Brea

When Harvard PhD student Jennifer is struck down at 28 by a fever that leaves her bedridden, doctors tell her it’s “all in her head.” Determined to live, she turns her camera on herself and a hidden world of millions confined to their homes.

Walking Out

Directors/Screenwriters: Andrew Smith, Alex Smith

Based on the masterpiece, American short story, Walking Out, follows David (Josh Wiggins), a typical teenage urbanite as he travels to rural Montana to go hunting with his estranged, ‘off the grid’ father, Cal (Matt Bomer). Cast: Matt Bomer, Josh Wiggins, Bill Pullman, Alex Neustaedter, Lily Gladstone, Ken White, Scott McMillion

SPECIAL EVENTS

Live soundtracks, cult re-issues & much more. Our Special Events section offers unusual, unexpected and unique one-off film events.

Alien

Director: Ridley Scott, Screenwriter: Dan O’Bannon

In space, no one can hear you scream. Cast: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto

Cartoon Network Screening

Join Cartoon Network for fun, games and NEW, NEW, NEW, NEW episodes of The Amazing World of Gumball, We Bare Bears, Ben 10 and Teen Titans Go! But don’t go anywhere before the big surprise!! (U.S. Premiere)

Earth (with live score by DakhaBrakha) (Ukraine)

Director: Alexander Dovzhenko

Earth. This 1930’s silent film tells the story of farmers resisting Stalin’s plan to collectivize their farms. This performance features DakhaBrakha playing their own live score for this classic of Soviet cinema.

Ghost in the Shell

Director: Mamoru Oshii

Ghost in the Shell questions human existence in the fast-paced world of the information age, this award-winning, cyber-tech thriller has established itself as one of the leading Japanese animation films of all time. Cast: Atsuku Tanaka, Akio Otuska, Koichi Yamadera, Yukaka Nakano, Tamio Oki, Tessho Genda, Namaki Masakazu, Iemasa Kayumi

Hype!: 20th Anniversary Screening

Director: Doug Pray

Hype! rocks the definitive story of the birth and explosion of the Pacific NW music scene known globally as “grunge.” With humor and intense live performances, “Hype!” immerses you in the vibrant subculture and media madness of early ‘90s Seattle.

Le Ride

Director: Phil Keoghan, Screenwriters: Phil Keoghan and Louise Keoghan

Television personality Phil Keoghan retraces the 1928 Tour de France riding an original vintage bicycle, with no gears, as he tells the forgotten ‘underdog’ story about the first English speaking team to take on the toughest sporting event on earth.


FASHION WEEK FALL 2017 LIVE STREAMS

Women’s Fall Fashion Week kicks off in New York on February 9th. FASHIONWEEKONLINE.COM will have live streams of all the shows plus the different cities on their site starting the first day of Fashion Week. Fashionista’s can click here to access the FASHIONWEEKONLINE.COM’s live stream and to check out their schedule of Fashion Week click here.

There will also be live streaming of 2017 Fall Fashion week on the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week site. They have different live stream of shows and also different dates so click here to check the schedule.

Below are the Fall 2017 Fashion Week dates that will all be on live stream on FASHIONWEEKONLINE.COM and on the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week site as well.

  • New York Fashion Week Fall 2017 (Women’s): February 9, 2017 – 16, 2017
  • London Fashion Week Fall 2017 (Women’s): February 17, 2017 – 21, 2017
  • Milan Fashion Week Fall 2017 (Women’s): February 22, 2017 – 28, 2017
  • Paris Fashion Week Fall 2017 (Women’s): February 28, 2017 – March 8, 2017

If you are interested in attending any of the FASHIONWEEKONLINE.COM Fashion Week shows live or to see what shows are open to the public click here.  As of now New York Fashion Week tickets are the only ones available to purchase. I suggest checking back because as the shows draw nearer there will be more ticket purchasing options.

I will be posting more news and information about  Fall 2017 Fashion Week as it comes closer plus any designer news I get before Fashion Week. Stay Tuned Fashionistas!

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Source: FASHIONWEEKONLINE.COM & http://mbfashionweek.com/live


The Ruby Cup: Helping Young Women in Kenya

Ruby Cup has a 2017 initiative to distribute over 31,000 Ruby Cups to young women in Kenya and other impoverished countries by the end of year. Amazingly 16,000 Ruby Cups have already been distributed through the company’s “Buy 1 – Give 1” program, and 15,000 are awaiting shipment. I personally was unaware how many young women miss school due to their periods and the lack of education about their periods, the female anatomy, reproductive health, and hygiene in Kenya and impoverished countries.

The Ruby Cup founders focus for 2017 is to educate school girls in Kenya about their periods, the female anatomy, reproductive health, hygiene, and how to use a menstrual cup. When I received the email from Ruby Cup about the Kenya project this quote not only stood out but speaks volumes about the lack of education of the menstruation cycle they currently have in Kenya and other impoverished countries.

“My first day when I started my menstruation period I used rags because my father did not afford to buy me a pad.  I didn’t have anyone to afford to buy for me because my mother had already been dead. I felt ashamed of myself. I stayed for a week at home because I thought it was not normal.” – Annet

Heart breaking isn’t it?

As part of the Kenya initiative Ruby Cup staff will carefully assesses the locations of where the cups are distributed, and being that water is a basic neccessity for cleaning the cups, they are not distributed in areas without it.  Bacteria transferred via the hands is one of the greatest causes for spreading communicable diseases in developing countries, so having access to water is required.

What is the Ruby Cup?

The cups are made of medical grade silicone, the healthiest menstrual product material on the market, developed with Coloplast, a Danish company that is a global pioneer in intimate health care products.  Cups are re-usable for up to 10 years,  making it a very eco-friendly and cost-saving menstrual product.

How can I help?

Every time you buy a Ruby Cup, you donate another one to a school girl in East Africa. A Ruby Cup helps her stay in school and relieves her from the monthly stress of not being able to afford pads and having to make do with rags and toilet paper.

To view the Ruby Cup video regarding Kenya click here and for more information or to purchase a Ruby Cup click here.

About: Julie Weigaard-Kjaer
Co-Founder and CEO of Ruby Life ltd., the company behind Ruby Cup – a sustainable menstrual hygiene solution for girls and women worldwide has a broad background with several years of experience in business administration, supplier management, financial planning, and social entrepreneurship for both private and public companies.

Julie has a Bachelor Degree in Business, Languages, and Culture and Master courses in Supply Chain Management with minor studies in Sustainable Business at the Copenhagen Business School. I have also studied in Argentina and worked as a trainee for the Trade Commission of Denmark in Barcelona. On the volunteering side, she has worked as a mentor for small start-ups focused on the immigrant youth in Denmark and is currently a member of PWN (Professional Women’s Network).

Source: Ruby Cup


Hook: One-Stop Shopping Search Engine for Fashion App

I just recently got the Hook App to see what all the buzz was about plus I’m gearing myself up for Paris Fashion Week in February. The Hook Fashion Discovery app is a direct response to shopping trends showing consumers juggling multiple shopping apps and websites on their mobile devices. Hook, which is targeted towards fashion-conscious female and male millennials, is the first-of-its-kind to bring users exact and similar items to match their fashion queries.

The Hook Fashion Discovery App has three ways to search what you’re looking for: Similar Search, Type & Search, or Snap & Search.

  1. Type and Search” – Simply key in something specific you are looking for (i.e. “green velvet blazer”) and with one tap you can instantly browse through “green velvet blazers” from your favorite fashion destinations including luxury e-stores like Net-a-Porter to a more accessibly-priced Macy’s or Nordstrom, and even inexpensive options from Forever21, H&M, and Amazon Fashion.
  2. Snap and Search“- See something you like online or worn by a friend? Simply snap a photo and search for it on the app. Hook instantly lets you peruse the exact or closest results from your favorite retailers.
  3.  “Similar Search” – Browse and select items you like from Hook’s trending feed and shopable editorials. Want more options? Simply tap on the Similar Search icon and Hook brings you back loads of similar options at all different price points for you to comparison shop.

I have only used the “Type & Search” function of the app simply because I haven’t seen anything (since I got the app not long ago) that has caught my eye that I wanted to take a picture of.

What I love about the “Type & Search” feature is it allows users to refine their searches by color, category, brand, size or price from your original search topic. You can also sort your search by old to new, new to old, products on sale and the price point. It truly does make shopping easier using an app as your fashion search engine.

The Hook Fashion Discovery App is currently available for download in the App Store and on Google Play. For more information on the Hook Fashion Discovery App you can visit www.get-hook.com .


SXSW 2017 Gaming Awards Nominees

SXSW announced the 2017 Gaming Awards Nominees, Gamer’s Voice award categories and hosts for 2017 SXSW Gaming Awards. I will be on ground zero attending the SXSW Gaming weekend which takes place from Thursday, March 16, through Saturday, March 18 at the Austin Convention Center, and includes content throughout the SXSW Gaming Expo, Gaming Awards, and Gaming Program.

The Gaming Awards will be hosted by Xavier Woods and OMGitsfirefoxx and will celebrate 100 nominees across 23 categories. It will also include new additions such as Trending Game of the Year, Fan Creation of the Year, and Esports Game of the Year for 2017.

Video Game of the Year nominees for SXSW Gaming 2017 include Dishonored 2, DOOM, Overwatch, Titanfall 2, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, with Overwatch receiving a leading total of 10 nominations.

The Gamer’s Voice award categories which are dedicated to independent video, mobile, and tabletop games, will also return to the ceremony. With 44 nominees in total, these categories are voted on only by SXSW Gaming Expo attendees, with the winners revealed during the Gaming Awards show.

Online voting for all Gaming Awards categories, excluding Gamer’s Voice, will take place from Wednesday, January 25 through Friday, February 10. To vote for your favorite game click here or to attend the SXSW Gaming Awards click here.

Below are the 2017 Gaming Awards Nominees:

Note: SXSW Gaming Wristband includes complete access to each portion of the show. SXSW Gaming is open for attendance to all ages, with complimentary access given to all SXSW badgeholders. The SXSW Gaming Wristband does not grant access to any SXSW Interactive, Film or Music events.

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Source: SXSW


MTV CASTING CALL - MY SUPER SWEET

In the past I did not condone or liked MTV’s my Super Sweet Sixteen however recently I was reminded that my culture has a similar celebration and even more extravagant. In the Hispanic culture we have Quinceañeras which is a celebration on your fifteenth birthday and it marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood. It’s normally a religious celebration and the birthday girl is donning a formal gown almost similar to a wedding dress.

Now I have nieces and love spoiling them so either a Quinceañeras or Super Sweet Sixteen party is in their near future. That said, it looks like the hit show from what seem to be a long time ago is back. My Super Sweet is now casting for all those about to celebrate either 15 or 16 and want the world to see their big teenage moment.

To apply or for more information go to www.mysupersweetcasting.com or click on the above image.

Good Luck and Happy Early Birthday to you all!


Misfit's New Smartwatch - The VAPOR

This year at CES Misfit unveiled the VAPOR Smartwatch and they ended up winning 6 CES awards as a result. The VAPOR Smartwatch is the newest addition to Misfit’s product line. I have been a huge fan of Misfit since their very first launch so I do get excited when they launch a new product.

The VAPOR Smatchwatch allows you to have Music and GPS straight on your wrist without a phone. It has Bluetooth connectivity to keep you connected. The VAPOR also has built-in location services that’ll track your runs and activities in real time plus a heart rate tracker. It has a virtual bezel that allows for navigation and a circular touchscreen.

Below is VAPOR‘s full list of speciation:

  • Standalone Wireless Music Player
  • GPS Location Services
  • Heart Rate Monitoring
  • Swimproof + Water Resistant to 50 Meters
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Fitness and Sleep Tracker
  • Touchscreen

Currently the VAPOR isn’t available to purchase but you can sign up to receive updates and be one of the first to pre-order Misfit VAPOR  on their site. I hope Misfit will send me a VAPOR to test out, cross your fingers!


Drone Rodeo 2017 - Aerodrome Unveiled Build-Out Design and Vision for World’s First Droneport

 While at CES I attended the 2017’s Drone Rodeo Event at the Eldorado Droneport, the world’s first commercial droneport located in Boulder City, Nevada. The 50-acre Eldorado Droneport, is joint development project between The Aerodrome and the City of Boulder City. It is approximately 28 miles from the Las Vegas Strip on one of only six FAA-appointed unmanned air systems (UAS) test sites in the country. The newly released plan includes the vision for the permanent droneport facilities and office space, as well as build-to-suit pads that will be available for lease. The Eldorado Droneport is being jointly developed by Boulder City, which provided the land.

We started our journey to the Drone Rodeo from the Vegas strip to the ELDORADO droneport. As we pulled into the droneport you could already see at 5 least 5 various drones in the say. This year’s Drone Rodeo welcomed new DJI Enterprise Dealer Rocky Mountain Unmanned Systems, RC Logger, UVify, Vantage Robotics, Power Up Toys and Avegant to the roster of exhibitors.

The product I liked and got a demo for was the Epson’s AR Smart Glasses Solutions for piloting unmanned aerial vehicles. Now drone pilots can see crystal clear, transparent first person views from the idrone camera while simultaneously maintaining their line of sight with their aircraft. I tried on the smart glasses on during the demo and it was pretty cool plus they didn’t look that bad on.

The Epson Moverio BT-300 Smart glasses represent the world’s lightest binocular, transparent smart glasses with an OLED display. For more information about the Epson Smart Glasses click here.

All and all the Drone Rodeo was a great experience and there were so many different types out there. Below is more information about getting a licensee to fly a commercial drone and click here for more information about the Drone Rodeo.

The droneport, is currently open to the public but privately operated, offers training for UAS; provides FAA repairman and pilot certification and testing; and offers a variety of other educational, research and development services. E-learning programs are currently taught from the Aerodrome campus in Henderson, Nev. Note of you want to use your drone for commercial use, then you will need to become an FAA Certificated Remote Pilot.  On August 29, 2016, the FAA Part 107 regulations became effective., This regulation  establishes  requirements for the person flying an unmanned aircraft or drone to have specific knowledge related to airspace, weather, charts, pre/post flight planning, maintenance and more.  To test your knowledge and qualify you for a pilot’s certificate you must pass a 60 question multiple-choice type examination.

 


IK Multimedia Announces iRig Acoustic Stage - Digital Microphone System for Acoustic Guitar

IK Multimedia just announced  the iRig Acoustic Stage for acoustic instruments and as of today the iRig Acoustic Stage is available to purchase at IK Multimedia online store for only $99.00. I have a music room in my condo and have been meaning to get back into music again. Sadly I don’t know how to play a guitar but I can sing decently. I wonder if it would work for me just singing or is it mandatory to connect? Maybe they will send me a review unit to test that out. One can only hope!

Below is the official press release with more information about the iRig Acoustic Stage.

January 18, 2017 – IK Multimedia is proud to announce iRig Acoustic Stage the first advanced microphone, preamp and digital processor system that provides an exceptional true acoustic tone, anywhere. iRig Acoustic Stage combines an advanced MEMS microphone that clips on to the sound hole of an acoustic instrument with a preamp and DSP unit that captures all the tone, vibe and “air” of the instrument when playing live or recording in home and project studios.

The synergy between its components and the advanced signal processing makes iRig Acoustic Stage a revolutionary solution for accurately reproducing – and improving – the sound of all types of acoustic guitars and other instruments, in any situation, with studio-grade performance, advanced features, ease of installation and a convenience never seen before in any competing product.

On Stage or in the studio, iRig Acoustic Stage delivers
iRig Acoustic Stage’s patented system makes any acoustic guitar or other acoustic instruments like ukulele, acoustic bass, bouzouki, mandolin, etc., sound exactly as if they were captured with a classic recording studio setup, providing a full rich studio-quality sound on stage and in the studio.

Players simply clip the iRig Acoustic Stage‘s microphone to the sound hole, attach it to the iRig Acoustic Stage pre-amplifier and digital processor, then connect its output to a mixer or acoustic guitar amplifier.

Users will immediately hear what they’ve been missing with their traditional live setup as their acoustic tone comes alive with a vibrant, warm, deep and earthy wood tone. For players who currently perform with an acoustic-electric, iRig Acoustic Stage can greatly enhance the guitar’s live tone. iRig Acoustic Stage features an AUX input with a blend control that lets players blend their guitar’s current pickup system with iRig Acoustic Stage providing even greater tonal flexibility and a fullness to the live sound like never before heard.

MEMS Microphone technology
iRig Acoustic Stage uses an ultra-compact MEMS microphone to capture the acoustic’s sound from the guitar’s sound hole. It can be quickly slid into place or removed from the sound hole of the instrument with zero modification to the instrument required. This lets players use iRig Acoustic Stage on all of their acoustics during performance.

Acoustic Preamp/32-bit Digital Processor
The magic of iRig Acoustic Stage comes from the combination of the microphone, the preamp and its digital signal processing unit. iRig Acoustic Stage analyzes the incoming signal from the guitar – both the overall sound and nuance of the instrument AND the playing technique – and builds the optimum tone profile for the instrument that delivers a warm, round and balanced acoustic sound. The tone profile can then be enhanced through the use of 6 selectable tone presets, depending upon the playing situation. iRig Acoustic Stage provides 3 presets for steel string instruments – natural, warm, bright – and the same 3 optimized for nylon string instruments.

Cancel Feedback
Playing an acoustic on stage in a live setting will almost always generate some type of acoustic feedback or-hard-to-control resonances. iRig Acoustic Stage features a built-in digital feedback suppression algorithm – a handy easy-access feature on the preamp/DSP unit that quickly eliminates the offending frequencies from the live sound with the press of an oversize button.

AUX input
iRig Acoustic Stage also features an AUX input with a mix knob. This input is designed for use with an acoustic electric’s onboard piezo or magnetic pickup. The AUX input allows players to utilize the piezo pickup system and blend in just the right amount of microphone signal. There’s also a phase inversion switch that lets users swap the phase of the microphone or AUX signal to provide the best possible sound from all guitars.

USB Audio Out
iRig Acoustic Stage also features a class-compliant USB audio output making it perfect for direct connection to a computer or a mobile device for plug-and-play recording in any DAW or recording app.

Pricing and availability
iRig Acoustic Stage is available now from the IK Multimedia online store, and IK retailers worldwide for only $/€99.99 (excl. taxes).


NEWS FROM ATX: SPOON to Curate Three SXSW Showcases at The Main (“Eno’s”)

As an Austin native I have been a Spoon fan since I was in high school WAY back in the day. Anytime they play at SXSW I go to their shows considering they are Austin Home Grown.

It was announced today that Spoon will hold a three-night residency at The Main during the 2017 SXSW Music Festival. It will also be the same week that they will release their ninth album, Hot Thoughts, March 17 on Matador Records. During the residency, Spoon will resurrect the original, classic Austin venue Emo’s location, currently referred to as The Main, Tuesday, March 14–Thursday, March 16. The band will curate a unique line up each night and will be referring to the venue as “Eno’s” in honor of the band’s founding drummer and Austin stalwart Jim Eno.

For most of us OG Austinites this is awesome news! Though the new Emo’s location is larger than the original location it’s just not the same. Leave it to Austin’s Spoon to revive it for SXSW 2017. I only have a SXSW interactive badge which will not get you into SXSW music performances after the 14th. Luckily they play on the 14th so that is where I will be that night!

As SXSW continues to draw near I will be posting any news or events that I will be attending throughout the festival. To find out where I will be follow me on @nrpena, @cutegeek or @hitechchic and for more information about Spoon during SXSW click here.


NEWS FROM ATX: SXSW® Announces Judges for Accelerator Pitch Event

My hometown is Austin, Texas and this year will be my 4th year covering South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Interactive as press. Though may seem far off to some March is approaching fast and day one of SXSW is March 10th in the heart of downtown Austin. Today SXSW announced the 39 judges for the ninth annual SXSW Accelerator® Pitch Event®, taking place March 11-12 during the SXSW Startup Village® Track at the Hilton Downtown Austin during the “convergence” portion of SXSW.  

This will be the very first time  attending events at the Startup Village track which brings together startups, entrepreneurs, investors, and innovative tastemakers. Topics range from B2B, B2C, Bootstrapping, Business Strategy, Future of Money, Startups, and anything in-between.

As the date continues to get closer I will be here on ground zero covering as much of SXSW 2017 as possible. Below is the official press release posted today.

AUSTIN, Texas — January 17, 2017 — South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals (March 10-19, 2017) announced the 39 judges for the ninth annual SXSW Accelerator® Pitch Event®, taking place March 11-12 during the SXSW Startup Village® Track at the Hilton Downtown Austin. SXSW Accelerator judges will oversee 10 categories this year, including three new categories – “Transportation”, “Sports” and “Security and Privacy” – as leading startups from around the world are brought together to present their innovations to a live audience and panel of experts consisting of successful entrepreneurs, investors and industry influencers.

The SXSW team spent months pouring over thousands of qualified candidates before deciding on the best 39 people to judge the pitch event. The esteemed judges were hand-picked as experts in the 10 SXSW Accelerator categories: “Enterprise and Smart Data,” “Entertainment and Content,” “Innovative World,” “Health and Wearables,” “Payment and Fintech,” “Virtual Reality,” “Transportation,” “Sports,” “Security and Privacy,” and “Social and Culture.”

“Each year our judges play an integral role in selecting the most innovative startups in each category – and I would say they have an excellent track record, as more than 71 percent of finalists end up receiving funding in excess of $3.1 billion and 14 percent of them are acquired by companies like Google, Apple, and Huffington Post,” said SXSW Accelerator Event Producer Chris Valentine. “We are thankful for the great group of judges we have this year, who bring with them business and investment experience key to our ten categories.”

Fifty startups are featured during SXSW Accelerator, which includes 25 companies presenting on Saturday, March 11, and 25 companies on Sunday, March 12. The pitch competition will then culminate with the SXSW Accelerator Awards Ceremony on Sunday evening, March 12 at the Hilton Downtown Austin, where one winning startup from each category will be announced and honored.

The 2017 judges include: Phil Libin of General Catalyst, Sherwin Pishevar of Sherpa Capital, Tucker Kain of Los Angeles Dodgers, Richard Garriott of Portalarium, Christine Herron of Intel Capital, Jody Holtzman of AARP, and Nina Kjellson of Canaan Partners.

For a complete list of the 2017 Accelerator judges, visit: https://www.sxsw.com/apply-to-participate/sxsw-accelerator/.

SXSW Accelerator will announce the 50 category finalists on Tuesday, January 24.

The Accelerator is open to Interactive, Film, Music & Platinum badge holders.

To learn more about SXSW’s Startup Village, visit: https://www.sxsw.com/conference/startup-village/.

About SXSW

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2017 will take place March 10-19, 2017.

SXSW 2017 is sponsored by Esurance, Mazda, Monster Energy, Bud Light, Capital One, McDonald’s, The Austin Chronicle and Sonicbids.

 

 


2017 Smart Connected Home Products

While at CES I got to explore all the Smart Home or Connected Home products and services to be launched throughout 2017. If anything I learned from CES is that the Smart Home or Connected Home market is flourishing and I predict throughout the year there will be even more awesome products launched.  Till then below are interviews from several different Smart Home or Connected Home booths I checked out while at CES plus pictures of those I didn’t get a chance to get interviews with.

Hi)

Designed after the robot “Eve” from Wall-E the French startup, Fenotek is introduced Hi) at CES 2017. Hi:) is a wireless and GSM-enabled video doorbell that not only looks like her but is also as smart as her. Hi) combines all of the best capabilities and functions needed in a complete video doorbell to protect and connect the entire family via an app on both Android and iOS mobile devices. Hi) is enabled with both Wi-Fi and LTE functions, and capable of family recognition, while a real-time app notification allows you to confirm your identity. It also has 24/7 video monitoring, cloud data saving, and in-app door control, notifications and alarm triggers. While at CES I got to meet with the team so they could give me more insight and do a short video interview of what Hi) is all about.

Currently you can purchase Hi) through their indiegogo campaign and to learn more information about Hi) click here.

Olly

Olly is a brain-inspired AI engine and uses deep learning to provide accurate speech and emotion interaction. Moreover Olly is the first smart lifestyle assistant that actually develops a personality based on its owners moods and preferences, making daily communications with Olly unique and enjoyable. While at CES Olly won 4 of CES‘s Innovation Awards including Home Audio-Video Accessories, Smart Home, Home Appliances, and Drones and Unmanned Systems. The kind staff at the Olly booth gave a video demo/interview to give me (and you all) more insight about the robot with personality.

At this time there isn’t an official launch date or pricing but to keep posted on when Olly does launch sign up on their site to get email notifications.

Pico Brew

Pico, the world’s first automated craft beer brewing appliance and offering a daily menu of homemade IPA’s, ales, stouts and porters. This year at CES Pico was awarded CES‘s Innovation Award Honoree and at CES they not only had demos but you also got to taste their fresh craft beer. While at the booth I learned that Pico’s brew cycle takes a little over 2 hours to complete, depending on the specific PicoPak recipe. That was about all the information I could retain live so I went to their site to learn more and the next step. After the brew cycle is finished the beer will need to ferment for an average of 5 days (may be longer or shorter depending on the specific PicoPak recipe). From PicoPak to pint glass the whole process will take approximately one week.

Every Pico Home Brewing System includes the brewing keg, serving keg, sous vide adapter, and PicoPak. Pico can be purchased on their site for $799.00 and ships out between 1-3 days.*

Cassia provides connected home kits to make your home a smart home and while at CES Cassia was awarded CES’s Innovation Award Honoree. Cassia Connected Home Kit is a smart home kit with various components to make your life easier. With the Cassia Hub & Cassia Bluetooth stereo speaker, you get to stream music throughout your home. The speaker offers you a 360-degree sound experience. You get a wide range of 250 feet (3 wall penetration). Using the Smart Plug, you can control your appliances and lights remotely. You also get a multi-color LED light to put you in the right mood. While at CES I stopped by their booth to learn more about Cassia since I had not heard about it before. The kind staff was able to give me a quick interview about Casssia and how it works.

The kit will be available for $279 and for information about Cassia click here.

Unfortunately I did not get all the cool products I saw in video or a demo however I did take pictures of more smart home products I found cool.

Tittle

Tittle is an innovative 3D LED light cube that transform home lighting. With the LAMP, MOOD LIGHTING & MUSIC VISUALIZER features, Tittle Light creates a seamless dialogue between light, space and sound inside your environment. Tittle Light allows users to send a 3D emoji directly to the lamp through the EMOJI feature.  I thought the tittle was really cool though I work from home and the music visualizer would be a distraction for  me or maybe a nice distraction.

20170105_184320 (2)

Tittle is not available yet to purchase however you can subscribed to be notified when they do on tittle site.

WooHoo

Smartbeings launched WooHoo, Artificial Intelligence based and interactive smart hub, at CES and also awareded CES’s Innovation Awards Honoree. WooHoo is the world’s first affordable and easy to use smart home solution. The specs for WooHoo include: Integrated 360-degree HD Camera with Facial Recognition, Patent Pending 360-degree Spatial Sound System, 7-Inch Touchscreen, Built in WiFi BLE, Zigbee, Zwave and 4G LTE, Integrated and Intuitive WooHoo Smart Platform, and Natural Language Processing Capabilities Enable the Device to Understand the User.WooHooNINA

They are currently in the midst of their Kickstarter campaign therefore you can pre-order or back the campaign on their Kickstarter campaign.

ADT

ADT at CES announced the launch of ADT Anywhere, a new family safety service and mobile app built in conjunction with trusted partner and family location market leader Life360. The new ADT Anywhere app offers customers peace of mind by combining Life360’s proprietary family location technology, 24/7 crash detection and roadside assistance with professional panic response monitoring via ADT Canopy.ADT

I loved going to this booth and not because I love home security but because this model is a real person though looks fake. The entire CES I tried to make this poor girl laugh. To learn more about ADT‘s new ADT Anywhere services click here.

I think 2017 promises to be a year of forward thinking and innovation with a huge emphasis on smart products. Throughout the year I will be doing product reviews and attending various technology events to bring you all the latest and greatest technology . Keep checking back on Hi-Tech Chic and Cutegeek for new posts throughout 2017!

Source: CES, PicoBrew, Cassia, Hi:), Olly

*Embarrassingly in the video I kept messing up Pico’s name, to be fair 3 days of CES and Vegas will make you a tad zany. Sorry Guys!

Dell vs HP - CES's Innovation Award Honorees

While at CES I was able to meet up with some of my friends from Dell and HP that I use to work with. At CES this year HP and Dell both had products that received the Innovation Award as honorees. I decided to do a HP versus Dell article to see the difference between their products launched at CES. What’s wrong with a little competition?  Since I have worked for both companies I will not be bias on one product versus another. Below is the comparison and also videos from CES about their launches including AMD.

DELL

This year Dell had 7 products that received CES’s Innovation Award as honorees. The products included the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, Dell Ultrathin Monitor, Dell Latitude 13 7000 Series, Dell Latitude 5285 2-in-1, Dell Canvas, Dell XPS 27 AIO, and Dell XPS 12.

The two products I liked checking out at the “Dell Experience” during CES was the Dell 27 Ultrathin Monitor S2718D and the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 PC. I also loved that they had Irish coffee but that has nothing to do with one company’s or another in technology.

The Dell 27 Ultrathin Monitor S2718D is the world’s thinnest monitor in its class with superb front-of-screen performance, Dell’s premium QHD ultrathin consumer monitor (S2718D) integrates elegance and cutting-edge HDR technology in a sleek, state-of-the-art design. The Dell 27 Ultrathin Monitor will be available in the United States on March 23, 2017 for $699.99. Worldwide availability will follow soon after.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has an InfinityEdge display that is now available for the first time in a 2-in-1 laptop. Designed for maximum mobility, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is the smallest in its class, while being thin, light and providing long battery life—up to 14 hours. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 will be available beginning January 5, 2017 on Dell.com and at Best Buy in the United States for $999.00.

HP

HP also had a some wins for CES’s Innovation Awards as honorees which included the HP All-in-One, HP Elite x3, HP Spectre 13, HP ENVY Curved All-in-One, HP Spectre x360, HP Sprocket  and Photo Printer.

The two of all of the HP’s products I liked were the HP Sprocket Photo Printer and HP ENVY Curved All-in-One.

My favorite HP product was the HP Sprocket Photo Printer and have been wanting this since it first came out. Using the HP Sprocket Photo Printer, you can create instant 2″ x 3″ stickable snapshots. Everyone knows HP has great printers and with the HP Sprocket Photo Printer I’m sure it won’t be any different. Currently you can purchase the HP Sprocket Photo Printer on HP’s site for only $129.00.

The HP ENVY Curved All-in-One is the world’s widest curved All-in-One1 PC. The 21:9 aspect ratio, high resolution WQHD (3440×1440)2, 34-inch diagonal curved PC is pure sensory overload. The specifications include an Intel® Core™ i5 processor, 12 GB memory; 1 TB HDD storage, 34″ WQHD WVA display, Intel® HD Graphics 530, NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 960A (2 GB GDDR5 dedicated).

I had a chance to check this out while at CES and I was blown away by the sharpness and graphics. The HP ENVY Curved All-in-One goes for $1599.00 and if you want more information or want to purchase a HP ENVY Curved All-in-One click here.

AMD

Since both Dell and HP use AMD processers I wanted to include my AMD booth visit. During CES  AMD unveiled preliminary details of its forthcoming GPU architecture, Vega. Per AMD‘s site Vega is world’s most advanced GPU memory architecture and has an advanced pixel engine. At their CES booth AMD showcased both RYZEN and an early version of Vega. I also interviewed Jason from AMD who gave me insight on what we can expect from AMD in 2017.

Please note that GPU products based on the Vega architecture are expected to ship in the first half of 2017 so you will have to wait a couple months but the wait will be worth it. For more information about Vega or RYZEN click here.

This concludes my Dell vs. HP products for CES 2017. Stay tuned for more interviews and product demos from CES 2017 and SXSW 2017 in the near future!

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source: HP, Dell, CES


THIEL Audio Celebrates New Product Launches with Exclusive Live Performances at CES

auroraWho doesn’t like live music during technology conventions?! It is such a great break from all the technology product demos and press conferences. I am very excited about the press release I received this morning about the exclusive live performances at the THIEL® Audio Products LLC booth.

THIEL® Audio Products LLC, the premier Entertainment Technology Company in Nashville TN, today announces that in celebration of the company’s newest product launches they will host exclusive acoustic performances at their booth during this year’s CES in Las Vegas.

THIEL® Audio Products LLC is the parent company which operates their entertainment technology division called AURORA Nashville® located in Nashville, TN. The live streaming facility will have a presence in Central Hall with the performance of three 30-minute acoustic sets by some of the industry’s hottest up-and-coming artists. The performances are set to highlight the company’s capabilities within the content capture and live streaming space that has quickly been making AURORA Nashville® a hot topic.

Artists scheduled to play during CES are:
Jan 5, 2017 – Colin Lake

Jan 6, 2017 – Muddy Magnolias

Jan 7, 2017 – Maggie Rose

The events at CES will kick off at 11:00 AM PST at the LVCC Central Hall booth #17614 and will be followed by a 30minute meet and greet allowing viewers to see firsthand the gap AURORA Nashville® is looking to close between artists and their fans. Sounds like big fun and I will definitely be stopping by their booth…maybe even more than once if I have time while at CES.

About AURORA Nashville®:
AURORA Nashville®, a division of renowned audio and technology company THIEL Audio, is an entertainment solutions provider that combines award-winning production with today’s digital world for the ultimate fan experience.  AURORA Nashville owns and operates a state-of-the-art 4K Ultra HD production studio in downtown Nashville that provides a truly customizable experience.  From premiere live stream concerts to sit-down interviews, record release parties and industry events, the studio is the perfect venue for artists to connect with their fans with high-quality content.  It is also home to their own weekly live-stream concert series AURORA Live, which has featured artists such as Kane Brown, Lauren Alaina, Muddy Magnolias, Rhonda Vincent, Jerrod Niemann and many more.  www.auroranashville.com.


Press Release: HyperDrive the World's Most Compact and Fastest 50Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 USB-C Hub for MacBook Pro

PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE HYPER Showcases HyperDrive – World’s Most Compact, Fastest 50Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 USB-C Hub for 2016 MacBook Pro – at Consumer Electronic Show 2017 Currently raising over $900K on Kickstarter. Turns 2 x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C Ports on MacBook Pro into 7 Ports – HDMI, USB 3.1 x 2, microSD/SD, USB-C, Thunderbolt 3 with Full Speed 100W Power Delivery Pass Through Charging.

Thursday, January 5th, 2017 LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: Sanho Corporation (CES 2017 LVCC South Hall 4 Booth 35537) – manufacturer of the HYPER line of Apple and mobile accessories – will demonstrate at the Consumer Electronic Show 2017, a fully functional production unit of the HyperDrive which is currently raising over $900K and counting on Kickstarter. HyperDrive is a unique Thunderbolt 3 USB-C dongle specifically designed for the 2016 MacBook Pro. It is the first dongle in the market to utilizes two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports on the MacBook Pro to deliver the fastest 50Gbps bandwidth across 7 ports (HDMI, Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, microSD, SD, 2 x USB 3.1), virtually restoring all the ports found on the previous 2015 MacBook Pro model. The 50Gbps bandwidth allows all 7 ports to be used simultaneously, including connecting to a 5K Thunderbolt 3 Display and a 4K HDMI display at the same time. The Thunderbolt 3 port on the HyperDrive also supports up to 100W power delivery allowing the user can charge the MacBook Pro at full speed while using the HyperDrive. Despite its prowess and number of ports, HyperDrive occupies the smallest of footprint. Its highly portable compact size allows the HyperDrive to attach to the side of the MacBook Pro without any cables or obstruction, allowing the user to always have access to all ports at all times without the need to carry multiple cumbersome dongles. The same HyperDrive works perfectly with both 13” and 15” 2016 MacBook Pro.

“This is the adapter that Apple should have provided with the 2016 MacBook Pro to ensure backward compatibility with current non USB-C devices,” said Daniel Chin, CEO of Sanho Corporation. “Our vision was to create a dongle that replaces all other dongles, with all the popular ports from the previous MacBook Pro model, in the most portable form factor so that every 2016 MacBook Pro user will want to use it,” he added. “And we want to make it very affordable for everyone to bring usability back to their new 2016 MacBook Pro, which is why we are launching the HyperDrive via Kickstarter,” he concluded.HYPER was offering the HyperDrive as a reward to Kickstarter backers who pledge $49 or more in a bid to raise $100,000 via Kickstarter to fund the HyperDrive product. Funding started on December 5, 2016 and will end on January 16, 2017. Funding is currently over $900K and counting. HYPER aims to ship the HyperDrive in February, 2017. HYPER had previously successfully launched and shipped 10 other crowdfunding project which had raised over $2 million dollars in total. Notables

  • World’s most compact and fastest (50Gb/s) Thunderbolt 3 USB-C Hub
  • First and only dongle specifically designed for the 2016 MacBook Pro
  • Utilizes 2 x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports on the MacBook Pro for maximum (50Gbps) bandwidth which allows all 7 ports on the hub (HDMI, Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, SD, microSD, 2 x USB 3.1) to be used simultaneously
  • Connect to both HDMI display (up to 4K @ 30Hz) and Thunderbolt 3 display (up to 5K @ 60Hz) at the same time.
  • Thunderbolt 3 port supports video display, 40Gbps data and maximum 100W power delivery to charge MacBook Pro at full speed
  • CNC precision milled aluminum enclosure, available in space gray and silver color, with the same appearance as the MacBook Pro

Specifications

  • Input Connectivity: 2 x Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C (50Gb/s)
  • Output Connectivity:
    • HDMI supporting 1080p@60Hz, 4K@30Hz
    • Thunderbolt 3 supporting video up to 5K or 2 x 4K@60Hz, 40Gb/s data and max 100W full speed power delivery pass through charging
    • USB-C data (5Gps)
    • SD (UHS-I 104Mbps)
    • micro SD (UHS-I 104Mbps)
    • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gb/s)
  • Power efficiency: Up to 96%
  • Device Operating Temperature: Less than 48ºC / 118ºF
  • Enclosure: CNC aluminum available in Space Gray & Silver color
  • Dimensions: 4.5″ x 1.1″ x 0.3″ / 115 x 28.5 x 8.5mm
  • Weight: 1.2oz / 34g

Pricing and Availability Expected retail price of HyperDrive is $99 Kickstarter Early Bird Backers will get the HyperDrive for $49, 50% off expected retail price HyperDrive is expected to ship in February, 2017 upon successful Kickstarter funding.

About Sanho Corporation Sanho Corporation designs, manufactures and markets IT accessories with a focus on Apple accessories, portable power and data storage & transfer. Sanho is committed to developing cutting edge products with a dedicated focus on performance, quality, value and service, with a sales and marketing office in the U.S. in Silicon Valley, California, a production facility near Shenzhen, China, and R&D teams in both countries.

HYPER is a fashionable line of mobile accessories – manufactured by Sanho Corporation – designed to increase functionality in every day life. Hyper products include: HyperJuice – External battery pack for Apple MacBook HyperDrive – Data storage & transfer products for MacBook, iPhone, iPad, Android and digital cameras HyperVR – Virtual reality headset with integrated headphones HyperLink – 316L stainless steel bands for Apple Watch HyperShield – World’s thinnest and lightest iPhone case HyperThin – World’s thinnest HDMI cable iStick – World’s first USB flash drive with integrated Apple Lightning connector iUSBport/CloudFTP – World’s first wireless USB port Our first Kickstarter project, CloudFTP was the 3rd most funded Kickstarter technology project when funding ended and named by Stuff Magazine as one of the “10 best Kickstarter technology projects”. Our 2nd Kickstarter project, iStick raised over $1.1 million and was one of the 50 most funded Kickstarter project when funding ended. Our previous crowdfunding projects, CloudFTP, iStick, HyperLink, iShowFast, Pearl Kickstarter, Pearl Indiegogo, iPin for iPhone/Android, iPin for iPhone, HyperDrive for MacBook and HyperJuice for MacBook have altogether raised over $2 million. For more information, please visit www.HyperShop.com


Beauty Products for the New Year

beauty-guide-17With the New Year fast approaching it’s time to bring your A-Game when it comes to your beauty regiment. I received several different beauty products to review and test out. I have to be honest I could not get to all of them since I only have one face but I got through most. Those products I didn’t get to my lucky friends got to test out for me. The great thing about most of these products is that they also come in cute gift sets as well.

Below are all the beauty products I received in the past couple months and review of each product. Enjoy!

Christie Brinkley RECAPTURE 360 + IR Defense Anti-Aging Day Cream and CLOSE UP Instant Wrinkle Reducer & Treatmentchristie-b

I received the RECAPTURE 360 + IR Defense Anti-Aging Day Cream and CLOSE UP Instant Wrinkle Reducer & Treatment to test out a couple months ago and used it for a month. I didn’t see drastic results just by using RECAPTURE 360 + IR Defense Anti-Aging Day alone but if you pair it with their CLOSE UP Instant Wrinkle Reducer & Treatment there were great results with fine lines. I’m not saying the RECAPTURE 360 + IR Defense Anti-Aging Day doesn’t work because it does but I’m impatient and want to look like Christie Brinkley tomorrow, that’s why I loved the CLOSE UP Instant Wrinkle Reducer & Treatment. The CLOSE UP Instant Wrinkle Reducer & Treatment costs $79.95 and the RECAPTURE 360 + IR Defense Anti-Aging Day Cream is $89.95 on their site.

New! Balanced to Pore-fection (Holiday)boscia-gift

Boscia sent me their new Balanced to Pore-fection (Holiday) gift set and also their blotting linens to which I am addicted to. The charcoal Assortment gift set includes: 150 mL Detoxifying Black Cleanser, 30 mL White Charcoal Mattifying MakeUp Setting Spray, 30g Luminizing Black Mask and 15 mL Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel. If you travel as much as I do the Makeup Setting Spray and the Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel are a great go to. Boscia’s Balanced to Pore-fection (Holiday) Gift set is $39.00 and the blotting linens are just $10 on Boscia’s site.

RODAN + FIELDS REDEFINE Regimenrhodes

I recently got the RODAN + FIELDS REDEFINE Regimen which includes the Daily Cleansing Mask 125 mL/4.2 fl. oz., Pore Minimizing Toner 125 mL/4.2 fl. oz., Triple Defense Treatment SPF 30 30 mL/1.0 fl. oz., and Overnight Restorative Cream 30 mL/1.0 fl. oz. I took the REDEFINE REGIMEN and the REDEFINE Eye Cloths on my recent NYC trip. What a life saver! As soon as I landed in NYC after a 10 hour layover I had zero time to get ready. I used the RODAN + FIELDS REDEFINE Regimen Multi-Function Eye Cream and REDEFINE Eye Cloths to freshen up my face and help with the dark circles. It worked pretty fast and the next day I looked refreshed. If you’re interested in a beauty products and a regiment that works I strongly suggest trying out RODAN + FIELDS REDEFINE Regimen. Currently the RODAN + FIELDS REDEFINE Regimen is $199.00 and the REDEFINE Eye Cloths are $32.00 on RODAN + FIELDS’s site.

Soapberri Lathers and Shampoo

Soapberri is the World’s 1st Soap Grown from Trees. The owners of Soapberri wanted to change the way people clean by replacing harsh chemicals with nature’s most gentle soap, the Soapberri. I received some samples to test out and was impressed by the results after using their shampoo. My hair felt cleaner than it has for a while. I also accidently used the body lather for shampoo and oddly my hair just as soft as when I use the Soapberri shampoo. Soapberri is currently running a New Year Special – FREE Soapberri Box (any 2 bottles + berry bag) for only $36.00. To shop their products or if you want to learn more about bath products click here.

Schmidt’s Deodorant schmidt

Schmidt’s sent me a few organic deodorants to test out and one of them is their all ROSE + VANILLA stick all natural deodorant. I was not aware there is aluminum in most deodorants until recently. Antiperspirant has the same antibacterial products, but it also includes aluminum, which temporarily blocks your sweat glands and stops them from producing. Schmidt’s ROSE + VANILLA natural deodorant is a perfect solution to that problem and it also doesn’t stain your shirt like most deodorants. They have a variety of scents and you can either get the deodorant in the jar or the deodorant in stick form. They start at $8.99 and click here if you want to purchase Schmidt’s products.

UnWash Try Me Kitunwash

The UnWash Try Me Kit is a great cleansing regiment all in one neat package that includes: a daily Bio-Cleansing Conditioner, a weekly Anti-Residue Cleanse and Hydrating Masque to restore moisture balance after Anti-Residue Cleanse. The UnWash Try Me Kit is a great bargain at just $25.00 and you can purchase it on their site by clicking here.

Indie Leeindielee

Indie Lee is an eco-chic collection of organic skincare products that combine style and sustainability without sacrifice. I received samples of the COQ-10 TONERBRIGHTENING CLEANSER and SQUALANE FACIAL OIL. After I tested all three skin care products my favorite was the SQUALANE FACIAL OIL. I thought at first when I used the SQUALANE FACIAL OIL that it would be greasy and it’s actually not. Indie Lee‘s skin care products start at $22.00 and you can purchase them here.

VENeffectlip-anti

VENeffect products are 100% natural plant-based phytoestrogens to safely and effectively reverse the signs of aging that are directly the result of decreasing estrogen; to preserve and restore the youthful glow of healthy, vibrant skin. I received the VenEffect Anti-Aging Lip Treatment and have been using it daily. What I like about this product is that it’s not greasy and drys pretty quickly. VenEffect Anti-Aging Lip Treatment is $85.00 and you can purchase it here.

I have more beauty products coming in and also have a few beauty product reviews in the near future. Definitely keep checking back on Cutegeek.com and Hi-TechChic.com for more posts on beauty products for the New Year. I hope you all have a fantastic New Years.

 


FashionWare Runway Shows Emceed by Project Runway's Nick Verreros at CES 2017

digital-timesA must attend event at CES 2017 that I will not pass up is FashionWare Runway Shows emceed by Project Runway’s Nick Verreros.  I love runway shows and I love technology so this is just up my alley!

The FashionWare Runway Shows will be at the LIDT Stage (Booth 44030) on Friday, January 6th at the Sands Expo at Tech West. Besides the runway shows there will be sessions and demos January 5th through the 7th by today’s Olympians, Professional Athletes and Editors of Men’s Health, Women’s Health and Runner’s World doing fitness demos and panel discussions.

Below are the sessions just recently released by Living in Digital Times. If you would like more information about Living in Digital Times click here. See all you guys at CES 2017; it’s less than a week away!

Thursday, January 5

–  BabyTech: Tech Redefines the Millennial Mom 10:30 AM
–  BeautyTech: The Meteoric Rise of In-Home Beauty Tech 12:30 PM
–  BabyTech: Today’s High-Tech Nurseries   1:30 PM
–  Editors Exposé:  Key Trends in Consumer Beauty   2:30 PM
–  The Bump Best of BabyTech Awards   3:30 PM

Friday, January 6

–  FashionWare Runway Show, Hosted by Nick Verreros 10:00 AM
–  BabyTech: A Safe Baby Revolution: Parents Rejoice 11:00 AM
–  FashionWare Runway Show, Hosted by Nick Verreros 12:00 PM
–  BeautyTech: Virtually Flawless! Makeovers from VR to AR 1:00 PM
–  FashionWare Runway Show, Hosted by Nick Verreros 2:30 PM
–  BabyTech: Get Pumped for 21st Century Breastfeeding 3:30 PM
–  FitnessTech with Men’s Health Guru 4:30 PM

Saturday, January 7

–  BeautyTech:  Futuristic Beauty: DIY Lasers, AR & Nailbots 10:30 AM
–  Fitness Tech with Men’s Health Fitness Guru 11:30 AM
–  BabyTech: Inconceivable! Fertility and Pregnancy Technology 2:30 PM

About Living in Digital Times (Per their site)
 Founded by veteran technology journalist R obin Raskin, Living in Digital Times brings together the most knowledgeable leaders and the latest innovations impacting both technology and lifestyle.  It helps companies identify and act on emerging trends, create compelling company narratives, and do better business through strong network connections.  Living in Digital Times produces technology conferences, exhibits and events at CES and other locations throughout the year by lifestyle verticals.  Core brands include Digital Health Summit, Digital Money Forum, FitnessTech, BabyTech, Kids@Play, Family Tech Summit, TransformingEDU, FamilyTech TV, BeautyTech, Wearables and FashionWare runway show, Mobile Apps Showdown, Last Gadget Standing, Robots on the Runway and the KAPi Awards.  The company also works with various foundations and manages the Appreneur Scholar awards program for budding mobile entrepreneurs, as well as the 10 Under 20: Young Innovators to Watch awards recognizing student STEAM innovations in New York City.  For more information, visit www.LivinginDigitalTimes.com and keep up with our latest news on Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook.

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FEETME - The First Smart Connected Insole

feetme-logoAs CES (Consumer Electronic Show) gets closer and closer I am constantly getting emails about meetings or new product launches while there. This year, unlike the previous 7 years, I had to become choosy on what I wanted to cover before and while at CES 2017.

This year at CES Unveiled I will be checking out a variety of products and FEETME Sport is on the top of my list.

What is FEETME?

FEETME develops a smart connected insole that can measure reliable data and transmit them wirelessly to a device.feeetme-specs

FEETME will preview their beta test phase for FEETME Sport, their consumer brand of connected insoles combined with a personal running coach, at CES Unveiled. This new connected insole, created for consumers, leverages their medical expertise to measure running efficiency in real time.

I’m all about this and cannot wait to see a live demo!! I’m a former runner and currently walk about 5-7 miles five days a week. Though these insoles are designed for runners I bet it would be just as beneficial for avid walkers like myself.

If you are attending CES 2017 FEETME will have presales that are open to the public at a preferred price of $200. Their booths are located at Eureka Park Marketplace, Sands, Hall G, Stand #50818 and at CES Unveiled as well.

Below are some more products specs and features of FEETME Sport. Check back on Cutegeek.com and Hi-TechChic.com after CES 2017 for my full report on the FEETME demo.dynamic

 

 

 


WooHoo- The World's First AI Based Interactive and Affordable Smart Home Hub

woohoo-picSmartBeings, Inc. announced today WooHoo, the world’s first AI based interactive and affordable smart home hub and platform, will be unveiled at CES 2017.

What sets WooHoo apart from it’s competitors that offer similar features and platforms?woohoo-specs

  • Integrated 360-degree HD Camera with Facial Recognition
  • Patent Pending 360-degree Spatial Sound System
  • 7-Inch Touchscreen
  • Built in WiFi BLE, Zigbee, Zwave and 4G LTE
  • Integrated and Intuitive WooHoo Smart Platform
  • Natural Language Processing Capabilities Enable the Device to Understand the User
Additionally WooHoo‘s HD camera with facial recognition allows multiple users to be registered by the device for customizable personal profiles on WooHoo’s Smart Platform. I think this is a big plus especially if you have roommates or kids that require different settings but also use the platform. The WooHoo also can act as a means of security, by sending you a notification that a user is unidentifiable, or, in an office, when somebody approaches the front desk.

SmartBeings, Inc. also officially announced a price point for the WooHoo. Through their Kickstarter campaign, you can pre-order WooHoo as it enters the rapidly growing Smart Home market with a plethora of features for the same cost as Amazon’s “Dot” device, $49. This special price includes your first year’s subscription fee. Following the end of the Kickstarter campaign on January 30, 2017, WooHoo‘s retail price will be $89, plus a monthly subscription fee of $9.

WooHoo‘s Kickstarter campaign needs to raise $9,471.00 to reach their goal of $30,ooo in 44 days. If you are interested in more information WooHoo‘s Kickstarter campaign  or to pre-order it click here.

If your attending CES 2017 and would like to meet with the WooHoo team and get a demo click here. I plan to stop by and check this out, everyone could always use a little more security!

See you all at CES 2017!

Source: SmartBeings, Inc and Kickstarter campaign page


RCA Unveils New TVs, Smartphones, Tablets and Appliances for CES 2017

rcaYesterday RCA announced their new TVs, Smartphones, Tablets and Appliances that will be featured at CES 2017. I have to be honest I did not know RCA has such a vast amount of products launching in 2017.

Attendees can get a first look RCA’s new products at booth #11427 in the Central Hall, Tech East throughout the show. Below is round one of RCA‘s products displayed while at CES. I am hoping to stop by their booth while at CES to check out some of these newly launched products from RCA.

  • TVs:  

    • RCA 4K 55″ UHD LED Curve TV (MSRP $999.00) – ultra-high definition 4K viewing experience which immerses the viewer in what they’re watching. It boasts LED backlighting with energy-efficient illumination for sharper contrasts and vibrant colors (RLED5537-UHD)

    • RCA 4K UHD 55″ TV (MSRP $499.99) – ultra-high definition, 4K viewing experience complete with LED backlighting with energy-efficient illumination (4K2K RLED5536-UHD)

    • RCA 4K 43” SMART LED TV (MSRP $399.99) – ultra-high definition, 4K viewing experience featuring the Opera TV Store with apps for internet TV, Movies, Music, and more, including Netflix, Facebook, Twitter and more.

    • Additionally, RCA offers portable and TV-DVD combos, from the 4.3″ LED Portable TV (MSRP $79.99) (DPTJ430R) to the 22″ LED FHD TV DVD Combo (MSRP $179.99) (DECG215R); ideal for a den, bedroom, playroom, or other small spaces. 

  • Tablets:

    • RCA 12.2″ Android 2-in-1 (MSRP $249.99) – an Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) tablet complete with Folio case. It boasts a quad-core, dual camera and HD screen (RCT6K23W24DK1).

    • RCA 12.2” Windows 2-in-1 (MSRP $449.99) – a Windows 10 2-in-1 PC with detachable keyboard provides the power of a laptop, with the ease and freedom of a tablet including ample storage, Intel Pentium Processor, up to 10 hours battery life, USB ports and dual facing cameras (W122AP45DK1).

  • Smartphones:

    • RCA Q1 (MSRP: $199.99 -16GB, $139.99 -8GB) – an unlocked 5.0” HD, dual SIM smartphone, featuring 4G LTE and Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Available in White or Black, and offering with 16GB or 8GB Internal Memory. Exclusive to Amazon.

    • RCA G1 (MSRP: $139.99) – an unlocked, 5.5” HD, dual sim smartphone, equipping with quad core, 2400 mAh all-day battery, and 8.0 MP rear-facing camera. Exclusive to Amazon.

    • RCA M1: (MSRP: $69.99) – an unlocked smartphone that’s perfect for seniors, kids and customers who want phones for travel or temporary use. Available in Black or White and featuring 4GB storage, expandable to 32GB via Micro SD card, and 5.0 MP rear-facing camera. Exclusive to Amazon.

    • 6″ LTE 4G Android (MSRP $129.99) – an unlocked quad-core, Dual-SIM smartphone featuring 4G LTE and dual camera. No contract required. Available in Black or Gold.

    • 5” Waterproof Rugged Dual SIM Mobile Phone (MSRP $99.99) – Shock resistant and waterproof. Dual-SIM smartphone features 4G LTE and dual camera. No contract required.

    • RCA RLTP169 (MSRP $39.99) – 1.77” 2G phone with SOS Call Button / Emergency Contacts (includes 911) built right in. Large digit keypad designed specifically for easy operation by elderly and those with special needs (RLTP169).

  • Appliances

    • Retro 2 Door Fridge (MSRP $349.99) – a sleek retro design fridge and freezer.  Flush back design with reversible door and crisper.

    • RCA 0.9 cu ft Microwave – red (MSRP $89.99) – 0.9 cu. ft. with contemporary red design. 900 watts with 10 pre-programmed cooking functions and 6 automatic cooking menus.

    • 18-Bottle Wine Cooler (MSRP $148.99) – 18-bottle wine cellar with a high efficiency heat pipe system. Adjustable temperature control and soft interior lighting.  

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New Product: The Pinn Clip

the-pinnMy purse and backpack are the black hole; products go in there knowing they may not make it out alive. All joking aside I’m that “person” you see on the street searching endlessly in their purse or bag for ear buds or my iPhone. Alas there may be a solution for this that will make your life easier.

This morning I found out about the Pinn clip which combines the key features of your mobile phone and earbuds into a single, go-anywhere clip. The days of searching for your ear buds may be a thing of the past.

The Bluetooth-enabled Pinn clips anywhere and has an easy-to-read LED display plus it has a combined microphone/ear bud attached so your not searching for your ear buds all day.

The Pinn’s LED display shows whose calling and allows you to answer instantly by pulling the earbud out of Pinn’s clip and start talking. Using the Pinn you can also read and respond to text messages.

The Pinn works on Bluetooth enabled devices like your mobile phone or tablet that either have the iOS or Android platform. The Pinn handles all of your voice communications using your mobile service or web-based and app-based tools like Facetime, Skype, WhatsApp and more.pinn

The Pinn has a remote microphone to activate voice commands for personal assistants like Siri and Google Now. Users can even use voice commands to dial out or reply to text messages.

I am requesting a review unit for when I visit their booth at CES or Pepcom to do a full product review. Definitely check back on Hi-Tech Chic or Cutegeek.com after CES 2017 for the full product review.

The Pinn is not available yet to purchase but should be soon after CES 2017. For more information or for when it is available to purchase click here.

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The Great NES Classic Edition System Order Dilemma of 2016

nintendo-classic-saleSince the Mini NES Classic Edition System was available to purchase I have been one of the shameless people waiting for Best Buy to open on Black Friday and checking when Amazon had them available.  Recently I missed the boat again when Gamestop released them online and at limited stores a couple days ago but there is hope yet again to get a NES Classic Edition System before the holidays.

Per Best Buy’s press release earlier this week “On Dec. 20, Best Buy will have limited quantities of the console available in more than 1,000 Big Box stores across the United States. The NES Classic Edition will not be available on BestBuy.com.

They also stated that the NES Classic Edition will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Similar to their Black Friday process, Best Buy stores will have a ticketing process for customers waiting in line. Each Best Buy store will only pass out as many tickets as they have consoles available, and there is a limit of one per customer.

nintendo-classCurrently you can also purchase a new NES Classic Edition on from re-sellers on Amazon from $217.90 and up. I tad pricey since the MSRP is originally $59.99. If you plan to use Amazon note the NES Classic Edition System will ship same day via priority mail at no extra charge and said to arrive between December 22-29 depending on order date.

The NES Classic Edition System is also available at Walmart.com that is sold & shipped by WorldWide Distributors for a whopping $399.00 but don’t worry the shipping is free. That is 6.6 times more than the MSRP of $59.99.

The NES Classic Edition Systems are otherwise sold out at Gamestop and Target, the only other stores left that distribute them, until further updated.

If your feeling nostalgic and just can’t wait maybe get the refurbished NES MARIO 123 ZAPPER PAK on DK Oldies for $199.99 and ships within 1 business day.nintendo-zapper

To those that will be going to Best Buy on the 20th best of luck! I may be in line right with you! If you see me give me a hi-five!


Inspire Film Festival Bring Films, Hope And Audiences To The Woodlands

inspire-picAs a Texas native I am excited to inform everyone of the Inspire Film Festival 2017 especially since it is right in my back yard, figuratively speaking. Everyone knows of Austin’s annual SXSW Festival and it is exciting to share the film festival love to our neighbors in Houston, the Woodlands to be exact.

The Inspire Film Festival is a four-day cinematic event dedicated to entertaining and inspiring audiences with films and stories that celebrate the human spirit. It is the first festival of it’s kind to feature exclusively films, filmmakers, special guests and performances that celebrate the human spirit.  Given what’s going on in the world I think all of us could use a festival that celebrates the human spirit.

The films for the Inspire Film Festival are selected based on their ability to enlighten as well as entertain audiences, and all are beautifully shot in fascinating locations around the world.  Each screening will be followed by a lively panel discussion with the filmmaker and/or subject of the film, and pass holders will be able to attend a number of informal meet and greet events around The Woodlands.

inspire-map

The inaugural Inspire Film Festival will take place February 23-26, 2017 at four screening venues in the beautiful, walkable spaces between Hughes Landing and Waterway Square. Approximately twenty feature length and short films will be shown over the course of the festival, along with panel discussions, live performances, and social events.

Passes aren’t available online as of yet but they should be posting soon and will be available here to purchase. Currently 400 film festival passes will go on sale in December 2016. A standard weekend-long pass will cost $100, however there will also be a more expensive pass which will include special events, such as the filmmaker dinner and a less expensive pass which will include four feature-length films.

If I get a press pass for the Inspire Film Festival I will be on ground zero giving you all the 411 on what’s going on at the festival live via twitter, YouTube and Facebook. Below is the Official Press Release with more information about the Inspire Film Festival.

THE WOODLANDS, TX (December 13, 2016) – The Woodlands will soon be playing host to a new film festival with a twist. Starting February 23, the inaugural Inspire Film Festival will feature approximately 20 films over four days that illustrate the power of one person to make great change in the world.

“The sole purpose of the Inspire Film Festival is to live up to its name by presenting films that deliver messages of inspiration to their audiences,” said Jane Minarovic, who created the concept of the festival and is its executive director. “Whether it is a documentary or fiction, each film at this festival will touch the hearts of our attendees and uplift their spirits and lives.”

Minarovic is a filmmaker and self-described film festival addict. A Minnesota native who put down her roots in The Woodlands, she has taken her considerable experience in filmmaking and shaped an event that will bring artisans, audiences and accolades to the area.

“I wanted to create an event where we talk about positive things – stories about men, women and children overcoming adversity to achieve a goal, people giving strength and self-worth to the underprivileged and people who show us what it means to be human by what they do for others,” she said.

Minarovic started her filmmaking career on the Austin City Limits television show, and subsequently earned a reputation as a resourceful director of television ads. Using her desire to produce creative pieces that would draw larger audiences, she was soon winning awards for her work that included projects with music legends Waylon Jennings and Billy Joe Shaver.

The concept of a film festival whose sole purpose is to inspire its audiences has already caught the attention of leaders in both the film industry and the community itself. “What Jane is doing is exciting, and I’m confident the community will love the festival,” said Congressman Kevin Brady, who represents The Woodlands area in the United States House of Representatives. “The Inspire Film Festival is further testament to the arts explosion happening in The Woodlands and will continue to bring positive cultural and economic impact year after year.”

Minrovic hopes that the global message of inspiration will positively affect the festival’s audiences long after the closing credits have rolled. For more information, she encourages people to visit www.inspirefilmfest.com.


Apple-Designed Wireless AirPods Are Now Available to Purchase

airbudsOn Tuesday, Apple announced after much anticipation that the Apple-Designed Wireless AirPods are available to order online now from apple.com. Apple will start delivering them to customers and arriving at Apple Stores, authorized resellers and select carriers next week. The Apple-Designed Wireless AirPods are currently priced at $159.00 which includes the charging case and you can purchase them here. Please note that AirPods will be shipping in limited quantities at launch and customers are encouraged to check online for updates on availability and estimated delivery dates.

freedomIf you are not keen on the AirPods but do need wireless earbuds I reviewed two different types, Jaybird FREEEDOM Wireless Earbuds and Rowkin’s™ Mini Wireless Bluetooth® 4.1 Stereo Earbuds, that may peak your interest. I use both earbuds daily and I like the variation between the Jaybird FREEEDOM Wireless Earbuds and Rowkin’s™ Mini Wireless Bluetooth® 4.1 Stereo Earbuds.

Jaybird FREEEDOM Wireless Earbuds are wireless Bluetooth earbuds but they do have a wire connecting the earbuds to each other. row-pennyThe Rowkin’s™ Mini Wireless Bluetooth® 4.1 Stereo Earbuds are truly wireless as the earbuds are only connected to each other via Bluetooth and the same goes for connecting to your mobile device. If you would like to view my product review of the JayBird FREEDOM Wireless Earbuds click here and for the product review Rowkin’s™ Mini Wireless Bluetooth® 4.1 Stereo Earbuds click here.

Below is detailed information on features, specifications and how to set up AirPods for your viewing pleasure.

Knows when you’re talking.

A voice accelerometer recognizes when you’re speaking and works with a pair of beamforming microphones to filter out external noise and focus on the sound of your voice.

Knows when you’re listening.

Optical sensors and motion accelerometers work with the W1 chip to automatically control the audio and engage the microphone, giving you the ability to use one or both AirPods. They also enable AirPods to play sound as soon as they’re in your ears.

Setting Up and Tapping Feature:

By opening the charging case near your iPhone and with a simple tap, AirPods are immediately set up with all the devices signed into your iCloud account, including your Apple Watch, iPad and Mac. The Apple-Designed Wireless AirPods have advanced sensors to detect when AirPods are in your ear and can automatically play and pause your music. Double tapping on AirPods activates Siri, allowing you to access your favorite personal assistant to select and control your music, get directions, make and receive calls or perform any other Siri task.

Power and Battery Life: 

airbuds-batteryApple-Designed Wireless AirPods‘ has new ultra-low power Apple W1 chip, which enables AirPods to deliver high-quality audio and industry-leading battery life in a completely wireless design. AirPods deliver up to five hours of listening time on one charge while the custom-designed charging case holds additional charges for an industry-leading total of more than 24 hours of listening time.

The iPhone 7 has definitely changed the wireless industry by eliminating the 3.5mm jack and I believe there will be more wireless and smart accessories in the near future.

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Bionic Bird Biomimetic Drone and The Flying App 2.0 at CES 2017

It’s a bird…It’s a plane…nope its the Bionic Bird, the biomimetic drone and the new version of the “The Flying” App 2.0 that is making a cameo at CES 2017.

Throughout history man has dreamed of flying. Today, Bionic Bird offers the opportunity to experience that extraordinary sensorial adventure: to fly like a bird. Bionic Bird takes on the heavens with a range of 100 meters. Even apartment interiors don’t scare it! The Flying App is ultra-sensitive and intuitive: a wave of the hand, the bird obeys. In the sky, Bionic Bird is the only flying object in the world that does not frighten birds away.

Bionic Bird is packed with micro-technologies weighing less than 10 grams. Bionic Bird mimics both the soaring of an eagle and the rapid flapping flight of a swallow. Even real birds think it’s one of them! Outside, Bionic Bird can fly with a range of up to 100 meters with speeds up to 20km/h. The Bionic Bird can fly indoors if the tail is set to slow mode.

appRecently “The Flying” App was updated to the 2.0 version with new features and 4 different flying modes. Below are the new features of “The Flying” App 2.0.

  • 2 using the smartphone sensors, “Easy” and “Steering Wheel” for a very intuitive control.
  • 2 using only joysticks on the screen, “one finger” and “classic RC”. This last one can be used with physical joysticks (sold separately) to become a real RC.
  • More settings are available to adjust the steering control perfectly to any bird and any user.
  • The guide is improved with gifs to make it clear and understandable immediately.

Currently “The Flying” App 2.0 only supports Bluetooth 4.0 iOS Devices, iPhone 4s and over. The Flying App is available at the Apple Store and  soon available on Google Play.starter-kit

XTIM is also offering a Christmas Special of half off for the Furtive And Biomimetic Drone Starter Kit. Below is what the starter kit comes with.
Starter Kit BOX :

  • 1 Bionic Bird ready to fly ( snap the wings to the body)
  • 1 packet of aluminium weights to balance the wings
  • 1 USB cord with adapter

Lastly Bionic Bird will be at CES at stand n°46732 close to the Sport Business Innovation, Hall D. If your going to CES I suggest going by their booth and check out the Bionic Bird. I will be at CES and plan to check out the Bionic Bird while there as well.

For more information about “The Flying” App 2.0 click here and if you want more information on the Bionic Bird click here.

See all you CES 2017 goers soon in Vegas!!!


Tech.Co Startup of the Year Competition and Tour 2017

start-up-of-the-year

Tech.Co’s annual Startup of the Year competition and tour is fast approaching and I suggest applying sooner than later though the deadline is April 20, 2017. If you are interested in applying click here and below is more information about the competition and startup nights at  CES and SXSW Interactive.

Tech.Co Startup of the Year Competition
•Attracts some of the top emerging startups from around the world
•Helps founders gain access to top tech investors, mentors, influencers and TechCo Ventures as well as media exposure to our millions of readers
•One of the most diverse and inclusive global startup competitions

Top 100 semifinalists receive:
•Chance to compete at 2017 Innovate! and Celebrate Conference, held in partnership with Consumer Technology Association (CTA)
•Access to top investors from around the country
•Mentorship from industry leaders and investors
•Consideration for TechCo Venture fund
•Networking
•Media coverage
•Access to top accelerator programs

Startup Night Downtown Vegas – January 4, 2017

•Presented by Tech.Co and Consumer Technology Association (CTA) we host our annual Startup of the Year Startup Showcase & Mixer on January 4th in Las Vegas, Nevada. Selected startups will showcase and pitch to the community in Downtown Las Vegas and compete for a spot at Innovate! and Celebrate.
•Startups apply here to compete in our CES Startup Showcase & Mixer. Applications must be complete by December 13th.
•The two top performing startups at this event will be automatically placed to participate in the finals at Innovate! and Celebrate.
•Not a startup but still going to CES? RSVP here to join the party!

SXSW Startup Night – March, 2017 | Austin, Texas

•One of our favorite times in the year is during SXSW Interactive. Every March, the Tech.Co team travels to Austin, Texas to host a handful of awesome parties, and our annual SXSW Startup Night.
•Invited startups will have the chance to participate in a pitch competition to earn a spot in our Innovate! and Celebrate conference. There are many opportunities to connect with top investors, accelerators, and partners at our SXSW events.
•Startups apply here to compete in our SXSW Startup Night. Applications must be complete by February 10, 2017.
•The two top performing startups at this event will be automatically placed to participate in the finals at Innovate! and Celebrate.

 


CES Checklist and Map of Venues Hosting CES Events

ces-show-venue-map-previewEach year I have a check list for CES that continues to grow from lessons learned from past CESs. A couple months back I posted my infamous CES checklist on Cutegeek however I have thought of a few more tips for CES. I also found a map of all the venues hosting CES events which will come in handy.

Below is my ever growing checklist and tips to help you plan your CES 2017 trip accordingly.

  • Always bring more than 100 business cards, you give those out like candy there plus you don’t want be “that person” if you run out.
  • Get the CES 2017 app for your Android or Apple, this will help when you need to go to different halls at the Las Vegas Convention center.
  • Ladies or if you are a man that likes heals. DON’T DO IT!! I made this mistake a couple times and by the end of CES my feet were burning due to walking around so much. Try a lower pair wedges or cute flats.
  • If you are press take advantage of the Press Room. It has massive work space, they have multiple plugs to charge your smartphone and free food.
  • DON’T FORGET YOUR CHARGER AND PORTABLE CHARGER! Bring two in fact. The last thing you want to be is that sad person sitting on the floor next to a plug stagnate. I suggest looking into myCharge, EnerPlex, Mophie and Goal Zero.
  • Definitely bring some pens just in case though you will get tons of them while there.
  • Bring a bag to carry all the goodies you get when you visit booths.
  • Anti-Bacterial since you shake so many hands it’s smart to carry one instead of getting the CES Flu (it’s not fun believe me).
  • While packing keep in mind to leave space to take your bag of swag home.
  • Pack some snacks, it’s easy to miss lunch or breakfast.
  • Make sure your hotel is on or near the CES shuttle line or your screwed; you will end up spending more money on taxis and the CES shuttle line is free. The routes and schedule are on the CES site.
  • Bring a tide stickor the shout wipes just in case you miss your mouth and you are a hot mess with food all over your shirt.
  • Band aids for potential blisters from walking or random injuries. Like one year I had a really bad paper cut and I learned quickly no one carries band aids anymore.
  • Baby powder…I know what? It’s for your hair, if you don’t have time to shower for the next event and you have greasy hair this does the trick.
  • Gum or mints especially if you are a close talker or had a meal with onions at lunch.
  • Safety Pins and Travel Sewing Kit, if one of your buttons pops off or you get a small tear in your outfit, it’s better to be prepared.
  • Always have a little bit of cash on you at all times just in case you can’t get on the CES shuttle and need to take a cab or at an event where you should tip the bartenders.
  • Take interchangeable outfits that converts your day look to an evening look

For those interested in going to CES click here for information on travel, tickets, maps, schedule and local transportation. Good luck to all my geeks attending CES 2017 and see you all in Vegas Baby!


42tea and CES 2017

 

teaIn this day and age everything technology wise is “smart,” there is even a smart plate but it doesn’t stop there. We now have smart teas as well. 42tea combines the tea tradition with the easy-to-use feature of connected devices using the smart cube that is connected to their smartphone app. The smart cube guides you through each step of preparation (dosage tea/water, infusion time and temperature) depending on the tea chosen.

IoTea will be officially launched at the CES in Las Vegas, January 2017, from the 5th to the 8th, where it was rewarded with an Innovation award in the category Smart Home. I will definitely stop by 42tea‘s booth while at CES because I am intrigued and also fail at making tea that taste good.

Below is the 42tea official press release with more information and also a demo video with  Jamie Cudmore, international rugby player.

Official Press Release:

42tea is a unique device in the world that combines the perfection of tea tradition with easy-to-use features of connected objects. Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world (25 000 cups drunk each second, 70% increase since 1993). But it is also the most mis-consumed. Most of tea drinkers drink their tea “burned”, not enough or too much infused, and finally, all teas taste the same : bitter…

42tea designed IoTea (Internet of Tea), a smart cube connected to a smartphone app.

Depending on the tea chosen, it indicates you the right dosage of tea and water, the right temperature for the water and the right infusion time. This way, the consumer will have the best taste experience, for each tea and there are thousands!

IoTea will be officially released at the CES in Las Vegas, from January the 5th to the 8th, 2017, but it is already highly anticipated, especially in Japan, country of tea and technology, where it will be available for the first half of 2017 in department stores!

Thousand-year beverage, tea is the most popular drink in the world. In Western countries, tea is a 3 centuries-old discovery, but it is subject to a real craze at the moment. The diversity of flavors, the benefits of wellness, the possibility to drink it hot or cold are its main assets. It is overtaking coffee among young generations (in 2015, Americans under 30 drank as much tea as coffee according to Yougov’s study). Tea is drunk more and more “pure”, and its tasting is a real break, a “Zen” moment in the day.

If the British are used to put milk in their tea, historically, it is to make it less bitter, because they don’t know the rules of tea! What’s more, milk reduces absorption of flavonols by the body (the vegetal active substances diffused by tea). The universe of tea is limitless, and the Japanese explored it in-depth : there are MANY teas, all different, all unique, all with a distinct experience. In Japanese culture, tea is a moment stolen from the day-to-day life, to develop its personal perfection.

Tastes of the tea are of a wide diversity. The sugary ; present in some varieties of very light Chinese green teas. The acidity : present in some green teas : Oolong and Darjeeling of Spring, which gives freshness and nervosity. The bitterness, usual for some teas full of tannins, but which spreads to all varieties when they are infused too much. Or even « Umami », a specific taste which is felt in a large part of Asian food, because linked to the presence of glutamate. Beyond, tea offers an extraordinary olfactory overview : vegetal, green, marine, floral, fruity, spicy, buttery, vanilla, undergrowth, earthy, wooden, animal, pyrogenic, mineral, smoked… To discover all this richness, adequate preparation is essential.

Today, except the tea experts, the large majority of tea drinkers “miss” their preparation : they put too much or too few tea, they dip their tea in a water too hot (burned tea) or too cold (sub-infused tea) and set a completely fanciful steeping time considering the tea chosen… Unfortunately, there are many ways to ruin a tea! With IoTea, the preparation of tea is very easy and the perfection of the experience is ensured. The app counts more than 30.000 tea references and their precise parameters of preparation.

42tea controls also its supplies and sells its own teas (bulk exclusively, because tea bags are made of the waste of leaves collected for the bulk tea sells, industrially crushed). A quality tea, well prepared can be infused up to 8 times during the same day. Quality can go hand in hand with savings thanks to IoTea.

IoTea embeds a proprietary technology connected to a mobile device via bluetooth and a battery of sensors. It is and remains waterproof even after replacing the battery block which offers a 2 year lifetime thanks to its incomparable design and its silicone parts.

42tea addresses the world market of tea drinkers. More than 4 million tons of tea sold every year in the world to more than 4 billion of people. IoTea will be available at $55 and packs including a solid wood dock and premium teas start from $99. 42tea it’s real tea time.


Product Review: JETJAT ULTRA Mini Drone

jetjat-collageI feel like 2016 was the year of drones, well at least for me anyhow. They were all over the place during SXSW and ACL festivals in Austin; you could look up and see at least 20 drones. Not to mention I too own a medium sized drone.

Mota sent me their JETJAT ULTRA drone which is the world’s easiest drone to fly. It’s specifically designed for all ages starting at 8 years old for ease of use young or mature. When I got the JETJAT I immediately had to unbox it; who doesn’t like a little drone fun during the work day? I decided I wanted to record the unboxing so everyone could see for themselves how small the JETJAT drone really is.

When you unbox it you will notice that the drone is docked on the remote it comes with which makes it very portable to go anywhere. The JETJAT ULTRA mini drone fits in the palm of your hand with a weight of 7.2 ounces and the dimension of 3.5 x 3.1 x 1.7 inches. It has a 640 x 480 HQ Camera that can record high quality videos and take photos while in the air.

The JETJAT ULTRA drone comes with 4 propellers, Accelerometer and 6-axis Gyroscope, 4 Channel Controller with 3 Speed Modes, and remote with adjustable grips and dock for your smartphone and the  JETJAT ULTRA drone. The  JETJAT ULTRA has a 5 minute air time and can go up to 100 feet. The JETJAT also live streams to your phone, can do aerial flips, and has a powerful thrust coupled with some never before seen new features. The  JETJAT ULTRA also has been integrated with Mota’s latest product, the TAMO C-Future Virtual Reality Headset. In the app simply turn on VR mode and your phone is ready to be placed into the VR headset for virtual flight.

controlAfter unboxing you will need to add AAA batteries and to charge the drone with the USB cable that comes with the drone.  During that time I suggest downloading the JETJAT ULTRA app so you are ready for lift off after its done charging. When the JETJAT ULTRA is finished charging you will need to turn it on and set up the Wi-Fi for it. To set up your Wi-Fi for the drone go to your WiFi settings and there should be an option to connect directly to the drone, note that it must be turned on for your to connect your WiFi to it. Now you’re set for lift off!

To lift off go to the JETJAT ULTRA app and click play once you get to the app. You will be taken to a screen with your menu options up top that include photo, video, playback, speed, gravity, 360 flip, balance, reverse and controls tabs. Below the menu is your flying remote control with VR and the takeoff and landing buttons. This will be used as the remote control for your drone.

Once you’re ready press the takeoff button and your drone will immediately lift up then hover till you start using the controls to fly it. You can also press the takeoff button and throw the drone in the air, it will hover in the air till you start using the controls to navigate it.

When I tested out the JETJAT ULTRA drone it was very easy to lift off and I started recording it as soon as it was in the air. Unfortunately I am a horrible driver to a point where people don’t want me driving them anywhere. I’m also not so great at all the driving video games so I was interested to see how my driving skills were with a drone. As you can see from the videos below I had a few crash landings and finally landed it. It was very easy to fly somewhat except my navigation skill are also not so great so there were a few “”running into the wall” instances. Excuse the mess, I’m decorating for the holidays.

Auto Landing

Crash Landing

I tried the throwing it in the air takeoff and the first 10 times I threw the JETJAT ULTRA it would drop straight to the ground. I also tried the 360 aerial flip which was easier to do vs. throwing it in the air lift off!

All in all it has been fun testing out this tiny little drone. I think it’s perfect for those who like to fly them indoors and for kids due to its ease of use. It starts around $107.00 on Amazon not including shipping. If you would like to purchase the JETJAT ULTRA on Amazon click here and it you want more information about Mota’s JETJAT ULTRA drone click here.

For your entertainment and giggles here is JETJAT ULTRA Save-A-Drone Flight Safety poster and my unboxing blooper. Happy Tuesday Hi-Tech Chic fans!

Mota’s Safety Poster

jetjat-poster

Without further ado…

Blooper video of unboxing Mota’s JETJAT ULTRA

 


SWEETWORXX - A Car Care App

img_9047Car problems, especially as we approach winter, is a huge inconvenience. Some people have AAA when they have car issues or their insurance offers that service but what about those who do not have either? Both services you have to pay for and depending on your budget some are a tad pricey.

I don’t drive regularly, I walk mostly every where however when I do drive I always have anxiety that my car will break down since it’s 4 years old and having some issues. Though I have insurance I don’t really have piece of mind when battling the rough road of Austin, Texas since I don’t know when they are coming to help me, on their way or progress on the repairs. Guess what, they now have an app for that!

SWEETWORXX is a new automotive app available for iOS and Android that offers a solution for car repair and maintenance including vehicle pickup and drop-off. Curently there are some apps on the market already that help connect your car with a repair shop, but no one currently offers complete service from start to finish, including selection of the right repair shop to suit your vehicle’s needs as well as vehicle pickup and delivery service.

Using the SWEETWORXX app allows you to schedule any car repair or maintenance service and one of their professional drivers will pick up your car, take it to a repair shop, get it fixed and bring it back to a destination of your choice fully ready to drive and covered by a 24 month/24,000 miles limited warranty. The entire process can be followed through status updates in the app. SWEETWORXX services includes everything from an oil change and tire rotation to a vehicle inspection and brake replacement.

sweetscreenSWEETWORXX launched in September in south Orange County, Calif. and currently the only city that has their services but they are planning to roll out to other markets very soon.

I downloaded the SWEETWORXX app just to make sure it would be something my readers would be interested even though I don’t live in Orange County and I found the app pretty easy to use. I logged in with my twitter account and filled out very basic information like your car model and licenses plate number. It maybe took 2-3 minutes max to get all set up in their system.

If you are in Orange County and want to check out SWEETWORXX early or count your chickens before they hatch if their services are currently not in your city click here. I personally hope it makes it to the Texas market soon, hopefully before summer of 2017. Summer time in Texas takes a toll on your car and having this service would be useful for us Texans.


Holiday Gift Guide of Charities and Charitable Gifts

If you are looking for a unique holiday gift idea why not give the gift of a donation or charitable gift to or from their favorite charity. In a recent study 79% of Americans said they would rather have a charitable gift given in their name.

I create Holiday Gift Guides every year but I have not done one for charity thus far. That being said here is my first Holiday Gift Guide of unique charities and charitable gifts.

Save the Children

By selecting a gift through this catalog, you are making a donation to Save the Children. Each gift the catalog is representative of resources, services or support for programs provided across Save the Children worldwide movement and may change due to environmental, programmatic and economic considerations. Your donations will be used to provide assistance where it is needed most within that program area or to address similar needs. To view Save the Children catalog click here.

Charity Choice

Charity Choice gifts are actually charity donations that you are making when you purchase a physical card or eCard for special occasions. You decide on the amount you wish to donate. The card-holder (recipient) may designate the funds to the charity they choose from Charity Choice online list. Up to three charities may be selected. The recipient enters their Redemption Code (found on the card) to make their selection. Charity Choice offers a carefully selected list of over 250 major charitable causes and hundreds of local charities to choose from, organized into 13 categories. For more information on Charity Choice or to donate click here.

Harpers Bazaarharper

Harpers Bazaar has a top 10 list of charitable and stylish gifts. Each gift donates to a different charity and has a different percentage of how much of the proceeds will go to said charity. The gifts start at $38.00 and you can view Harpers Bazaar’s top ten charitable gifts here.

Heifer Internationalheifer

Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty. Heifer International has several different donations options for the holidays to choose from like “Give Where Needed Most” and “Joy to the World.” Heifer International also provides a free custom honor card with every donation. To learn more about Heifer International or to give a gift click here.

UNICEFunicef

UNICEF Inspired Gifts is a program that gives you the opportunity to purchase actual lifesaving items that will be shipped directly from both the UNICEF warehouse in Copenhagen and one of UNICEF’s many suppliers to help children in one of over 150 countries or territories where UNICEF serves. You can choose to give a gift like Backpack Basics or Art-in-a-box, the site has several options to choose from! For more information or to give an UNICEF Inspired Gifts click here.

If the above charity options are not your cup of tea or you have a particular charity you want to donate to the Charity Navigator site is a great tool to help you find your charity. To search for your charity using Charity Navigator click here.

I hope this helps you all in your holiday gift search and Happy Holidays!


SXSW Gaming Conference 2017

sxsw-gamingSXSW 2017 is fast approaching, in fact it was just announced that the SXSW Gaming Conference wristbands are now available to purchase. Back in the day when you would think about SXSW gaming wasn’t the first thing that comes to mind but times are changing! SXSW Gaming Conference will begin on Thursday, March 16 through Saturday, March 18 at the Austin Convention Center.

The SXSW Gaming.Conference & Festival is a combination of geek and gaming culture with Expos, Awards, and Programming. Not only is the Gaming Conference the fastest growing phenomenon at SXSW, this year they have expanded the Gaming Expo, Gaming Awards, and Gaming Program lineup.

SXSW Gaming also hosts an array of free play experiences for its attendees. From their PC Arena that hosts hundreds of PCs, laptops, and other gaming devices, to their Arcade Bunker.

When or if you get a SXSW Gaming Wristband, you’ll be granted complete access to each portion of the show as well as exclusive perks such as discounted hotel rooms, complimentary swag bags, and access to special events. SXSW Gaming Conference is open for attendance to all ages, with complimentary access given to all SXSW badgeholders. The SXSW Gaming wristband does not grant access to any SXSW Interactive, Film or Music events.

To purchase a SXSW Gaming wristband click here, currently wristbands start at $20.00 per a day. Below is the all the pricing and deadlines for the wristbands for SXSW Gaming.sxsw-game

 

Keep checking back on Hi-Tech Chic and Cutegeek for SXSW updates. Hope to see you all at SXSW 2017!

 

Source: SXSW.com

Hi-Tech Chic's Holiday Gift Guide for Girls to Lady Fashionistas

happy-holidays-hi-tech-chicHappy Holidays to all my Hi-Tech Chic Fashionista young and mature! I wanted to put a holiday gift guide together that mixes technology and fashion products for all ages. I also think this guide is helpful when shopping for different women and girls in your family or network of friends of different ages…and maybe you will find something you want to put on your list to Santa as well!

Below is a mix of fashionable  and cute technology products I have either reviewed, saw demos of them or referred by one of my piers.

Hatchimals are creatures that live inside of eggs until they are hatched it’s a surprise of what is inside. Each egg contains one of two interactive Hatchimals. Hatchimals can’t hatch on their own. Your touch encourages them to peck their way out of the egg! Now you get to raise your furry Hatchimal through 3 stages. Teach yours to walk, dance, play games and more. Apparently these were all the rage at the 2016 Toy Fair. They are currently $69.99 and you can purchase them at Toy’s R Us.

WowWee® CHiP™ the robot dog is a Smartpup that you can interact with using the Smartball, train and game with using the app. CHiP comes with a Smartband which enables CHiP to uniquely recognize owner and a Smartbed that CHiP automatically walks to when it needs to be charged. New this year to CHiP is Guard Mode puts CHiP’s motion sensors on high alert, and walking past CHiP will trigger a reaction. They have also have expanded CHiP to 5 languages: English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese. You can purchase it at any major store like best buy or online like amazon for $159.99.

Kidz Gear has volume limit headphones called KidzControl™ and are designed to have the safest listening experience for your child. . They have wired, wireless bluetooth and headphones with a mic included. Headphones based on your personal needs start at $19.99 and you can purchase them here.kidz-g

The JETJAT by Mota is an automatic camera Mini drone with one-touch, live wifi, auto landing and throw-to-fly capabilities. This is the perfect gift for kids that want a drone but never flew one before. It’s small and fits in the palm of your hand so if your kiddo flew it inside the house there would be minimal to no damage at all. I also love that the remote is also the dock for the drone so user don’t lose it. It’s that small! (full product to follow)

The Blink Lite is ACTON’s newest and most advanced electric skateboard to date. Weighing in at just 7.7lbs., it is the World’s Lightest Electric Skateboard. Till December 4th the Blink Lite is available for $199.00 when normally it is $399.00. They also have opened up pre-orders for BLINK QU4TRO, BLINK S2, BLINK S pre-order exclusively on Indiegogo. To find out more about the Blink Lite or would like to purchase one click here.

I have been photographed for the past several years trying on oculus products and I have NEVER looked good or cute, just a big dork grasping at air. I am under the impression not even the hottest person on the planet can look cool in them. Google is trying with their Dream Views that have a lightweight stretch fabric in the color slate that makes it sleeker than the normal plastic. The Dream View from Google is $79.00 and you can purchase it at the google store.vr-google

UGG® Tech Gloves with Shearling Sheepskin Cuff  has touch sensitive technology on all fingers and palm. The back of the gloves are polyester/wool/nylon, the palm is leather with Faux fur lining and the cuffs are made of shearling sheepskin. The UGG® Tech Gloves with Shearling Sheepskin Cuff are currently available at Bloomingdales for $85.00.gloves

QBracelet by Q Designs with iPhone Charger is geometric bangle that doubles as an iPhone charger. Simply open the bangle at the hinge to reveal a lightning connector that can boost your battery life by 50%. I personally want the QBracelet by Q Designs for Christmas especially since regardless of how many portable chargers I have I seem to always forget to bring them with me! Maybe they will send me one to review, wink wink.The QBracelet by Q Designs is available at Bloomingdales for $125.00.cuff-charger

Prynt, Get Instant Photo with The Prynt Case for Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 – Black is a case that snaps onto your phone and your phone instantly becomes a Polaroid camera. Prynt saves a video inside each photo by using the Prynt app to unlock and replay the video. Prynt photos do not require ink cartridges and it comes with ZINK Paper. It is currently $149.99 and you can get it on Amazon by clicking here.

HP also has a similar product that is a little more stylish called the HP Sprocket Photo Printer. It does all the same functions and also uses ZINK Paper. The  HP Sprocket Photo Printer is also less at $129.99 on the HP site.

I hope this helps you all on your quest of finding the perfect gift for the fashionista in your life! Happy Holidays!


Giving Tuesday: How to Get Involved

giving

Giving Tuesday is a day to give back to your community, charities or city after a weekend of gluttonous shopping. It is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Giving Tuesday Day also reminds us giving back doesn’t have to be monetary; you can also volunteer at a non-profit organization or get involved with local charitable events. In fact there is a lady in my neighborhood that hands out pre-made lunches and waters to the homeless. Any simple act of kindness today that gives back to your community is a great way to celebrate and get involved with #GivingTuesday.

How do I get involved during #GivingTuesday?

The GivingTuesday.com site lets you “search nearby” on the non-profit organizations in your area by City, State, organization type and organization name.  Once you submit that information you will get a nice list of organizations your area you can get involved with or donate to. You can also click the “get involved” tab either as an individual or an organization to learn more on how to get involved with #GivingTuesday today and in the future.happing

Does my company match my donation?’

To check if your company matches your donation and to access the forms, guidelines, and instructions you need to submit your matching gift the Double the Donations site is a great tool to use. The site also has 7 Steps guide for matching gift success on #GivingTuesday.

For more information about #GivingTuesday click here and if you want to find out what #GivingTuesday events are going on click here.

Hope you all enjoy #GivingTuesday!

 


WED Launches ChooseWomen.Org on November 30th

chhoseWomen’s Entrepreneurship Day will officially launch  Choosewomen.org to support women worldwide in business and reduce poverty on November 30th. ChooseWomen.org will support leading Microfinance organizations around the world that provide impoverished women with essential microloans to start their own businesses.

Did you know?

According a UNICEF Report, Women perform 66% of the world’s work, but earn a mere 10% of the world’s income. Women make 85 percent of consumer purchases and control $20 trillion in spending. Two hundred and fifty million girls continue to live in poverty, and while women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, they only reap 10 percent of the world’s income.impact

How does ChooseWomen.org work?

Through ChooseWomen.org, consumers can shop with over 70 retailers such as Spanx, Coach, and Lilly Pulitzer, who have partnered with WED. A portion of their sales will go to fund microloans for impoverished women around the world who are aspiring entrepreneurs.

What is WED (Women’s Entrepreneurship Day)?

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day is a day to celebrate, empower and support women in business and will be held on November 30th. Celebrated in 144 countries, this year’s WED featured honorees ranging from the fashion icon Iris Apfel, to the Guinness World Record’s oldest living yoga instructor, 98-year-old Tao Porchon-Lynch.

Check out the new ChooseWomen.org and learn how to get involved on helping women within the workforce have equality one day.

Source: Women’s Entrepreneurship Day site

AirSelfie: The Pocket-Sized Drone with Camera for Smartphones

airselfie-collageOut of all the Drones I have reviewed or written about in the past couple years this concept and Kickstarter campaign is one of my favorites. Why? Admittedly there is a lot of selflie action in my life. I also have a big family and the AirSelfie would solve a lot family selfies problems plus no one would be left out of the photo.

What is the AirSelfie?

AirSelfie is the worlds smallest portable drone with a camera that is integrated into your mobile phone cover. It’s hard to believe, right? I had to watch the full video on Kickstarter to see how something this small can be integrated into your smartphone.  The AirSelfie’s 5-megapixel video camera and four propellers are enclosed in an Italian-designed lightweight (52g) aluminum case that measures 3.72 x 2.65 x 0.42 inches.

Currently AirSelfie‘s has a kickstarter campaign with 26 days remaining. As they have already reached their goal this gives those who want to pre-order the AirSelfie or contribute to the campaign an opportunity to do so since they still have 26 days left. Users who order the product now will receive their AirSelfie this spring.

I hope I get an opportunity to test one out to give you the full product review first hand. Till then if you would like to contribute or pro-order the AirSelfie click here and below is the official press release with more information.

Official Press Release:

London, November 17, 2016 – AirSelfie has today announced the launch of the first pocket-sized flying camera, the only portable flying camera that integrates with smartphones. Comprised of four powerful propellers and a 5-megapixel video camera, AirSelfie is smaller than a smartphone and can fly vertically up to 66 feet, allowing users to take aerial selfies of themselves and their friends. The device connects to the most popular smartphones, including iPhone (6, 6s, 7 and 7 Plus), Huawei P9, Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. The device includes self-generated WiFi and comes equipped with a rechargeable battery through a cell phone case, as well as the option to purchase an external power bank. Additionally, a vibration-absorber system and in-flight stability systems guarantee stable, clear, flowing images.

AirSelfie is available for pre-order via Kickstarter beginning November 17, 2016, for delivery in March 2017.

“Our team of 60 seasoned technology professionals and enthusiasts researched, designed and created a flying camera that exceeds all current standards,” said Edoardo Stroppiana, co-founder of AirSelfie.  “We saw an increasing need for a device that goes beyond a selfie stick, allowing users to take pictures from all angles, and we’re excited to introduce AirSelfie to Millennials and consumers around the world. It sets a completely new bar for the market.”

With AirSelfie, users can:

      Take group selfies and family photos from up to 66 feet away, capturing both people and panoramas

      Take indoor and outdoor aerial photos of subjects and locations that would otherwise be unreachable (e.g. monuments and stadiums during sporting events)

      Take videos from perspectives that were formerly impossible

      Use the device as a monitoring camera (when the device is not flying and is connected to a power source)

      Use the video as a work tool (for example, time-lapse shots of company event setups)

AirSelfie’s 5-megapixel video camera and four powerful propellers are enclosed in an Italian-designed, stylish and lightweight (52g) aluminum case that measures 3.72 x 2.65 x 0.42 inches – smaller than a smartphone. The device attaches to users’ smartphones using a special cover available for iPhone and Samsung which contains a battery that can recharge AirSelfie in just 30 minutes. Backers can also purchase an external power bank which guarantees up to 20 full charges and allows those without a compatible phone to use and charge AirSelfie.

How it works

One of the key differentiating—and appealing—features of AirSelfie is its ease of use. To activate AirSelfie, the user simply removes it from its case and turns it on. The device connects automatically to smartphones via WiFi—the flying camera creates the WiFi (2.4GHz) network itself and it is immediately ready for take-off.

AirSelfie users must simply download the free iOS and Android app in order to control the device’s movements through three different flight modes. AirSelfie can be returned to its departure point either manually or automatically. When users are finished using the device, it’s easy to return it to its landing spot—simply press the button labelled “slide to land” and AirSelfie descends and turns off. Users can also directly reposition the device by hand with no risk whatsoever of damaging it or themselves.

Using the “selfie delay timer” function, users can take timed photos, giving them up to 10 seconds to get into position and hide their smartphone so that it doesn’t appear in photos. Users can also take up to eight consecutive shots. AirSelfie’s technology integrates directly with social media, making it easy to post photos and videos directly to users’ accounts.

AirSelfie comes equipped with a 4 GB micro SD memory card and a 260mAh 7.4v battery that enables three minutes of flight time.

AirSelfie on Kickstarter

To give consumers a special first look at AirSelfie, the company is launching a Kickstarter campaign that will go live on November 17, 2016. Consumers can purchase AirSelfie via the Kickstarter website or Kickstarter app. As an added incentive, the first 1,000 supporters have the option of becoming AirSelfie Ambassadors by pre-ordering the first version of the flying camera at the discounted price of $199; the regular retail price will be $300. Additionally, the power bank will be available as a standalone product for $69 or as part of the AirSelfie package for $246. The power bank will be delivered in April.

Production of the gadget will begin once the threshold of $50,000 is reached. After the first 1,000 AirSelfies have sold, the company will produce another 2,000 models, which will be available for the reduced price of $249. Consumers will also be able to purchase two AirSelfies for the price of $478. The first 3,000 pre-orders will be delivered in March of 2017, with the rest, including the power bank packages, being delivered in April of 2017.

“People have the impression that camera drones are costly, difficult to operate and unwieldy,” added Stroppiana. “AirSelfie redefines the space with a device that’s small, light and easy to use. This Kickstarter campaign will enable the launch of a large-scale AirSelfie production in a matter of months. We have succeeded in developing a great product, and we can’t wait to share it with our growing base of AirSelfie enthusiasts.”

In 2017, AirSelfie will hit the market for $300. It will be available in other colors and will be compatible with additional smartphone models.

For additional information and other opportunities to support the project, visit the AirSelfie Kickstarter page.


Black Friday 2016 Deals, Apps and Websites

blac-k-friday

It’s that time of year again! A time where we all storm the malls and the web to load up on gifts for the holidays.  Since Black Friday is just days away I thought I would give all you brave soles some deals, free apps and websites to check out.

The  https://www.theblackfriday.com/ and https://blackfriday.com/black-friday-2016 sites have a pretty large list of venders and they keep both sites updated. Another site to check out that posts the latest Black Friday Ad leaks plus all the stores hours is https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/shopping/black-friday/.black-cart

Below are 3 apps for Black Friday that can help you get organized before Friday.

Black Friday 2016 – Best Deals offered by dealnews.com, Inc

  • Create A Black Friday Shopping List
  • Access Your Shopping List Online at DealNews.com
  • Know which stores you’ll regret waiting in line for at 3 am in the cold

Best Deals App offered by BuyVia

  • The app helps you find Leaked Black Friday Ads at major stores like Amazon, Best Buy, Dell, Kohls, Target, Walmart and most stores.
  • The Best Deals App offered by BuyVia also analyzes the Black Friday ads to find the short list of REAL Deals just for You.
  • Informing users about Deals, Coupons, local coupons and more. on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.dur-app

Decluttr  App

  • Users can sell CDs DVDs, Games, and more from their smartphone.
  • Decluttr will be offering an extra 10% on all trade-ins starting Thanksgiving at 6 a.m. and ending Cyber Monday at 11:59 p.m.

GOOD LUCK to all those partaking in Black Friday. Happy Holidays!!

 


BEBOP SENSORS INTRODUCES FIRST SMART HELMET SENSOR SYSTEM WITH REAL-TIME HIGH RESOLUTION, FORCE LOCATION SPECIFIC IMPACT INFORMATION

bebop_sensors_smart_helmet_sensor_systemI have two younger brother’s who needless to say are either thrill seekers or I just may be a tad over protective of them being the oldest. My youngest brother skate boards and my other brother is a rider…of bicycles that is.

Given their accidents in the past they may be getting the BEBOP SENSORS FIRST SMART HELMET SENSOR SYSTEM for Christmas instead of the normal fun technology toys and here is why…

Released yesterday BEBOP SENSORS is bringing the first helmet system to capture complete high-speed movie of entire impact Incident from the Head’s Point of View for First Responders & Trauma Analysis. It employs 40 Sensors in Helmet Liner  to scan the skull at 400 times per second.  The BEBOP SENSORS FIRST SMART HELMET SENSOR SYSTEM provides State-of-the-Art Analysis & Safety Response Commands without False Triggers from Accidental Drops.

Per Keith McMillen, BeBop Founder and CEO.“Strikes to the pterion (temple area) are far more dangerous than to the frontal bone. Knowing where the strike originated and how it propagates during the event can provide valuable first responder information as well as input for decision making to dial an emergency 911 number for assistance.”

For those who have loved ones that are thrill seekers, bikers, or in general doing outdoor sports that require a helmet this would be the ideal gift for them. They may not like it but it will save their life.

Below is the full press release:

BeBop to Launched at IDTechEx Wearable USA Conference Held Nov. 16-17 in Santa Clara, CA – Keith McMillen, Founder & CEO, BeBop Sensors

Berkeley, CA, November 16, 2016 — BeBop Sensors, Inc. http://www.bebopsensors.com, the leader in smart fabric sensor technology, announced today the BeBop Sensors Smart Helmet Sensor System, the first helmet system employing a Force Location Sensor System which uses BeBop’s revolutionary flexible fabric sensors for high resolution, location-specific impact information. BeBop’s Smart Helmet Sensor System is the first to capture a complete high-speed movie of the entire impact incident from the head’s point of view, providing real-time feedback with a customizable set of commands to a paired Bluetooth device for first responders and post-trauma study. The BeBop Sensors Smart Helmet Sensor System will be launched today at the IDTechEx Wearable USA Conference, held November 16-17, 2016 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California, BeBop Booth #A18.

Provides State-of-the-Art Analysis & Safety Response Commands without False Triggers from Accidental Drops

The Smart Helmet System provides state-of-the-art analysis tools that track the exact impact location and velocity thresholds. The system can also be programmed to trigger safety response commands, such as an emergency call or other response. Other safety helmets deploy accelerometer based technology, but do not have the ability to detect the exact impact point and history, causing false triggers during accidental drops.

Bebop achieves the ability to track exact impact point by using a latticed array of over 40 sensors embedded in the helmet liner, so multiple impacts are tracked and recorded in real-time and stored in F-RAM. The helmet system uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connection for data transmission, measuring 6-axis IMU acceleration up to 160 Gravities. Upon first indication of a potential incident, the sensor wakes up within milliseconds, then scans the entire skull 400 times per second, storing 16 seconds of event data internally, awaiting download. The lattice sensor arrangement allows custom design for any OEM helmet across innumerable use cases where intelligent, real-time monitoring safety mechanisms are required

 

 


CES Innovation Awards Honorees

innovation-award

Every year CES has the Innovation Awards and given how fast technology is moving this years winners of the Innovation Awards must have worked hard to make the cut. Products entered in the Innovation Awards program are judged by a preeminent panel of independent industrial designers, independent engineers and members of the trade media to honor outstanding design and engineering in cutting edge consumer electronics products across 28 product categories.

This years honorees at CES 2017 include: HP, Moto, Lenovo, Xooloo, Google, Crazybaby, Contenintal, Sleep Number and many more. To see the full list and learn more about all these new and innovative products click here and click here for more information about each honoree.

I hope to see all of my geek fans at CES 2017, it’s almost Vegas time!!!

 


Product Review: Rowkin's™ New Mini Wireless Bluetooth® 4.1 Stereo Earbuds

The World’s Smallest Wireless Bluetooth Headphones with Mic and Portable Charging Case have arrived! Rowkin sent me their new Mini Wireless Bluetooth® Earbuds to test out for Cutegeek and Hi-Tech Chic. When I unboxed them I was pleasantly surprised! It was an exciting moment for me since I haven’t had truly wireless stereo earbuds with no cord connecting the earbuds. I couldn’t wait to check them out.row-penny

When you receive the earbuds the package will include: TWO (2) Rowkin Bit wireless earbuds to operate in the stereo Bluetooth headphones mode, various earbud tips, and the patented dual-earbud conductive portable charging system. The battery in the wireless headphones allows up to 3 hours for music and calls on a single charge. The small lipstick size portable charger can fully recharge the Bluetooth headset twice, providing additional 4-6 hours worth of music or talk time. budsAfter you unbox the charger and the earbuds you will need to attach both earbuds to the opposite ends of the charger to get a good charge before you begin pairing and syncing them via Bluetooth to your mobile device. Once charged take them off the charger and turn them both on making sure the earbuds are next to each other so they can sync with each other. Your smart device should be able to detect via Bluetooth and once found click connect.

I’ve been testing these out for a couple weeks now and I love them! The magnetic case is just what every wireless electronic should have. I thought for sure that I would have lost them by now but I have not due to this ingenious portable charger.

I walk almost everyday about 5-8 miles rain or shine around Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas. On the days when it was hot and I was perspiring during my walk they stayed in my ears and the sound was not distorted because a little bit of sweat got on them. I also walked in the rain one day when I forgot to bring my umbrella on my walk. The rain was coming in direction and even though the earbuds where clearly wet they worked just fine.

I found very few glitches and they only seem to happen when your battery is low. For instance, I was at 40% battery life and all the sudden one earbud would turn off and then slowly come back on. It’s an odd glitch and maybe I have some settings wrong and it’s just a user error.

Besides all these fantastic product specs above, below is even more great features of the Mini Wireless Bluetooth® 4.1 Stereo Earbuds.

  • ACTIVATE SIRI, VOICE COMMANDS, AND UNPARALLELED SOUND QUALITY: Siri is just a touch away via the main button on either of the cordless earbuds.
  • SMART MULTIPOINT CONNECTIVITY: Each wireless headset can connect with two Bluetooth source devices simultaneously. If you are streaming music from your iPad, and receive an incoming call on your iPhone, the wireless earphones will recognize this and allow you to take the call.
  • DESIGNED FOR SPORT: The WaterSafe nano coating technology is sweatproof, water resistant, and IPX5 waterproof.
  • Compatible with iPhone 7/7 Plus/6s/6s Plus/6/6 Plus/SE/5s/5/4s/iPod/iPad/iPad Mini/iPad Pro/Macbook/Macbook Air/Macbook Pro/iMac/Mac Pro/Mac Mini/Samsung Galaxy S7/S6/S5/S4/S6 Edge/Edge+/Note 7/6/5/4/3/Edge/Android/Windows/tablets/laptops/computers.

The Mini Wireless Bluetooth® 4.1 Stereo Earbuds are roughly $110.00 and can be bought on amazon.com by clicking here.  It’s a great gift for the holidays for the avid athlete or constantly on the go.


Last Hours of the Life is Good "Positive State" Contest

positive-stateLifeisGood.com is a site whose mission is to spread the power of optimism and to help counter the daily flood of negative news.

They have been running a nationwide contest called Positive State where you tell them the good you would do in your state for a chance to win one of fifty $500 American Express gift cards.

life-is-goodTODAY by midnight EST is the last day to enter the contest and you can find the form here. It’s a quick online form that won’t take much time and it will be something positive you did today!

While you are on the site help LifeisGood.com #GROWtheGood by telling them something good that happened today using #GROWtheGood on Twitter and Instagram and you may be featured on their site.

LifeisGood.com donates 10% of it’s net profit to kids in need and to DONATE NOW click here. Good Luck to all contestants!

Rules and Guidelines: 

  • One person from each state will be chosen.
  • No Purchase Necessary. Some Restrictions Apply. Void Where Prohibited. Click here for official rules. Contest begins September 19th, 2016 at 12:01AM EST and ends November 8th, 2016 at 11:59PM EST

2016 Presidential Election Day Freebies and Sales for Voters

votedIt’s the day all of us Americans have waited for, it’s Election Day! Though Trmp and Clinton’s campaigns have both been entertaining and controversial I think we are all ready to find out who our next President will be.

As a distraction from various news outlets about the election why not benefit from Election Day with these freebies and discounts from companies across the nation. FYI, word on the streets is the Krispy Kreme line is longer than usual.

Happy Election Day and hope you all get to enjoy all the freebies in your area while we wait to see who our next President will be!

Information from: http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2016/11/election_day_2016_freebies_and.html and various news sites.

 

 


Aisha Tyler Announced as CES Brand Ambassador

aisha-cesAs the holidays are creeping up on us so is the CES show in January 2017.  CES is an annual convention in Las Vegas that showcases the latest and greatest consumer technology. Every year I say this is my last CES and every year like clock work I end up attending CES. CES wouldn’t be so bad if there was less distances between events but it’s Vegas baby! What do you expect?

It was recently announced that Aisha Tyler will be the CES 2017 Brand Ambassador. I think it’s fantastic to have a female brand ambassador at CES which until recently was the good ol’ boys club. I’m not sure yet where she will be during the entire show; on the show floor or private briefings and events. As soon as I do know I will post on Cutegeek.com, Hi-TechChic.com and Twitter (@nrpena, @cutetgeek, @hitechchic)

Below are the important dates for CES and the official press release. To register for CES click here.

  • October 19, 2016 – Conference registration opened
  • Through December 20, 2016 – $100 registration fee
  • December 20, 2016 –  No refunds or cancellations after this date
  • December 21, 2016 through January 8, 2017 – $300 registration fee

Press Release:

Los Angeles, CA – The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ announced that actor, director, author and comedian Aisha Tyler will be the CES® Ambassador for 2017.

Aisha Tyler defines the term multi-hyphenate, by working simultaneously in multiple media formats. She is host of CBS’ Emmy-winning The Talk, a series regular on CBS’s Criminal Minds, the voice of superspy Lana Kane in FX’s Emmy-winning Archer and host the CW’s comedy improv show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” An avid gamer and tech enthusiast, Tyler is a one-woman content machine, in engineering, hosting, conforming and editing her award-winning podcast, Girl on Guy, and also in directing, producing, shooting, and editing multiple short films, music videos, comedy specials, and recently, her first feature film.

“I can’t think of a more perfect ambassador for CES than Aisha Tyler,” said Karen Chupka, senior vice president, CES and corporate business strategy, Consumer Technology Association. “Aisha has torn down barriers for women and diversity in technology, effortlessly integrated and encouraged the use of tech in everyday  life and redefined what it means to be a ‘gamer.’ CES encompasses every aspect of tech and Aisha is a superb example of how innovative technologies can be positive influences in our lives.”

Aisha’s podcast was chosen by iTunes as a best new comedy podcast of 2011 and has more than 17 million downloads to date. She produces and engineers the podcast with nothing more than two microphones, an iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

“As a podcaster, author, producer and filmmaker, I can attest to how technology has not only made my life better, but more creatively robust, dynamic and productive in every way,” said Tyler. “I recently directed my first feature film in just seven days on a microbudget, and technology played into every aspect of completing that creative mission effectively. Technological innovation is my artistic secret weapon. I am incredibly honored to be the CES ambassador for 2017.”

###

*Information gathered from the CES site.

No Uber or Lyft in Your City? Try the Fasten App Instead!

fastenThere’s an old saying “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye” which sums up the Uber and Lyft situation that happened in Austin, Texas over the summer. I’m an Austin native and I can attest that the traffic situation in Austin is ridiculous. I have witnessed road rage, people constantly flipping the bird and people laying on the horn in rush hour traffic.  I’ve also seen allot of drunk driving coming from a night out on the infamous 6th street.

When Uber and Lyft came to Austin it was heaven sent; less people on the road and less drunk drivers. It was like it happened overnight; instantly most people in the city either had the Uber or Lyft app. This summer our glorious days of using Uber or Lyft were no longer. Austin passed a new law requiring that ridesharing drivers MUST be fingerprinted as part of their background check. Unfortunately because of this new law Uber and Lyft pulled out of Austin. They argue that fingerprint background checks present an unnecessary regulatory and operational burden. fasten-screen

As all of us ride sharing customers frantically looked for another ride hailing app the former Uber and Lyft drivers were also looking for a new ride sharing company to work for. I tried a few other ride sharing apps and wasn’t happy with my options till I installed the fasten app. It pretty much works like the Uber or Lyft app showing the live map of where your ride is after you requested a ride. It also shows your fair in real time and alerts you of bad weather or traffic. I have found now using the fasten app for a couple months there is a lot of former Uber or Lyft drivers now work at fasten.

The fasten app is very simple to use once you download it and set up your profile it’s smooth sailing and just a swipe away from ordering your ride. The app is free and my experiences with fasten have all been VERY pleasant. I suggest trying the fasten app out and see if you like it as an alternative for Uber and Lyft.

 


Latest iPhone 6/6s/6 Plus and 7/7 Plus Cases

case-collageAfter the launch of the iPhone 7 and 7 plus the technology industry is churning out more accessories and changing some of their product lines since new iPhones will no longer have a 3.5mm jack. It’s an exciting time in tech and consumers are getting inundated with new innovative products daily.

To make my Cutegeek and Hi-Tech Chic fans life easier in regards to iPhone cases below are some of the newest or greatest cases, in my opinion, on the market currently for iPhone 6 plus/ 6s/ 7/ 7 plus . Enjoy and TGIF!

NOMAD Leather iPhone Case ($39.95)nomadmm

Just like me my iPhone likes to dress up for a night out on the town  and what better way than with the NOMAD Leather iPhone Case. The NOMAD Leather iPhone Case was created with the finest leather from Horween Leather Co., of Chicago, one of America’s oldest and most renowned tanneries. NOMAD designed the Leather case to beautifully patina with time creating a rich leather case. FYI- it’s not so water friendly so use caution in wet situations.

STM Atlas Wallet Case ($34.95)

stmThe Atlas by STM is a wallet case for the iPhone with a textured fabric cover to protect from bumps and scratches. One of my favorite features of the Atlas is that the folding cover props the phone up for a stability. The Atlas also has integrated card slots for credit cards, ID, or some cash. The Atlas also has micro suction cup closure and microfiber lining protect the screen on your iPhone. This case is ideal if you don’t want to carry a purse or a full wallet around all the time.

NEW: BODYGUARDZ Ace Pro Case for the iPhone 7

body-guardz

BODYGUARDZ Ace Pro cases for iPhone 7 come in clear or highly transparent TPU lined with the same patented Unequal® technology professional athletes use on the field for impact protection. BODYGUARDZ Ace Pro cases are designed to provide slim and lightweight protection with a bezel that extends beyond the screen. I recently received the Pink/White Transparent BODYGUARDZ Ace Pro case to review and I am impressed on how light it is. The BODYGUARDZ Ace Pro case for the iPhone 7 truly is the lightest protective case I have reviewed plus it’s slim design makes the case and your iPhone 7 look more aesthetically sexy.

MOXYO Beacon Cases for iPhone 6 plus or 7 plus ($24.99)mox

The MOXYO Beacon Case for iPhone 6 plus 0r 7 plus has an ultra thin fit and is impact resistant. The frosted textured polycarbonate material of the Beacon Case is co-molded with the TPU edge coverage for extra protection. I like that the case is frosted and doesn’t hide your iPhone like most cases. Though it’s thin I’m not sure on how much protection this case can provide however it is a nice and clean case for those that like to see their iPhone.

Ty-Lite- LED Lighted iPhone Protective Smart Phone Case ($79.99)

Ty-Lite protective smart phone case by far is my favorite case on the market though I have not tested it out yet. I loose my iPhone in my purses almost daily, It has gotten to a point at times I have to dump out my entire purse just to find stuff. The Ty-Lite protective smart phone case may be the answer to those with the similar problem. It provides three different professional quality lighting features and has its own battery with extended battery life so it will not drain your phone battery. Currently they have iPhone cases up till the iPhone 6 models that are available to order on their site and cases for the iPhone 7/7 plus should be available very soon also on their site. Check back on Cutegeek and Hi-Tech Chic as I may get a sample of the Ty-Lite to review.

Hope this helps you all out.

 

 


Censorship Gone Bad: The Legalize V Campaign

say-it-logoToday I got an email in regards to legalizing the “V” word (i.e. VAGINA) and ending the censorship of using the word “VAGINA” from LegalizeV.com. In April an 8th grade teacher was fired for using the correct term of female anatomy, VAGINA. I find this absurd since I recall having to watch sex education videos and attended sex education classes in school throughout middle school. I’m sure they used VAGINA in the videos and classes if not there would be a ton of woman walking around confused about their lady parts.

How would the “Birds and the Bees” talk go without using VAGINA? They fit together like a puzzle? Well that’s confusing! Food for thought 51% of the population of our planet is made of women who have VAGINAS yet censorship still has a strong handle on how it is used on TV, Movies, Commercials, Radio and some Social Media outlets.

While reading the Slate article “Since When Can You Say Vagina on TV?” I learned some interesting facts on using the word VAGINA correctly on TV. Per Slate’s article, “As long as a word isn’t used to titillate and doesn’t describe sex or excretory acts in explicit detail, it is not considered “indecent.” Anatomically correct terms, which aren’t exactly sexy, mostly fall outside this category. The agency that regulates TV and radio broadcasters, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has never fined TV broadcasters for using anatomically correct terms for genitalia, and has only seldom fined radio broadcasters.” This is ridiculous considering there are far worse words being used on TV, Movies, Commercials and Radio.

There needs to be a change and the team at LegalizeV.com are banding together to create a movement – the “Legalize Vagina” movement. LegalizeV.com’s main goal is to give everyone the freedom and power to say the word Vagina (or when appropriate vulva). Legalize V’s movement is made up of women, men, companies, health care professionals, educators, and brands that are committed to destigmatize the word Vagina.

Join me today and speak out about using the word “VAGINA” without being censored or frowned upon. To join the movement see the below list of encouraged requirements. Also click here to sign the petition and click here for more information on the “Legalize V” movement. If your scroll down a bit you will also see my saying VAGINA video. vagina

Without further ado here is my saying Vagina video…ENJOY!

 

 


CONTEST: ENTERCOM AND BRUNO MARS INVITE A LUCKY FAN TO THE 2016 VICTORIA’S SECRET FASHION SHOW