High-Tech Tinsel Brings Good Tidings

Inventor’s Epiphany Inspires Internet-Connected Christmas Tree Ornament

Legend has it that the tradition of the Christmas tree began in Latvia in the year 1510. Today about 40 million Christmas trees are purchased in the U.S., and double that amount worldwide.

But the humble tree has not changed much in the past 500 years; that is, until now, with the introduction of Jolly, the world’s first smart connected Christmas tree ornament.

Barton Listick, Jolly’s inventor, explains that, “A few months ago while working on a different gadget project, my thoughts drifted to Christmas, and I realized in a flash that a Christmas tree ornament, using today’s tiny technology and an Internet connection, could bring new fun and interactivity to the age-old Christmas tree. I immediately dropped my other project and set out to build that ornament.”

The resulting product is called Jolly, and is currently being crowdfunded on Indiegogo (igg.me/at/jolly).

Jolly automatically brings a variety of holiday-themed entertainment into the home throughout the season, including a Christmas calendar countdown, Santa tracker, Bible verses, personalized animations, and photos of family and friends from photo sites, phones and social networks. All features are easily configured using the Jolly app on an iPhone or Android.

“Imagine receiving holiday greetings from friends and family displayed right on your tree,”
says Listick. “We’ve dubbed that feature ‘tree mail,’ and it’s just one of the crazy but fun possibilities that this new ornament makes possible.”

For more information, please visit getjollynow.com.


Over the past 25 years, Barton and his team at Trylonix Corp. have developed and launched many top-selling and award-winning products for families and children, including JumpStart (the educational game series with many millions of copies sold), Stride Academy (an online adaptive K12 learning system currently serving hundreds of thousands of students), and the My Reward Board children’s motivational program.

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G2A LAND Free Download From G2A.COM. Planned For Q1 2016

The G2A Land attraction is now showing at major gaming events around the world! A G2A.COM customer wearing the 3D goggles to experiencing G2A Land fully. Marcin Kryszpin, Head of Oculus Team at G2A.COM stands by to explain how it works. …

G2A.COM invested over 20 million Euros over the past two years into research and development to establish new cutting edge technologies. During the Virtual Reality (VR), project research on G2A Land, new design techniques became a first in the field of VR. The G2A.COM team of top VR, artists and inventors created G2A Land and developed a gaming ‘experience’ that is obtaining rave reviews from VR bloggers around the world.

Responses include:

“This is a beautiful 3D G2A show featuring a variety of attractions. I could lose myself playing it for hours checking details on each hand designed object, trying to beat highest scores in the shooting-range.” (DNS). ” It was a great feeling to ride roller coaster in G2A Land. I was shocked that I felt like I was on a real roller coaster and even for some moments, I was afraid of the speed. It is my favourite entertainment in G2A Land. I had a chance to experience shooter and cinema world, which I also enjoyed.”

Recently, Facebook invested $2 billion to develop Oculus. This Oculus Rift project raised more than $ 2.4 million on Kickstarter which made it the most funded gaming peripheral ever. The word Oculus is derived from the Latin word meaning, ‘eye’. When using the Oculus goggles, user eyes and minds are tricked into believing that what they see is real.

The team began in August 2014, developing new techniques that have become a global first in the field of virtual reality. G2A Land seeks to be as close as possible to the technologies that are available for gamers; a virtual amusement park connected within the G2A platform so that when the Oculus Rift devise is launched, customers who use the 3D devise will fully understand and experience what Oculus technology is all about.

G2A Land becomes a free public download at the same time as the launch of Facebook Oculus Rift most likely in Q1, 2016.

VR is described as an immersive multimedia or computer-simulated reality. It replicates an environment that simulates physical presence in places in the real world or imagined worlds and enables the user to interact in that heightened world. Virtual realities artificially create sensory experiences, which can include sight, hearing, touch, and smell.

“VR adds a new dimension to the gaming world that we know. We’ll be able to experience some titles in a deeper way and it definitely allows developers to use new tools to absorb gamers in the game world.” says Marcin Kryszpin, Head of Oculus Team at G2A.COM.

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Exvision Kickstarts ZKOO, The World’s Most Responsive Hand Gesture Tracking Camera

ZKOO bridges mobile devices to the living room TV

Exvision, the spin-out venture of Ishikawa-Watanabe Laboratory at University of Tokyo, today launched a Kickstarter campaign for ZKOO, the world’s most responsive and accurate hand gesture tracking camera. ZKOO offers users of Windows PCs (7, 8, and 10), mobile devices, and tablets a completely different UI experience of their favorite software and applications, with endless possibilities.


ZKOO is the first motion gesture tracking camera that supports a wide range of host devices including Windows PCs, Android-based tablets, smartphones, set-top boxes and Smart TVs. When combined with supported devices, ZKOO’s easy set-up turns living room TVs into smart, gesture- controlled TVs that deliver a deeper, interactive, engaging, and entertaining experience.

How ZKOO Works

ZKOO elevates traditional UI functions by replacing the touchscreen, mouse, or keyboard with natural hand gestures. It then utilizes cutting-edge gesture detection based on Hi-Speed Vision, Exvision’s proprietary technology. Hi-Speed Vision detects, tracks, and analyzes fast moving objects with extremely low latency, high accuracy, and robustness with a single CMOS imager and proprietary software algorithm. Bypassing noticeable latency, ZKOO allows PC, tablet, set top boxes and mobile device cursors to be moved with unparalleled smoothness and fidelity.

“The Kickstarter community is the perfect place to begin reaching out to our future users. Exvision believes the Kickstarter community to be visionaries who are genuine, curious and influential, and we want to give this community an opportunity to be the first to experience ZKOO and Hi-Speed Vision,” said Sakuya Morimoto, COO of Exvision.

The Tokyo-based company has set the funding goal for ZKOO at $15,000. For a contribution of $60 or more, backers get the ZKOO camera at a much lower price than the $120 retail price. The funds raised from the campaign will be used to further develop Hi-Speed Vision, the technology behind the ZKOO camera.

ZKOO’s Applications

Entertainment: Spend less time navigating and more time engaging with apps.

Games: Experience popular games like never before, using hand gesture controls to swipe, jump and move through a game.,

Education: Learning together takes on new meaning as parents and children explore software and apps through gesture interaction.

Business: Deliver presentations in a new way, using hand gestures to flip through slides.

Discover: Explore new ways to interact with mind-expanding software such as Google Earth, 3D Anatomy and more!

“ZKOO bridges the individual mobile/tablet experience with the more social living room TV, inviting everyone to be involved and spurring group interaction and activity,” added Morimoto.

ZKOO Features

Fast & Accurate Hand Tracking: Uses an algorithm with low latency and high fidelity for images running at 120 frames per second.

Single Sensor Camera: ZKOO’s camera consists of a single, off-the-shelf sensor, off-the-shelf processor, and proprietary software algorithm.

Elevated UI Functions: Traditional UI functions (mouse and keyboard) such as hover, click and drag are elevated to natural hand gestures.

Scalable Solution: ZKOO perfectly reproduces multi-touch UI, enabling users to gesture-play existing games and apps without modification.

Distance: Motion control is captured from a distance of up to 10 feet.

Easy Set Up: Seamless integration with Windows 7, 8 & 10 PCs and Android devices.

The Kickstarter campaign, launched [recently], can be found at

The campaign runs for 40 days, through January 17, 2016 with a goal of $15,000.

About Exvision

Exvision was established in Jan. 2009 as a spin-out venture of Ishikawa-Watanabe Lab at University of Tokyo, the world leader of high-speed computer vision technologies. Exvision brings state-of-the-art core technologies developed and accumulated at Ishikawa-Watanabe Lab into the commercial level products. The company’s first commercial product is ZKOO, the world’s most responsive hand gesture tracking camera.

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Doppler Labs And National Sawdust Partner For The First-Ever Here Active Listening™ “Sound Experience”

Doppler Labs Head of Music Michael Thurber and National Sawdust Artistic and Executive Director Paola Prestini Curate a One-Of-A-Kind Musical Journey using Doppler Labs’ Here Active Listening System

Doppler Labs and National Sawdust today announced the partnership that brought Here Active Listening, the first in-ear audio system that gives you control over real-world sound, to Brooklyn for the first ever “Here Sound Experience.” Curated by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Bassist and Doppler Labs Head of Music, Michael Thurber, and National Sawdust Artistic and Executive Director, Paola Prestini, the invite-only event took place at National Sawdust on Dec. 5, 2015. It was the first time Here Active Listening was used to curate a live musical experience. The evening featured live performances by Mr. Thurber, celebrated violinists Tessa Lark and Charles Yang, renowned jazz pianist Kris Bowers, award-winning composer and percussionist Andy Akiho, acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and producer Louis Cato, as well as special guests from the National Sawdust family.

“What Doppler Labs has created with Here is a leap forward in how we experience live music and also how we experience the world around us,” said Paola Prestini. “National Sawdust is a place for dreamers to dream and explorers to forge new ground. We love how Doppler Labs is reimagining listening and pushing the boundaries of what it means to experience live music. We spend a lot of time curating our schedule and selecting our partners, and we could not be more excited to work with an artist like Michael Thurber and the Doppler Labs team to create an unprecedented and forward-looking musical experience.”

Doppler Labs is an immersive wearable tech company dedicated to creating technology that makes computing more engaging and more human. In June Doppler Labs announced the Here Active Listening System, the first in-ear system that uses two wireless buds and a smartphone app to let you instantly control and personalize your live audio environment. Through volume sliders, EQ and effects that act as “a studio in your ears,” the Here Active Listening System empowers you to transform real world audio and curate live music experiences to your liking.

“Our technology is grounded in our belief that audio can be transformative,” explained Noah Kraft, CEO and Co-Founder of Doppler Labs. “The ears are powerful tools, and we hope our tech will be used as an instrument to bring out the true potential of human hearing; we want to give every listener personalized control. Here Active Listening was designed to help enhance life’s greatest moments, and live music experiences are just the beginning of our long term vision. We could not be happier to showcase Here in the incredible room at National Sawdust and create a magical acoustical experience that brings our technology to life.”

Celebrated by tech and entertainment critics around the world, Here Active Listening is the flagship product from Doppler Labs, which closed a $17M Series B earlier this year with entertainment industry leaders including the Chernin Group, WME, and UMG. Here launched on Kickstarter and surpassed its original 30-day goal of $250,000 in less than 48 hours.

In its initial production run, Doppler Labs is only making 10,000 pairs of Here Active Listening. These units will be distributed to Kickstarter backers and a select group of musicians and industry leaders for product feedback and to help further develop Here before it’s available for mass retail. Due to overwhelming demand, Doppler Labs has opened a waitlist for a small selection of remaining units so other passionate early adopters can get involved.

Learn more about the Here Active Listening System and join the waitlist at hereplus.me.

About National Sawdust

Located in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the non-profit National Sawdust is a dynamic home for artists and new music of all kinds. It is a place for exploration and discovery—where emerging and established artists can share their music with serious music fans and casual listeners alike. In a city teeming with venues, National Sawdust is a singular space founded with an expansive vision: to provide composers and musicians across genres with a setting in which they can flourish, and a place where they are given unprecedented support and critical resources essential to create, and then share, their work. A diversity of world-class artists, arts organizations, and institutions are collaborating with National Sawdust’s Creative and Executive Director, the composer Paola Prestini, as curators.

In addition to hosting rehearsals, performances, recordings and broadcasts in state-of-the art facilities, National Sawdust commissions new works and arranges workshops and residencies. It aims to be a resource not only for the community of musicians, but also for audiences in search of remarkable musical experiences at accessible ticket prices. For the local community, National Sawdust creates progressive public programs and educational initiatives. Other offerings include talks, publications and mentorship programs for composers and musicians, and for related fields.

Designed by Brooklyn’s Bureau V, National Sawdust is constructed within the existing shell of a century-old sawdust factory, preserving the authenticity of Williamsburg’s industrial past while providing a refined and intimate setting for the exploration of new music. At the venue’s core is a flexible chamber hall, acoustically designed by renowned engineering firm Arup to provide the highest-quality experience of both unamplified and amplified music.

About Doppler Labs

Founded in 2013 by industry leaders in the creative, tech and business worlds, Doppler Labs is on a mission to create wearable technology that makes computing more immersive and human. In the near-term Doppler Labs is focused on “hearables,” wearable technology for the ears. The company launched the Here Active Listening System in June 2015 as the first step in sharing its long-term vision with the world.

Prior to launching the Here Active Listening System, Doppler Labs created DUBS Acoustic Filters and forged partnerships with entertainment powerhouses like Coachella, Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Tao Group, Soul Cycle and AM Only, and artists including Mark Ronson, Tiesto, Quincy Jones and Hans Zimmer. The company has sold over a quarter million DUBS units to date.

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Ottawa Start-Up Umov Technologies Partners With Colorado Company – To Air On Daily Planet December 08, 2015

Umov Technologies builds on their original Electric Fat Bike by partnering with BikeBoards to redefine winter sports. The Ottawa start-up will also appear on Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet on December 8, and launch a new crowdfunding campaign in early 2016.

Ottawa-based start-up Umov Technologies, which manufactures electric bicycles, has partnered up with BikeBoards, a company from Colorado, to feature and promote the new and emerging sport of Bike Boarding. The product, the BikeBoard, is a patented ski kit for all sizes of bike wheels that turns your bike into a ski bike.

Coupling the Fat Bike, which offers great traction in snow and sand, with a BikeBoard creates the ultimate winter bike riding experience. The Fat Bike is named for its 4” wide tires and comes with a 500-watt motor; it has an 80-kilometre range, an integrated battery, hydraulic disk brakes, 24-speed Shimano gears, and an LCD screen.

Umov’s President Binyamin Shimshoon says, “Pairing an electric Fat Bike with this new, innovative BikeBoard technology is actually forming an entirely new snow sport, and transforming the way we look at winter biking.” The BikeBoard allows a rider to take advantage of deep powder trails, hit local sled hills for an exhilarating downhill riding experience, perform jumps, side-glides, and much more.

On December 8, 2015 at 7:00 PM EST Umov will be featured on the Discovery Channel’s popular show, Daily Planet, which features the latest and coolest scientific developments and technology that impacts our day-today lives.

In January 2016 Umov will engage with Indiegogo, the popular crowdfunding and fundraising platform, to offer an exceptional deal on its new Electric Fat Bike. Those interested can visit umovtech.com to sign up for the campaign launch notification and save $1000 on a new electric Fat Bike.

About Umov Technologies

Umov Technologies is based in Ottawa, Ontario, and manufactures cutting-edge, environmentally-friendly electric bicycles that combine style with efficiency.

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AfterMaster To Master Vinyl Record Set For Prolific Singer And Songwriter Jim Messina

AfterMaster, Inc. (OTCQB: AFTM), an industry leading audio technology company today announced that it will release the first ever mastered vinyl set of legendary singer, songwriter and music producer Jim Messina, with special guest Rusty Young. The highly anticipated record launch was spurred from Messina’s September performance, “An Evening With Jim Messina,” the concert where AfterMaster provided AfterMaster HD mastering audio processing live and in real time. This was the first time that a live concert had been mastered as it was broadcasted.

“We were thrilled to AfterMaster Messina’s vinyl record due to the incredible feedback received from the mastered live concert,” said Paul Wolff, Senior Engineer and Director of Product Development for AfterMaster. “We were told by industry leaders from around the globe that the sound quality of the live concert was analogous to an in-studio recording.”

Top producers around the globe have trusted AfterMaster’s innovation and state of the art technology when working with some of today’s most prominent artists. AfterMaster’s technology enhances the quality of any track without compromise throughout the entire frequency range and is the only real-time audio enhancement process available for professional music mastering. Creating mastering history with Messina, AfterMaster utilized the company’s groundbreaking audio by mixing each song live, delivering unbelievable sound that would rival any in-studio recording.

“AfterMaster’s technology is a game-changer for our industry,” said Dave Jenkins, owner of California Streamin’ which streamed the show. “I was thoroughly impressed with how AfterMaster enhanced the sound of Messina’s live concert. The difference in a mastered live concert was apparent and I will definitely be using AfterMaster for all my future shows.”

Deeply rooted in the industry, the AfterMaster team continues to support, collaborate and create with artists worldwide. Staying true to their DNA, AfterMaster experts not only mastered Messina’s latest work but also are responsible for the engineering and mixing on the record set.

To pre-order Messina’s double vinyl record set, mastered by AfterMaster, please visit: indiegogo.com/projects/jim-messina-live-special-vinyl-12-double-album/x/10017864#/story

For more information, visit: aftermasterhd.com / promasterhd.com

About AfterMaster

AfterMaster (OTCQB: AFTM) is a groundbreaking audio technology originally developed for the mastering, re-mastering and processing of audio through AfterMaster HD Audio Labs, Inc. AfterMaster’s executive team includes music and audio technology leaders Justin Timberlake, Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, Shelly Yakus and Larry Ryckman. AfterMaster delivers an unparalleled clarity, depth and fullness to audio recordings, while delivering a significant increase in volume without increased distortion or loss of dynamic range. The technology has been utilized by a number of leading musicians seeking to create a fuller and richer sound quality than otherwise available in digital audio.

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Startup Lifestyle Media Hybe Shifts Into High Gear At Slush 15

– Who are the people building the future?

Targeted to anyone interested in entrepreneurial mindset, startups and the future of work, fresh new startup media Hybe is shifting into high gear after a soft launch. The Hybe TV show is presented by two Nordic startup scene veterans, Anna Bessonova and Greg Anderson.

“A lot of startup coverage is focused on tech, or funding, or both. We feel it goes deeper, that there is a whole new way of working and living. Startup lifestyle is setting a completely new scene. We want to dig into it and inspire the world at large,” executive producer Anna Bessonova explains.

Hybe explores a variety of topics from health, education and crowdfunding to design, failure, gaming and music. The production is based in the Nordics but all content is made in English with a global audience in mind.

“Our aim is to be the number one companion in exploring the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Hybe explores a variety of topics from health, education and crowdfunding to design, failure, gaming and music. Hybe is where you can read, watch and listen to unique stories of doers and makers across all industries, around the globe. Whether you’re a startup enthusiast or just inspired by new ways of working, we’re for you,” Anna Bessonova says.

Multichannel Hybe takes you beyond the hype

The hottest startup TV show on planet, Hybe TV, premiered on Finnish television channel MTV3 in September. The first three episodes have each gathered an average of 70,000 viewers combined on TV, web TV and the Hybe.com website.

Every episode includes in-depth interviews of interesting startup personalities, visits to startup events from Tokyo and London to Istanbul and Stockholm, the hottest new startups, two minute speed pitching in a taxi and crazy random segments ranging from pirates to entrepreneurs pitching to VCs in ice-holes.

The Hybe.com website boils down to a news service and content discovery platform presenting the latest in startups, innovation and entrepreneurial lifestyle. In addition to original articles and videos, Hybe.com includes content from partners.

“Hybe sets out to establish an audience that is busy, demanding and world-wide. We are creating a world-class cross-media experience that encourages followers to engage with us anytime, anywhere. This is a very attractive opportunity for marketeers who are looking to reach fast moving global minds,” says Hybe CEO Tatu Tahkokallio.

Hybe Media is based in Helsinki, the startup hotbed of Nordics.

List of Hybe episodes so far

Power of the Crowd

In the first episode of Hybe, we hear coder and children’s book author Linda Liukas talk about her record-breaking crowdfunding campaign, we take a peek into the Danish startup scene, we dive into a hole in the ice in a pitching event in Oulu and much more.

Hacking Health

In this episode we meet a researcher determined to stop people from aging. Two brothers from Sweden tell us why they decided to start a company that makes a difference in the everyday life of diabetics. Anna has a taste of a drinkable meal and Greg meets with a Finnish biohacker to enjoy a kick-ass cup of coffee.

Passion for Design

In this episode we meet three young women who made second hand fashion into a business. Shoe designer Minna Parikka shares her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and fashionistas. We visit Germany to see what pirates and startups have in common and hear why the trendiest drink of today comes from a tiny Finnish country town.

Falling Hard for Hardware

In this episode we’re diving deep into the world of hardware startups and physical products. We meet some interesting people and robots at STHLM Tech Fest. We try out a button with endless usage possibilities. We hear the story of a Danish company that brings life to animated characters and meet a man who gave up the glamorous start up life for smoked fish.

HYBE is an international startup lifestyle media company, and key companion for audiences in search of knowledge and inspiration about entrepreneurship and innovation. HYBE original stories, online videos and the TV series are available on HYBE.COM, through the HYBE App (iOS and Android) and with selected television networks worldwide. As a startup itself, HYBE’s vision is to become a role model for the thriving future of media, with an ecosystem centred around agile journalists, open technology and innovative business models.

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