tv The Communicators CSPAN February 27, 2012 8:00am-8:30am EST
8 hours of book programming -- 48 hours of book programming beginning saturday morning at 8 eastern through monday morning at 8 eastern. nonfiction books right here all weekend, every weekend on c-span2. >> coming up next, "the communicators" concludes its series of interviews with tech company executives and policymakers at the consumer electronics show in las vegas. then a discussion on negative political advertising and campaign opposition research from a recent forum hosted by the new america foundation. after that we're live with the closing session of the national governors' association annual winter meeting. and later, the senate returns at 2 p.m. eastern from its weeklong president's day recess. senator jeanne shaheen will deliver washington's farewell address followed later by debate and a roll call vote on a u.s.
district court judicial nomination. >> host: well, this week "the communicators" wraps up its visit to the consumer electronics show in las vegas where we talked with policymakers and tech company executives about the intersection of technology and public policy. and we looked at some of the latest technology on display by some of the 3,000 exhibitors. this week we'll look at some of that technology as we with visit some of the exhibitors' booths. well, "the communicators" is on location in las vegas, nevada, at the consumer electronics show which is held at the las vegas convention center, but even in the parking lot of the convention center are some more exhibitors. and joining us now is joe at kin who is president of a company called goal zero. what is goal zero? >> guest: we are a portable solar manufacturer, so we make portable solar products that charge everything from cell phones to laptops to refrigerators, and we were
started in africa, but we're selling here in the u.s. now. >> host: how did you get started? >> guest: humanitarian efforts. our founder, robert workman, was over in africa finding ways to help people create jobs and looking for needs, and one of the first needs that came up is everyone has cell phones, but no one has power. so we said if i can get you some power, could you guys sell it? so, yeah. that's what started creating jobs over in africa. >> host: are your products all on the market? >> guest: they are. and we're releasing some new products as we typically do at ces, you know? you can find them at costco, rei, cabell las, bass pro shops, so, yeah. >> host: show us some of your products. what have you got here? >> guest: we have kind of a small, medium, large. this collects the power, and then you can charge your iphone, cell phones, all that kind of stuff directly. or if you want, you can store your power in this little battery pack. the only one like it on the market.
it has aa batteries, so you can pop them out, put them in a flash light or whatever, and it also acts like a power pack so you can charge any of your devices right off there. >> host: what would this cost? >> guest: $159 msrp. really? and where's it manufactured? >> guest: we manufacture everything in china a. everything's designed near utah or the united states, but we produce it in china. >> host: what else have you got? >> guest: we have a laptop charger. this won an innovations award at ces. you'll never need a power outlet at an airport again. so you can carry this little thing with you, you've got all your plugs just to lug your laptop in or an iphone or ipad, galaxy, destroyed, everything charges right off here. you can even charge your laptops directly right off this product. so it's small, it's portable, weighs like a pound. you put it in your laptop bag,
and you're done. >> host: joe atkin, what if you're in a place where there's no sun sign? >> guest: -- sunshine? >> guest: they also charge off the wall and car chargers. so i guess there's no sun, a pretty dark place because they also charge off cloudy conditions or if it's rainy, so even like our users in europe, london or u.k. or whatever, they can power it up no problem. so it doesn't have to be totally sunny like it is right now. it just, it can charge in cloudy conditions as well. >> host: how long will it hold a power charge? let's say you charge it for three hours in the sunshine and then you travel? >> guest: yeah. so typically rechargeable batteries like this will last 4-6 months just on the shelf. so it's kind of like a battery in your car that you want to be using it. but this will, this will power a laptop for a couple hours, it'll recharge an ipad a couple times, or if you have, like, a smartphone, two to four times it
will recharge it off of one charge. so if you're traveling around, you could charge this up from your house like a wall plug and take it with you on a plane or an event, and if you're away from the sun, you pull out the solar panel, and it just recharges it in just a few hours. >> host: what do you do with this thing? >> guest: lay it out in the sun like this, and plug this into the battery pack, and it immediately started to charge. there's no delay or anything, and it's water proof. >> host: how long would it take to fully charge this? >> guest: 6-8 hours depending on the sun. so this is -- yeah. >> host: when you look at the emissions and greenhouse environmental issues, even though these things still use electricity, are you saving, are you cutting down on emission? >> guest: yeah, of course. you know, that's one of the great advantages of solar panels is the solar panels we see on roofs, they're rated for 25 years. so you can buy it and use it for 0 years, so it's -- 20 years so
it's, obviously, cutting down. plus prices have come down. a panel like this used to sell for $600, now they're 199, you know? and that's been in the last two years. >> host: is that technology changes, is it more consumption, is it -- what about government grants toward these products? >> guest: it's really all three, you know? so things are getting more efficient, so they're getting smaller. the volumes have increased because of that. and the government has been subsidizing, you know, they don't necessarily sub is sitize for the small portable stuff, but they do for homes, so we benefit from that because of the increase in volume. >> host: what else do you got here? >> guest: something for a refrigerator for emergency preparedness or a base camp or cabin. we're releasing this, it's called the yetty 1250. it can basically power anything your wall outlet and your house can. so refrigerators, we ran some subzero for a couple days off
one charge. so you've got all your ac ports, hair dryer, anything you want. usb12 volt and then it's got a lot of circuit try to protect the battery. here are some of the solar panels. this is one to have smaller ones, but one of the cool things about our solar panel is they're all chain bl. so you can start with one, and you can daisy chain as many as you want together. so if you say, hey, i want to charge this in two days or one day or half a day, just double the solar panels. and so this is basically power on the go, power anywhere really. >> host: what does the yeti sell for? >> $1500 msrp, and it's first silent generator on the market. it's an indoor generator really. you can use it indoors, no gas, no noise, so, yeah. >> host: why not manufacture in the united states? >> guest: it's purely cost. you know, we'd love to if we could, but it'd triple the cost of the products. you know, when you're selling
consumer products like everyone here at the consumer electronics show, you'll probably find 5-10% of people that can actually make them here. u.s. is not a manufacturing country like it used to be. >> host: joe atkin is the president of goal zero. what's your web site? >> guest: www.goalzero.com, that's goal like the soccer and then zero, zero.com. >> host: and "the communicators" is here at the consumer electronics show in las vegas, nevada. well, one of the exhibitors here at the consumer electronics show is a group called life technologies, and we are joined by one of their directors, graham scott. dr. scott, what is life technologies, what do you do? >> guest: so we're a leading provider of technologies, um, to biomedical researchers, people who are actively, um, working in life sciences performing
research. we sell to government labs, academic labs, pharmaceutical companies, primarily researchers who are exploring biological questions. >> host: and how do you -- well, first of all, how long have you been in business? >> guest: oh, well, life technologies, um, as an entity has been in business i think a little over two yearses, but the genesis of the company actually goes back over 25 years because two major companies were the companies that came together to form life technologies, and they date back over two decades. >> host: how do you use technology in your work? >> guest: so, again, technology is used by scientists who are posing questions about disease, they want to understand the biology of disease. typically, they're working with samples. give you a caron crete example, so they may be working with
cancer cells and also control cells, and can they're asking questions about what's different in the cancer cells from the control cells. >> host: what do you have on display here at the consumer electronics show? >> guest: we have a revolutionary technology that's based on a chip, actually a semiconductor chip, and we like to say the chip is actually the machine. so what overseeing here on this chip in this -- [inaudible] you're actually seeing an area ha has 165 million wells each of which can sequence a small piece of dna. and so what we can do is we can take dna from a human sample or really from any organism, and we can chop it into little pieces, and we can fire a series of fairly simply biological steps,
we can deliver those constructs onto this chip and all the interesting work happens on this chip. >> host: now, if you put it in the machine, what happens? >> guest: okay. so i very simply put the chip in the machine, and i actually close, close this lever down. and what we're able to do, the principle of our operation is actually very simple, peter. what happens here is we actually introduce reagents, we actually introduce nuke low tides, and as we introduce those and as we sequence, what actually happens is a charged, a charged ion is released, essentially a hydrogen ion or a proton, hence the name of the instrument. so it has a charge on it, and we're simply able to measure that charge. by measuring that charge, we can actually determine, um, the sequence, we actually see the chemistry in realtime by
measuring that charge. >> host: so what are the practical applications of this, dr. scott? >> guest: yeah. as i said, it's primarily biomedical research. one of the things i'd like to point out is the smaller version or kind of the little sister to this instrument is called the personal genome machine to give you a concrete example of what that was used for. it uses the same type of semiconductor sequencing. you may recall the e. coli outbreak in europe a few months ago. so the personal genome machine was use today very rapidly sequence that pathogenic e. coli bacterium, obtain the full sequence so that a screen could be rapidly developed. so the utility of this technology is it's very, very fast. >> host: so is this technology on the market? >> guest: so we're taking orders right now. from customers. >> host: such as? >> guest: such as, again,
premarely biomedical researchers -- primarily biomedical researchers. we expect to be in full commercial race by the third quarter. >> host: so, dr. scott, how are you funded? is this a venture capitalist type funding? >> guest: oh, no. we are, um, we are listed, we're a public company, so, yeah. so we're -- >> host: life technologies is the name of the company. what's the scientific american that you have up here on your -- >> guest: yeah. so at this booth we were able to have a very, i think, productive partnership with scientific american both in terms of this particular booth, but also this terms of some other wider activities here at the ces meeting. >> host: very quickly, what's your background? >> guest: i'm a chemist, actually a physical chemist, so i've worked a lot in sequencing. i was involved in the human genome project ten years a so my background is chemistry and sequencing for about a decade.
>> host: we've been talking with graham scott of life technologies here at the consumer electronics show in las vegas. and here at the consumer electronics show in las vegas is a quality of life technology center, it's a national science foundation engineering research center, and joining us now is the director of the quality of life foundry, and that is kurt stone of carnegie mellon university in pittsburgh. mr. stone, what is the quality of life technology center? >> guest: it's a research center that's focusing on creating intebltion systems for seniors and people with disabilities using robotics, robotics technology, vision technology, looking at the human side of things, the institute of aging at the university of pittsburgh also and engineering research lab. and, um, it is focusing on creating this smart system. not necessarily the hardware all the time, but the smart systems that'll help people live and extend their lives in their homes longer.
>> host: and this is something that's done at carnegie with the assistance of the university of pittsburgh? >> guest: they're a partner in our research center. it's very collaborative. we're right next door to each other, so it makes it very easy. it's a good collaboration. >> host: mr. stone, you've got two things on display here, you've got a computer running, and it looks like a crash helmet. could you tell us what these are? >> guest: yes. this is for our first application of this technology, the sports media side. but the technology itself is using two cameras, one that looks out and one that looks at the eyes. so we know exactly what the person is interested in the scene that they're seeing. when you consider people monitoring to understand what they're doing and tracking them, having cameras on the outside looking at them is very intrusive. people tend to not be concerned about us seeing or the computer seeing what they see. in order to do that, in order for the computers and the intelligence systems to help people, you have to know exactly
what their interest is. so this is what it does. the eye tracking system exactly points to it, and you can see the target on our system itself on the computer, it's a little red circle there. this is a driving application or someone driving using it, and it shows exactly where the person's looking as they're driving. >> host: so we can see their eye down here in one camera, and this is where they're looking with the red circle. >> guest: exactly. and this is just to show. we don't necessarily all the show the eye, but that shows how we're tracking the eye. >> host: what's the practical application of this? >> guest: someone who has alzheimer's, we can ip corporate it into a -- incorporate it into a facial recognition condition. significant in the world, over 2 percent of the population has that. where it can actually -- you look at someone, help the systems identify who you're looking at, pull that information out and put it into the recognition system so it tells them who it is. so audibly it can tell you,
that's john smith. you met him two weeks ago. or that's so and so. so we can also use it for object recognitions for a patient, older patients with tbi or alzheimer's. if they have trouble as they're doing these, i do it periodically myself, start something in the kitchen or somewhere else and sort of lose track of what i was planning on doing, this system by understanding what they've done so far is seeing that, identifying the objects and understanding the actions that they've done, we can then help them with coaching as to what to do next so they don't get stuck and frustrated. >> host: do you see a product, this product coming out in the market at any point? >> guest: very much so. it's actually a pinout from the carnegie mellon university. the first market as i mentioned at the beginning is using it as a media for sports. we're also doing security applications, and the show has been extremely helpful or surprisingly helpful in many different applications coming out beyond the health care which we're looking at into the gaming
space, into the military space, into the even aeronautics, doing everything. it's a space technology that is very interesting. >> host: what's the work that you do with the national science foundation? how much money has been put in by the nsf? >> guest: as an engineering research program, a ten-year program funded by the national science foundation, a certain amount every year. part of it's contributed, some money's contributed by the universities as matching as well as some industry partners we have that donate money to us, and we also get other funding through different grants that we write and try to continue to raise that. >> host: we've been talking with curt stone of carnegie mellon university in fits burg, but -- pittsburgh, but we also want to meet a university of pittsburgh student, and that is elaine down here. she's with the university of pittsburgh, i should say. this is elaine houston. and, ms. houston, what's your role at the university of
pittsburgh? >> guest: i'm a ph.d. student and a student researcher. >> host: and why are you hear at the consumer electronics show? >> guest: i'm hear demonstrating the personal ability manipulation appliance. >> host: where was this developed? >> guest: this was developed back at the university of pittsburgh in conjunction with cash dwi melon -- carnegie mellon university. >> host: could you demonstrate what this does and how it helps you? >> guest: i've dropped my pen, and it's picked it up, and now i need to get it back to me. i can have the hand come in and bring me the pen. can you swing it in? sorry. >> host: this is being operated robotically, is that correct? >> guest: open the gripper. yes, it is. >> host: now, is this a product that could be on the market at some point? >> guest: very much so. we're very much hoping that this can be actually commercially available within the next couple
of years. >> host: what else does it do? it looks like it has cameras here on the side along with the grippers. >> guest: yeah. the cameras are actually to allow somebody to remotely operate this device for me if i were not able to operate it myself via local controls. >> host: how now, are you disabled? >> requesting e, i am. >> host: in what way? >> guest: i have orthopedic impairments that require me to use a wheelchair. >> host: is this a demonstration chair? >> guest: i'm working with this chair most of the time. >> host: are you part of the development process at the university of pittsburgh? >> guest: very much so. we bring users of the technology to get them to help provide feedback on which way we should be going and what we should be doing and how we should be doing it. >> host: what would you like to see changed or developed on such a chair? >> guest: i think the big part is the local user interface, how the person actually sewer acts
with this -- interacts with this chair without the aid of a remote operator and being able to independently do even a simple task like open ago bottle -- opening a bottle and picking up a pen you've dropped on the floor. >> host: elaine houston, ph.d. student, ph.d. in? >> guest: rehab science. >> host: at the university of pittsburgh. "the communicators" is at the consumer electronics show in las vegas. well, one of the items most frequently on display here at the consumer electronics show 2012 in las vegas is 3 dtv, and we are joined on "the communicators" by heidi hoffman who is the managing director of the 3-d at home consortium. ms. hoffman, first of all, what is 3-d at home consortium? >> guest: about 50 member companies who are interested in accelerating the adoption of 3-d into the home and beyond.
we were formed about 40 year ago, our members are all active members that work on different parts of the industry, different parts of what we call the 3-d ecosystem whether it's broadcast, content creation, 3-d products for the home, consumer products or whether it's research studies on how 3-d is working for people, what needs to happen and what they like best. >> host: are we in second or third generallation 3-d yet? >> guest: good question. i think we're still first generation product if you evaluate 3-d by active television, passive televisions, auto/stereo. we certainly see the technology changing, we see it moving, we see a lot happening, and i think you can see it here at the show. >> host: what are you displaying here at the consumer electronics show? >> guest: so for the first year -- we've been here about two other years, all of our member companies came together and wanted to show, you know, the breadth of 3-d. so we've got products that'll
show up in your cell phone, we've got 3-d products showing up for your intertalk aboutment systems, 3-d software that show up in what we call education and entertainment combined. those kind of channels have always done it well. and plus we have some other software applications. so your going to see 3-d in classes because it's really incredibly, the numbers of -- we've done some studies on this. it's amazing how much better students focus on the subject and how much more they take away. and it's been tested over time that this continues to happen. students are really getting engaged in 3-d, particularly in math and science. >> host: now, are we at any point going to be able to lose these, the 3-d experience glasses? [laughter] >> guest: absolutely. i think we're going to see here at the show a lot of advancements in auto/stereo. so we're already -- >> host: i'm sorry, in --
>> guest: auto/stereo, glasses-free. your going to see as you look around the show monitors that work without glasses, you're going to see any single user system, so cell phones in 3-d, absolutely. the nintendo gaming system, those kind of technologies have really taken off. and are advancing. i don't think you're going to see it yet in the large screen. you'll see some demos here in the show that do, are in auto/stereo, large screen. but yet those aren't quite to the consumer market yet. >> host: what about these laptops, heidi hoffman, that you have on display here? are these 3-d laptops? >> guest: this is a 3-d laptop showing a gaming system. right thousand we're going -- right now we're going through some still videos or still images. these still images, i think, illustrate really well what you can do with user-generated content, right?
someone went to paris, took this picture. someone who didn't go to paris is going to get a much betterceps of what that looks like at the louvre. >> host: who are some of the members of 3-d at home? >> guest: we're partnering with samsung, sony, invidia, spatial view, um, master image. so we've got large companies that are very advanced products, entertainment products in 3-d, and we have small companies like a master image, for example, that has -- that'll be putting displays into your cell phones. of course, there's some already, but their auto stereo technology is a slight different twist, it gives a great 3-d view on your cell phones. >> host: where are you based, and what's your background? >> guest: i'm in san jose, and i manage consortium. 15 years before that with the u.s. government, so bringing people together, communicating, moving industry faster because we're target rother than moving separately.
of course, you can go much faster when you're a lone company, but you'll find your road block is there, you're going to get it much faster than if we go together. >> host: heidi hoffman is the managing director of the 3d@home consortium. "the communicators" is at the consumer electronics show in las vegas, nevada. and "the communicators" continues its tour of the consumer electronics show in las vegas, nevada. the mobile 500 alliance is here and john lawson is the executive director of that alliance. mr. lawson, what is the mobile 500? >> guest: it's a consortium of 47 broadcast companies. we own 430 television stations across the country, and we're dedicated to taking advantage of the technology breakthrough that allows us to use our over-the over-the-air television signal for mobile devices. >> host: what does that mean
exactly? how would i use your device? >> guest: if your cell phone or your laptop is enabled with either an adapter or a built-in receiver, you can get live television over the air through that device without touching your data plan while you're making a phone call. it's way to get very high-end video to your device cheaply. so the broadcasters are watching free channels to be received over the air, and what we're demonstrating here today is the consumer product, an apple adapter that'll go to an ipad or iphone that allows you to receive-the-air television. it's got a dvr built into it. you can pause the programming, take it with you, and then we've got a solution through 3g, the wireless network is integrated into that into a single user interface. >> host: so, mr. lawson, again, i'm here in las vegas. could i watch the three
broadcast channels, or what -- you've got all your member companies down here on your display, but what exactly could i see if i were right here? could i watch local tv from washington, d.c.? >> guest: you could watch local tv from las vegas. so this is a local play. we'll have national content, of course. we have the food network here for the booth, but it's the local broadcaster. and what we've found is if people value the local news, weather and sports most highly. >> host: so people who may be interested in watching c-span, would c-span have to sign up for your service for people to get that over their mobile devices? >> guest: it all depends on the deal. we would love to have c-span in. everything we're broadcasting now is free and in the clear. we would lo to have c-span if your pl of stations and channels that we're building. >> host: does it include the broadcast networks, abc, cbs? >> guest: it does. there's a second consortium headed by fox and nbc, and
they're lining up their stations. the nbc, fox and telemundo stations across -- >> host: where's your device manufacture? >> guest: the companies that are designing it are in israel and germany, and it will be manufactured probably in china. >> host: well, we're or also joined here at the booth by brian mchale who is the vice president of technology for fisher communications out of seattle. mr. mchale, what are you going to demonstrate for us today? >> guest: what i want to show, basically here is, again, live television over the air from a station from -- >> host: this device here. >> guest: that's correct. that's the accessory with a chip in it to pick up over-the-air content. so we've got, you can see we have, basically, the guide here itself, various stations are broadcasting clear to air which we can pick up. for our demonstration we have my tv, the cw, the food network has graciously allowed us to ri