tv The Communicators CSPAN February 25, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
visit to the consumer electronics show in las vegas where we talk 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 visit some of the exhibitors booths. in the parking lot of the competition center are more visits. here is mr. adkins with a company called goal zero. >> we make everything from laptops to refrigerators. we started in africa, but we're selling in the u.s. now. >> how did you get started?
>> humanitarian efforts. our founder, robert workman, is over in africa finding ways for people to create jobs. everyone has cell phones but no one has power. he said if i can get you some power, could you sell it? so, yeah, that's what started creating some jobs over in africa. >> are your products on the market? >> they are. and we are releasing some new products as we typically do at c.e. s. you can find them at best buy. >> show us some of your products. what do you have here? >> we have a small, medium, large. here is one of the small systems here. this is a seven-watt solar panel. you can charge cell phones, all that stuff directly. or if you want, you can store your power in this battery pack. it has a double a battery. you can pop them out and put them in a flashlight and it also acts as a power pack so you can
charge any of your devices right off there. charge your cell phone, you will never be without power. >> what does this cost? $159 msrp. >> where is it manufactured? >> in china. everything is designed in the united states but produced in china. we have a laptop china. this won an innovations award. you will never need a power outlet at an airport again. you carry this with you, you have all your plugs to plug your laptop in. if you have an iphone or ipad, everything charges off here. you can even charge your laptops directly off this product. it is small, portable, it weighs like a pound. you put it in your laptop bag and you are done. >> what if you are in a place where there is no sunshine.
>> they also charge off the wall, and they also charge off car chargers. if there is no place where there is no sun, that is a dark place. they also charge off cloudy conditions or if it is rainy. even our users in europe or london or u.k., they can power it up. it doesn't have to be totally sunny like it is right now. it can charge in cloudy conditions as well. >> how long will it hold a power charge. let's say you charge it for three hours in the sunshine and then you travel? >> so typically rechargeable batteries like this will last four to six months. it is kind of like a battery in your car. you want to be using it. this will power a laptop for a couple hours. it will recharge an ipad a couple times. or if you have a smartphone, two to four times it will recharge it off one charge. if you are traveling around, you can charge this up from your house like a wall plug and take
it with you on a plane or an event. if you are away from it, that's when you pull out the solar panel and recharge it. >> what do you do with this? >> all you have to do is lay it out in the sunlight like this, and you plug this into the battery pack and it immediately starts to charge. there is no delay or anything, and it is waterproof. >> how long would it take to charge this? >> six to eight hours depending on the sun. >> so when you look at the emissions and greenhouse environmental issues, even though these still use electricity, are you saving -- are you cutting down on emissions? >> yeah, of course. that's one of the great advantages of solar panels. the solar panels on roofs, they are rated for 25 years. so you can buy it and use it 25 years. it is cutting down. it is gaining more popularity. plus prices have come down. a panel like this used to sell for $600, and now they are $199.
that's been in the last few years. >> is that technology changes? is it more consumption? what about government grants toward these products? >> it is really all three. so things are getting more efficient. they are getting smaller. the volumes have increalsed because of that. the government has been subsidizing. you know, they don't necessarily subsidize for the small portable stuff, but they do for homes. we benefit from that because of the increase in volume. >> what else do you have here. >> if you are looking for more than a cell phone or laptop, a cabin, we are releasing this. it is called the yeti 1,250. it can basically power anything your wall outlet and your house can. sfridge rateors. we ran for sub-zero a couple days. you can use hair dryers anything
you want. u.s.b., 12 volt. it has circuitry to protect the panels. this is a solar panel. this is a smaller one. one of the cool things about our solar panels is they are chained together. so you can start with one and then you can daisy chain it together. if you want to charge it one day and half a day, you have to charge the solar panels. this is power on the go really. >> what does the yeti sell for? >> it is the first silent generator on the market. it is an indoor generator really. you can use it indoors, no gas, no noise. so yeah. >> why not manufacture in the united states. >> it is triple the cost of the product. we would love to if we could. if you are selling something for
consumer electronics, you could finally find 10% of the places that could make it here. >> what is your web site? >> www.goalzero.com. >> and "the communicators" is here at the consumer electronics show in las vegas, nevada. >> one of the exhibitors here is a group called life technologies. we are joined by one of their directors, graham scott. dr. scott, what is life technologies? what do you do? >> we are a leading provider of technologies to help medical research, people who are actively working in life sciences performing research. we sell to government labs, academic labs, pharmaceutical
companies, primarily researchers. exploring biological questions. >> how long have you been in business? >> well, life technologies has -- as an entity has been in business a little over two years. but the general siss goes back over 25 years. because two major companies fought with us. form life technologies were applied life. so they stayed over two decades. >> how do you use technology in your work? >> again, technology is used by scientists who are posing questions about disease. they want to understand the biology of disease. typically they are working with samples. i'll give you a concrete example. they may be working with cancer cells and also controlled cells, and they are asking biological questions about what is different in the cancer cells to
the controled cells. >> what do you have on display here? >> what we have on display are new protown sequencers which are very transformtive. it uses completely revolutionary technology that is based on a chip. a semi conductor chip. we like to say the chip is actually the machine. what you are seeing here on this chip and this pad, you are seeing an area that has 165 million wells, each of which can sequence a small piece of d.n.a. we can take d.n.a. from a human sample or any organism, and we can chop it into little pieces and we can by a series of simple molecular tests deliver those on to this chip and all the really interesting work happens on this chip.
>> if you put it in the machine, what happens? >> i simply put the chip in the machine, and i pull this lever down. what we're able to do, the principle is very simple, peter. what happens here, we actually introduce reagents, we introduce nucleatides. there are four agents, a, c, g, and t. what happens is a charged ion is released, essentially a proton. it is the name of the instrument. we are able to measure that charge. by measuring that charge, we can actually determine the sequence. we see the chemistry in real time by measuring that charge. >> so what are the practical applications of this, dr. scott? >> it is primarily biomedical
research. one of the things i'd like to point out, the smaller version or kind of an assistance to this is called a personal genome machine. to give you an example of what that is used for, you may recall the e-coli outbreak in europe a few months ago? the personal genome machine was used to very rapidly sequence that pathogenic e-coli and it would be developed in two days. the utility of this technology is it is very, very fast. >> so is this technology on the market? >> so we're taking orders right now from customers, primarily biomedical researchers. we expect full commercial relief by the third quarter, and we
will be delivering by the end of the year. >> is this a venture type type funding? >> no, we are a public company. >> life technologies is the name of the company. what's the scientific american that you have up here? >> we were able to have a productive partnership with scientific american. >> what is your background? >> i'm a chemist, actually a physical chemist, so i work a lot with sequencing. i was involved in the human genome project 10 years ago. my background is sequencing and i've been -- my background is chemistry and i've been in sequencing for about a decade.
>> we're here at the consumer electronics show in las vegas. and here is a quality of life technology center. it is a national science foundation engineering research center. joining us now is the director of the quality of life foundry and that is curt stone of carnegie melon university in pittsburgh. >> this is a research center focusing on developing systems for seniors using robotics technology, vision technology, looking at the human side of things with the institute on aging at the university of pittsburgh also. and getting in the research lab. it is focusing on creating a smart system. not necessarily the hardware, but the smart systems that will help people live and extend their lives and their homes longer. >> and this is something done at carnegie? >> they are a partner in our
research center. it is very collaborative. we are right next door to each other. we are basically a buddy campus. it makes it easy to get technology. >> we a computer running. it looks like a crash helmet. what is this? >> this is the first application. it is in the sports media side. the technology itself is using two cameras. one that looks out and one that looks at the eye. so we know exactly what the person is interested in, in the scene they are seeing. when you consider people monitoring monitors to understand what they are doing, having cameras on the outside looking at them is very intrucive, so people tend to not be concerned about us seeing or the computer seeing what they see. in order to do that we need computers and the intelligence systems to help people to know exactly what their interest is. the eye-tracking system exactly points to it. you see the target on our system
itself on the computer. this is someone driving using it and it shows where the person is looking as they are driving. >> so we can see their eye down here in one camera, and this is where they are looking with the red circle. >> we don't necessarily always show the eye, but that shows how we are tracking the eye for a demonstration. >> what are the practical applications? >> for someone who has alzheimer's, we can incorporate it in a physical recognition system. or a disease called -- if you look at someone, it can help the system identify who you are looking at, pull that information out, and put it in the information system so it tells them who it is, so awedably it can tell you, that's john smith. you met him two weeks ago. we can also use it for object
recognition. older patients, t.b.i. or alzheimer's. if they have trouble as i do periodically myself, starting in in the kitchen and sort of lose track on what i was planning on doing, this system by understanding what they have done so far, seeing that, identifying the object, and understanding the actions that they have done, we can then help them with coaching as to what to do next, so they don't get stuck and they don't get frustrated. >> do you see this product coming out to market at any point? >> very much so. the first market as i mentioned is using it as a media for sports. they are also doing security applications. this show has been helpful or surprisingly helpful in many different applications coming out beyond the health care which we're looking at into the gaming space and into the military space and into the air naughtics
-- aeronautics. it is the space technology that is very interesting. >> what is the work that you do with the national science foundation? >> as a research center it is a four-year program. $10 million has been funded by the national science foundation. some money is contributed by the universities, some matching, as well as industry partners that we have that have donated money to us, and we have also gotten other funding through grants that we write and try to continue to raise that. >> we have been talking to curt stone pf carnegie mellon university. we also want to talk to a student of carnegie mellon. ms. houston, what is your role at the university of houston? >> i'm a ph.d. student and a graduate student researchers. >> why are you here at the
consumer electronics show? >> i am demonstrating the personal manipulation plan. >> where was this developed? >> back at the university of pittsburgh in conjunction with carnegie-mellon university. >> can you explain what this does? >> yes. one of the tasks i need it to do, i've dropped my pen, and i need to get it back to me. so i can have the hand come in and bring it to me. >> this is being operated robotically, correct? >> yes, it is. >> now, is this a product that could be on the market at some point? >> very much so. we are actually hoping it could be commercially available in the next couple years. >> it looks like it has cameras on the side here with the grippers?
>> yeah, the cameras will allow someone to remotely operate this device for me. if i were not able to operate it myself via local controls. >> now, are you disabled? >> yes, i am. >> in what way? >> i have orthopedic impairments which require me to use a wheelchair. >> is this yours or is it a demonstration? >> this is very much a demonstration chair, but i'm actually working with this chair much of the time. >> are you part of the development process at the university of pittsburgh. >> very much so. a lot of what we do is bringing users of the technology to get them to help provide feedback on which way we should be going and what way we should be going and how we should be doing it. >> what would you like to see changed or developed? >> how the person actually interacts with this chair independently without the aid of a remote operator and be able to independently tasks like opening
a bottle, and picking up a pen you have dropped on the floor. >> elaine houston, ph.d. student in? >> degree of science. >> at the university of pittsburgh. "the communicators" is at the consumer electronics show in las vegas. >> you know, one of the items on display here in 2012 is 3d tv and we are joined on "the communicators" by heidi hoffman who is the manager of the 3d at home consortium. >> we are a 50 member companies who are interested in accelerating the adoption of 3d in the home and beyond. we were formed about four years ago. we -- our members are all active
members of the industry that work on broadcast, content creation, 3d products for the home consumer products or whether it is recent studies on how 3d is working for people, what needs to happen scomprks what they like best. >> are we in second or third generation 3d yet? >> good question. i think we're still first generation product. if you evaluate 3d by active television. you know, we've seen the technology changing. we see it moving. we see a lot happening. and you can see it here at the show. >> what are you displaying here at the consumer electronics show? >> for the first year -- we have been here about two years, all our member companies wanted to come here and show the breadth of 3d. we have products that will show up on your cellphone.
we have 3d software that is showing up in education and entertainment combined. national geographic, discovery. those types of shows turn up really well in 3d. plus we have some other software applications. you will see 3d in classes because it is really incredibly -- the numbers, we have done some studies on this. it is amazing how much better students focus on the subject and how much more they take away. it has been tested over time that students are really getting engaged in 3d, particularly in math and science. >> now, are we at any point going to be able to lose the 3d glasses? >> yes. we are seeing as you look around the show monitors that work
without glasses. any single-user system. so cell phones in 3d, absolutely. some of these technologies have really taken off and are advancing. i don't think you will see it in the large screen. you will see some shows that are in auto stereo large screens. but for -- those aren't quite to the consumer market yet. >> what about these lap tops that you have on display here? >> right now we're going through some still vodeyose. >> this illustrates really well what you can do with user-generated content. the viewer will get a much better sense of what that looks
like at the louvre. here at the show we're partnering with samsung, sony, invidia, spatial view. these are large companies that have advanced products, entertainment products in 3d and we have small products like master image. there over there, slightly -- >> what is your degree? >> i am in san jose and i manage consortiums. i've win involved in that for many years, and 15 years before that with the u.s. government. creating moving an industry faster because we're together rather than moving separately. of course you can go much faster . you will hit your roadblock is
there, you will hit it faster than if we go together. >> heidi hoffman is the director of the 3d@home consortium. 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. what is the mobile 500. >> as a consortium of 45 companies, we are committed to take advantage of the technology for mobile devices. >> what does that mean if i use your device? >> if your cell phone or laptop is enabled with an adapter or
receiver, you can get live television over the air through that device without touching your data plan while you are making a phone call. it is a way to get high-end data to your p.c. it will go to an ipad or iphone that allows you to have a d.r.d. -- d.v.d. you can pause the programming and take it with you. we have a solution to 3g, the wireless network is integrated into that. >> so i'm here in las vegas. could i watch the three broadcast channels. have you all your member companies down here on your display. what exactly could i see if i
were right here. could i watch local tv from washington, d.c.? >> you could watch local tv from las vegas. this is a local play. we'll have national content of course. we have the food network here for the booth, but it is the local broadcaster. and what we found is people value the local news, weather, and sports most highly. >> so people that may be interested in watching c-span, would c-span have to watch up for your service for people to get that over their mobile devices? >> it all depends on our deal with c-span. we would love to have c-span in. everything we are broadcasting now is free and in the clear. we would love to have c-span in our portfolio of stations and channels that we're building. >> does it include the broadcast network? abc, nbc, cbs? >> it does. there is a second consortium and they are lining up their stations and they will be
broadcasting content from those stations. >> where is your device manufactured? >> the companies designing it are in israel and germany and it will be manufactured probably in china. >> we're also joined here at the booth by brian mchale who is vice president of technology for fisher communications out of seattle. mr. mchale, what you are going to demonstrate for us today? >> what i want to show here is live television over the air from a station in seattle, that's the accessory with a chip in it to pick up over the air content. you can see we have the guide itself. clear to air. for our demonstration, we have my tv, the c.w. the food network has graciously allowed us to distribute their content and the food network.
it was built by a company called agato. there's live television over the air. there's maury. the question we all get, is how can we derrive revenue from this application? you see here, as we flip will you the channels, we have the opportunity to drive advertising revenue from the station itself. the country net is there. >> and when does it pop back up? >> it pops back up here in a second. we have programming to watch what you are -- what's interesting, i can tap the machine once, and i am actually recording that show right now over the air. >> and it will record on to your ipad? >> yes, it records locally to