Products from 5 companies with the most useful tech gadgets from CES 2016

Most of you have read about the latest and greatest tech related stuff from CES already, especially from other news outlets. I didn’t have to focus on the larger companies, and instead I got to meet with smaller and lesser talked about companies who are on the up and up. There were thousands of items on display, and many do not get the attention they deserve.

I know you the latest 8K televisions are cool and refrigerators with 30″ LED displays are cool, but those products are far from being commonplace.

The companies I spent time with Qardio, The One Smart Piano, Goal Zero, ThinOptics, and Bluemint all have products many of you can use in your daily lives. I am a firm believer in only recommending products I use in my life.

Let’s check them out.



Qardio was founded to transform the healthcare industry with simpler, smarter and more effective solutions for everyone: patients, doctors and healthcare providers. Founder Marco Peluso launched Qardio in 2012 after his father suffered a stroke.

I got to speak with the executive team of Qardio, and I can tell you they are truly passionate about getting the word out and truly focus on saving lives.

Unlike other industries, healthcare hasn’t seen many impactful innovations over the past few decades. This lack of modern, powerful yet affordable solutions in personal healthcare inspired Marco Peluso to launch Qardio in 2012 after his father suffered a stroke. In just three quick years Qardio is looking to transform personal healthcare with an FDA approved item like the QardioArm and the QardioCore which is under FDA review now.

The QardioArm is a smart blood pressure monitor and is clinically validated to accurately measure your systolic and diastolic blood pressure along with your heart rate. QardioArm also has irregular heart beat detection and will store the data, providing your doctor with more actionable insights into your heart health. At just $99 the QardioArm could be one of the best investments of your life as it accurately measures your blood pressure and can help you ward off heart disease and strokes.

The QardioCore is slated to be released this year and is quite possibly one of the smartest pieces of health technology I came across at CES 2016. QardioCore is a revolutionary wireless electrocardiogram monitor designed to improve detection and management of cardiac conditions while fitting with ease into your daily life.

“QardioCore is an EKG/ECG monitor clinically validated to accurately and continuously record your electrocardiogram, heart rate, heart rate variability, body temperature, respiratory rate, activity and stress levels, allowing you and your doctor to get a complete picture of your heart health.” – Qardio


I’m sure many of you have New Year’s resolutions to get in shape or to improve your health and Qardio is here to help. The price for these products is small in comparison to the value of your health. Learn more at

The One Smart Piano

the one piano

Have you always wanted to play the piano or do want your children to play, but can’t afford pricey lessons at $50 an hour? The One Smart Piano modernizes music lessons through an ingenious method by offering three methods of learning. Video lessons, sheet music, and games are available for iOS and Android devices.

All you have to do is connect the Smart Piano or Light Keyboard through your smartphone or tablet, download an app, and start learning. I’ve always wanted to play piano but was not able to learn as a child since I was busy playing sports year around, and playing other instruments like the drums and clarinet.

I’ve been demoing the Light Keyboard for a couple of weeks now, minus CES week, and can tell you with absolute certainty that the piano or keyboard will be changing the way we learn how to play piano. If you want to make learning music fun, you can play video games and it is very similar to Guitar Hero. Or if you want to learn sheet music, the Smart Piano will light each individual key and will not move on until you play it correctly.

The Light Keyboard is available for $299 and the full size Smart Piano is on sale now for $1499. If you consider that lessons are priced in the range of $40 to $60 per hour, the Piano or Keyboard should pay for itself relatively quickly and more than one person can use it.

Learn more at

ThinOPTICS Reading Glasses


Yeah I know these glasses are probably going to bore you, but as I get older, my vision for focusing at close objects is getting worse. It probably doesn’t help that I sit in front of a computer most nights tapping away at my computer. But generally most people will experience a worsening of vision after the age of 40 and will require reading glasses at some point. So it’s not really matter of it is boring or not, the ThinOPTICS reading glasses are a necessity for most people.

You can typically compensate for a gradual reduction in vision by moving objects further away from your eyes, but eventually your smartphone or tablet can only go so far.

ThinOPTICS has a highly portable solution with its “stick anywhere or go everywhere” reading glasses.

The reading glasses are available in three strengths: Low Range (+1.50), Mid Range (+2.00) and High Range (+2.50). All ThinOPTICS glasses come with a sleek, protective case available in a Universal Pod or phone cases for Apple and Samsung models.
The Universal Pod with glasses retails for $24.95 and the Apple and Samsung cases including glasses retail for $38.95 and come with a lifetime guarantee. You can use them to read all of the articles on with the ThinOPTICS reading glasses!
Learn more at

Bluemint Labs Bixi


Bluemint Labs is a startup with a very unique product that is perfect for people who want to control their smart devices without touching them. It really can control smartphones, tablets and other items like GoPro cameras.

The Bixi is a contactless Bluetooth device that can read gestures from your hands. I found it especially useful, because I am a chemist and also love to cook dinner at home on a regular basis. Touching my devices with contaminated hands is not an option. I use tablet computers in the lab, and with Bixi I no longer need to remove my gloves in order to read the procedure I am following to make new pharmaceutical drugs. And when I am at home, I don’t have to wash my hands after chopping veggies and meat to see what to do next on the recipe from my tablet.



The Bixi is set to launch this year and you can learn more at Bixi.

nrg Goal Zero Solar Chargers and Lighthouse Mini

nrg is not necessarily a small name, but many people do not know about it’s Goal Zero product line. I am outdoor enthusiast and love to camp, hike and backpack. Since I am also a writer, I’m the annoying type of outdoor enthusiast who likes to stay connected. What excited me at the nrg Goal Zero booth at CES this year were the latest solar chargers as well as the mini camping lantern.

Goal Zero has partnered with Gregory Mountain Products to pair a high-end camping backpack with a Goal Zero solar panel system.


The solar charging backpack is due out sometime in the first half of 2016 and is definitely on my “must have” list before I go camping and backpacking this summer. The backpack integrates a large solar panel into the top of the backpack and has slots sewn into the pouch behind to hold rechargeable batteries and portable devices.

Also on my list is also the Sunbook 14 which is a solar panel system that can power my tablet when I am away from a wall outlet. In California sunlight is plentiful and free the Sunbook 14 will keep my tablet running without an outlet.


The last product I checked out from Goal Zero was my favorite, and that is the Lighthouse Mini Lantern which is available for purchase now and retails for just $59.99. It’s a ultra-portable lamp that can last 500 hours on a single charge, or it can charge your portable devices with the built-in 3000mAh battery. The Mini Lantern has a fully dimmable LED light, and half of it can be switched off to increase run time. It also has a built-in USB cable so you can recharge it with any of the Goal Zero batteries or solar panels. Goal Zero is definitely worth taking a look at if you’re an outdoor enthusiast who loves to stay connected.


Learn more at Goal Zero.

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The five companies I got to spend time with all have something useful and unique to offer. Their innovations and drive to solve everyday problems are reason enough to pay attention to them and their current or upcoming products. Gadgets can be fun, but they should also be useful and provide value in our everyday lives.

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