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Music Innovation Company Scores Spot in Global Competition

The InnoSTARS Competition provides an opportunity for innovative United States companies to connect with potential investors and partners from China.

The semi-finalists will have the opportunity to make regional contacts in Chinese technology hubs and obtain valuable global perspective and feedback on their products.

DigiTrax Entertainment CEO Joseph Vangieri and CTO Marcus Matusiak made the winning presentation at the InnoSTARS competition, which earned DigiTrax the unique business opportunity to travel to China later in 2018.

The DigiTrax team will present the company to potential investors in the areas of artificial intelligence and music creation and production.

The InnoSTARS participants will visit 19 Chinese cities with established business climates conducive to innovation and technology.

"That the Association of Chinese Professionals of Atlanta and the US China Innovation Alliance have honored DigiTrax with this win represents an important step forward for us," Mr. Vangieri says.

The opportunity to visit China allows the company to expand its pool of potential investors and explain how "its unique approach to artificial intelligence in the music field is both effective and potentially highly lucrative," Mr. Vangieri says.

Accredited investors seeking more information about the company can visit Digitrax's SeedInvest portal at https://goo.gl/o7u61w.

What sets DigiTrax apart is its unique use of artificial intelligence to simultaneously address the major challenges facing the music production industry: time, money, and personnel.

Music Builder, the DigiTrax flagship musical technology platform, allows users to create, produce, and distribute music efficiently and cost-effectively, without the need for an extensive team of production specialists.

In addition, DigiTrax uses AI technology to help musicians easily compare songs and parts of songs to determine whether their original work has been plagiarized.

The Knoxville, Tennessee-based company owns seven patents in music artificial intelligence and machine learning, and boasts an extensive catalog of musical content.

For more information, visit themusicbuilder.com.

 

Technology Breakthroughs Drive Clean Energy Success

For instance, while solar panels have long been a way of minimizing one's carbon footprint - be it a homeowner or a company - cost, construction, implementation, and a myriad of other reasons, have made it problematic to utilize these alternative energy sources.

Now however, the evolving technology allows for the use of solar energy on the interior or exterior of buildings and are, once again, gaining in popularity.

As an example, solar panels can be integrated into newly constructed commercial and residential buildings.

To this end, integration can maximize the technology of thin-film solar panels by curbing costs of heating and air conditioning. Solar power can be integrated into either flat or slanted rooftops, as well as interior walls and ceilings.

Similarly, older buildings can become greener with retrofitting and the use of thin-film solar panels. Factories, large residential buildings, and other structures can enjoy the financial and environmental benefits of solar energy while preserving the existing building structure.

Innovations in solar panel technology have resulted in panels that are thin yet durable, and can blend with existing tiles for a more subtle and attractive appearance that is equally functional in terms of energy.

The Hanergy Thin Film Power Group, a pioneering multinational clean energy company, is one example of a company on the cutting edge that has developed a new generation of solar cells for thin-film solar panels.

The new technology is environment-friendly, pollution-free, and cost-effective, averaging a high-power output and offering good performance even in low light.

Some recent innovations include copper indium gallium selenide, GaAs (single junction), GaAs (double junction) and efficient silicon heterostructure technology.

Hanergy has developed curved tiles that can be used for roofs of commercial buildings and residential houses that are unable to hold the weight of conventional solar panels. Hanergy's flexible solar thin-film can also be used on light posts, boats, or other uneven surfaces where solar energy is desired.

Other products include building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) or HanWall which could light up the buildings with its unique glass wall design and is availabile in different colors and various sizes allowing the building designers to utilize their creative ability to build new eco landmarks.

In addition, Hanergy has developed solar charging products to harness solar power for phones or other devices while outdoors, including a solar umbrella.

For more information, visit Hanergy.com and hanergyamerica.com.

New Solution Helps Parents Manage Kids’ Device Use at Home

Parents are right to be concerned as device use reportedly rises with the warmer temperatures. In fact, they say that children spend as much as four more hours a day online during the summer months.

Comcast's latest "Active Time Alert" feature on Xfinity xFi, available with Xfinity Internet, however, can help parents set healthy time limits for their child's device use at home. Xfinity Internet customers with a compatible wireless Gateway can easily access xFi features for no additional charge online, on their TV via the X1 voice remote, or on the xFi mobile app. Parents simply create and choose a child's user profile within the xFi app and set time limits on the in-home network for weekdays and weekends.

The survey also found that use of Wi-Fi devices can easily overtake other vacation activities. Over half (56 percent) of the parents of teenagers responded that they thought their teens would prefer to go online rather than play in the ocean during a vacation.

Additionally, according to the survey, 76 percent of parents report that their children are more addicted to their devices than to candy. So what is a parent to do?

Of the parents surveyed, about 73 percent say that they set limits on devices such as computers and gaming consoles, and 51 percent report setting limits on only their children's devices, such as laptops and tablets.

The xFi platform lets users know exactly which devices are connected to the in-home network at what times and for how long. With "Active Time Alert," parents can choose to receive a push notification, text or email alert when their child is approaching his or her device time limit. Once parents receive the alert, they can either choose to extend the time or pause the child's Wi-Fi access. Another xFi feature allows parents to either pause or stop the Wi-Fi connection to a child's device in the home anytime and to prevent devices from accessing Wi-Fi.

This survey and Comcast's new xFi feature align with recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics to prevent device use from interfering with sleep, exercise, and face-to-face family interaction.

The Wakefield Research and Comcast survey include responses from a nationally representative sample of 1,000 parents in the United States aged 18 years and older.

Xfinity xFi is available to Xfinity Internet service customers with a compatible Xfinity Gateway and is limited to the home Wi-Fi network. For more information about the Xfinity xFi platform and availability, visit www.xfinity.com/xfi.

 

A New Perspective on Robots and How They Will Shape Humanity

In fact, according to recent Pew Research, more than 70 percent of Americans express concern about a world in which machines perform many of the tasks done by humans.

Fortunately, there are people who believe humans and robots can coexist and work together in harmony and are working to debunk many of the fears people have about them.

Mouser Electronics Inc., a leading semiconductor and electronics component distributor based in Fort Worth, TX, and celebrity engineer Grant Imahara, have teamed up again for the fourth consecutive year for their Empowering Innovation Together program.

This year's program is called Generation Robot, which features five videos filmed across the world, including in the U.S., Germany and Japan. Mouser's goal is to reach innovators around the globe by showing how robots have a positive impact on humanity and change how people see the possibility of interacting with them.

Throughout the Generation Robot series, the entire spectrum of robotics will be examined, as will the understanding of how robots not only have a technological impact on society, but also a social and moral one.

The video series begins with the Imahara visiting the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines at Georgia Tech and speaking with the executive director, Dr. Magnus Egerstedt.

There, he explores several aspects of robots, such as the basics of the machines, myths and misconceptions, as well as the hopes for, and fears of, the advancement of robot technology.

In the video, Dr. Egerstedt mentions that robots used to be about mechanical engineering, but now modern robots involve psychology, because these machines will be working along with humans and thus they need to understand people.

The second video, which takes place in Augsburg, Germany, dives into the real meaning of robots and humans working together, as well as the way this interaction will benefit society.

The third video, which comes out in mid-July, will focus on the all-robot-staffed hotel in Nagasaki, Japan, where Imahara investigates the way robots behave utilizing only artificial intelligence.

To watch all the videos and learn more about Mouser and Generation Robot, visit https://www.mouser.com/empowering-innovation.

 

The Ultimate Gift for Golf Gurus

You're never too old to play, and even hard-working adults need an excuse to discover their inner child now and then. With that in mind, think games when making your holiday gift list.

The most appreciated and enjoyable games are those that get the players engaged, and a classic arcade game customized for use at home fits the bill.

If there is a golfer/gamer on your holiday gift list who has every golf book and product imaginable, look no further than the home edition version of Golden Tee Golf, the quintessential golf video game, now in its 30th year.

"It's the same exact game - arcade-style cabinet and all - that's been played and adored at local pubs for 30 years," according to a company statement. The Golden Tee Home Edition allows players to choose from more than 70 virtual golf courses, and offers hundreds of ways to personalize one's avatar and equipment.

Players can purchase an online subscription that allows them to check their profile, choose their course, and use their gear, while comparing themselves to other players. In addition, the Real-Time Rivals feature allows players to compete against computer opponents such as legendary PGA tour player John Daly.

The classic game provides distraction and fun for serious golfers or anyone who is serious about video games, and they won't get tired of it anytime soon. The 30th anniversary upgrade of Golden Tee includes new time-released content that will become available throughout the year. The attractive game cabinet installs easily to HDTV and can easily be moved out of the way so as not to interfere with the rest of the room décor when not in use. The game cabinet currently retails for $3,995, and online subscription options are $9.95 per month or $99.95 per year.

For more information, visit http://home.goldentee.com/2019sale for ideas on how to make someone's holiday memorable; orders placed by December 14 will be delivered in time for Christmas.

 

Hands-On Learners Thrive in Transportation Technology

The transportation industry in the United States continues to experience a workforce shortage, and may be the ideal path for hands-on learners whose talents and interests may be well suited for a successful and satisfying technician career.

The nonprofit TechForce Foundation has launched the "Be a Pathfinder" campaign to help students with natural talents for hands-on professions discover their strengths and learning styles, and explore a career they might not have considered: that of a transportation technician.

The "Be a Pathfinder" campaign features a free learning-styles quiz on the TechForce website that generates a report for students and parents with personalized career tips based on their unique learning styles. Students who take the quiz are entered to win a TechForce Foundation gift package that includes a $50 Shell gift card and other prizes.

"The learning style quiz and personalized resources not only help students and parents recognize the opportunities of a career as a transportation technician, but also help them understand how and why they're a fit for these careers," says TechForce Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Maher.

The campaign encourages students to be "pathfinders" by helping them discover and understand their unique strengths and use that knowledge to choose an educational and career path. TechForce Foundation's mission is to promote the potential of professional technician careers, and to encourage parents, teachers, and other influential figures in teens' lives to recognize and support technical careers that may be a good fit for those students.

Studies suggest that the U.S. will need 1.2 million new technicians within the next decade, which translates to about 120,000 new jobs per year for aspiring professionals with interest in and aptitude for automotive, diesel, motorcycle, and other transportation fields.

"Though there are many viable, high-paying job opportunities in STEM-related careers like those in the transportation technician field, students have been told a traditional four-year degree is the only path to success," Maher emphasizes.

"The truth is that we're all wired differently, and hands-on learners can thrive in these positions."

Students and parents can take the learning-styles quiz at TechForce.org/MyPath.

Additional stories, videos, and resources are available on TechForce Foundation's website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts.

Visit techforce.org for more information about TechForce's work and pathways to rewarding careers.

 

Create Your Own Virtual Video Memories

Humaneyes Technologies, an innovator in camera technology, has developed a consumer-friendly, dual camera that combines 360-degree photography with immersive 3D Virtual Reality (VR), all in one simple-to-use solution that costs about the same as a decent DSLR camera.

"360-degree pictures and video continue to change how we use cameras to capture the world around us," says media expert Jim Malcolm of Humaneyes Technologies, "and the global adoption of VR headsets, combined with 3D cameras is providing even more ways to create virtual content and virtual memories."

"We've done it with the best; from documenting Mako sharks with The Discovery Channel, to weightless experiences in the International Space Station, floating more than 250 miles above the horizon." Says Malcolm, "we're now excited to watch, firsthand, as consumers create their own immersive personal stories." The Vuze XR flips easily from a 360-degree camera to a VR180 camera and shoots both virtual video and photos.

Whether recording or live streaming, users can create and share virtual experiences at the moment, and then save them to revisit next week or next decade. Special features of the VUZE include built-in image stabilization, filters, and a VR editing suite. Plus, it doesn't get more portable.

"Everything can be viewed, controlled and edited, right from your phone, so that you can shoot, create and share virtual videos at a moment's notice," says Malcolm.

But not everything needs to be virtual; therefore, the VUZE also functions as a 5.7K and 4K up to 60fps 2D camera for capturing high-resolution videos and 18-megapixel pictures to fill out your photo album.

So think ahead to the holidays and the way the latest in VR technology can help make unforgettable memories and connect far-flung family and friends. The VUZE camera also features live streaming and social sharing features for platforms, including Facebook and YouTube, so that you can bring your social media audience into the scene with you.

For more information on the VUZE XR camera and how to create your own virtual experiences and memories, visit humaneyes.com.

 

5 Essentials for the “Perfect” Workstation

1. The Chair 

Finding the perfect task chair is an important first step when creating a healthy comfortable workspace. Jonathan Puleio, a certified ergonomist and Global VP of Consulting for Humanscale, is focused on the correlation between a person's comfort while working and their overall experience. He suggests that a comfortable ergonomic chair can lead to an increase in alertness as well as an increase in blood flow, benefitting a person's well-being. Puleio further suggests looking for a chair that automatically adjusts to the sitter, so they don't need to fumble with confusing knobs and levers to be comfortable as they change tasks and positions throughout the day. One chair Puleio recommends is Humanscale's Liberty chair which, like all Humanscale chairs, offers a self-adjusting weight-sensitive recline with a pivoting backrest that provides lumbar support for all sitting positions. 

2. The Desk 

Ergonomists now know that it's important for people to be able to move freely throughout the day in order to be healthy, comfortable and focused at work. A good sit/stand desk should be simple, intuitive and easy to use, so if a person needs to stand or sit while working, the process of raising or lowering the desk is seamless. Humanscale's Float table, for example, has an integrated counterbalance mechanism that accommodates varying weight loads, so raising or lowering the desk is as quick and easy as sitting or standing and doesn't interrupt the workflow. 

3. The Lighting 

With the rise of backlit screens and open floor plans, task lighting, as a supplement to natural or overhead lighting, is necessary for an optimal work experience. "To avoid ocular discomfort that can negatively impact one's performance as well as their overall health and well-being, it's important to find proper task lighting that casts a wide footprint, is glare-free and offers a single shadow, and that is smooth and easy to adjust as needs shift throughout the day," says Puleio. The adjustments a task light should be able to perform include both manual positioning and brightness levels.

Humanscale's Horizon 2.0 is one task light that meets these needs. It reduces eye strain and improves overall comfort by providing glare-free light that intuitively adjusts for a range of activities, from reading documents to writing emails, and everything in between. 

4. The Monitor Arm 

Though often overlooked, monitor arms promote a clutter-free workspace and support a healthier, more ergonomic working posture, making it a must-have for the ideal desk setup. Many professionals tend to lean in toward their computer monitor in order to see it better. Monitor arms enable them to pull the monitor closer so they can sit in a healthy posture, with their back against the back of the task chair, and still see the work on their screen. 

5. The Keyboard Tray 

A keyboard tray is another vital tool that helps achieve an ergonomic workspace. This tool brings the keyboard and mouse closer and encourages professionals to sit in a healthy, neutral posture without leaning forward. A well-designed keyboard tray offers protection from carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and back pain and other musculoskeletal issues. Other ergonomic tools, including Humanscale's NeatTech, NeatUp and NeatLink, help to keep the desktop clear of cables and clutter.

With each of these tools working in harmony to provide ergonomic support and comfort, anyone can have a "perfect" workstation.

 

Covid Pandemic Highlights Value of Transportation Techs

However, many people, including students contemplating future options and individuals contemplating career changes, are unaware of the opportunities and the potential for success in transportation technology and repair.

Often underestimated as "blue collar" or "grease monkey" jobs transportation technicians are in fact high-tech "new collar" jobs that depend on computer skills and fluency with the latest in digital engineering. Transportation technicians are in high demand and critical to maintaining and restoring America's economy during the pandemic and beyond. These skilled workers literally keep America rolling by ensuring that the trucks delivering food, medicine, and other supplies get to their destinations as efficiently as possible, and that emergency responders' vehicles transport them quickly and safely.

In addition, many people are choosing to repair and maintain older vehicles instead of buying new ones, which adds to the demand for skilled transportation technicians.

Recent surveys show an increased interest in transportation technology work, both among younger students and career changers whose jobs may have been lost or furloughed because of the pandemic. Surveys of high school students show that more than half are open to something other than a four-year degree, and 70 percent want to follow their own educational path.

"Despite record rates of unemployment, there continues to be strong demand for our graduates," says Jerome Grant, CEO of Universal Technical Institute. "Employers need skilled technicians to fill essential jobs and, as many in our nation look for new paths to prosperity, we're seeing growing interest in our programs and in technical careers."

Transportation technology appeals to hands-on learners with an interest in and enthusiasm for the state-of-the art engineering.

"A NASA space shuttle has approximately 400 thousand lines of code, but a modern car has approximately 100 million lines of code," according to Mike Pressendo, chief marketing and strategy officer of the TechForce Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports students through their education into successful careers as professional technicians. "These are skilled, well-paying, technical jobs."

The TechForce Foundation reaches out to both young students and career changers with a career guide, available at techforce.org/careerguide, and a "Because I'm a Tech" promotional campaign, in which technicians share their stories of successful and secure skilled technician careers.

For additional information about secure, successful careers in transportation technology, visit techforce.org.

Health and High-Tech Top Manufacturing Trends for 2021

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) supports North America's manufacturers of construction and agricultural equipment to promote success and growth in the global marketplace.

The organization has identified five top trends to follow in 2021 that can help businesses succeed and ultimately thrive:

- Safety first. Workplace safety and compliance with the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration remain a top priority in all areas of manufacturing in 2021 and beyond.

Although the ongoing distribution of vaccines is encouraging, the impact of vaccination will not be apparent in the short term, and organizations will need to continue with the workplace strategies of practicing social distancing, restricting visitors, encouraging good hygiene, and ensuring employees' health before allowing them on the job.

- Together remotely. Technology has allowed many industries to connect and collaborate from a distance in ways never before available.

"The desire to equip workers with technology to stay connected and collaborate from a distance has been a trend within our industry," says Dennis Slater, President of AEM. "As the rise of big data in manufacturing takes shape, creating and finding technologies to make an increasingly spread-out workforce as productive as possible is a top priority for companies, and especially our equipment manufacturing members."

Manufacturers who continue to provide training and resources to help employees maximize productivity remotely will retain a competitive advantage.

As a recent McKinsey & Company article states, "by digitizing processes to improve equipment management and optimize physical assets, digital collaboration tools give manufacturers ways to boost productivity while enhancing quality," according to AEM.

- Expanded Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT is an ongoing trend to watch in manufacturing, More organizations recognize and incorporate smart devices and embedded intelligence in multiple areas of the production process as a way to maintain efficiency and productivity with greater remote monitoring.

- Shop local. Manufacturers who are willing and able to embrace a localized economy can benefit from smaller, more flexible factories located near current and prospective customers. Not only can certain costs be saved, and potential disruptions to supply chains reduced, but many consumers report that they value authenticity and local sourcing.

- Maintenance made easier. Technology also allows manufacturers to have more detailed information about their equipment, which helps them more accurately predict potential equipment failure and plan accordingly to prevent downtime.

Visit AEM.org for more details about events, resources, and membership.

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