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Virtual Piñatas, Breathalyzers and Drones: Broadcom Opens CES 2015 with a Digital Experience | Cypress Semiconductor

Virtual Piñatas, Breathalyzers and Drones: Broadcom Opens CES 2015 with a Digital Experience

LAS VEGAS — The folks back home, the ones who aren’t here for the tech-fest known as the International Consumer Electronics Show, are always eager to learn about the next big thing. And they rely on their Twitter feeds and favorite news outlets to give them the inside scoop.

That’s why a show like Pepcom’s Digital Experience, held the night before the official opening of CES,  has become such a must-attend event – not only for the members of the press who will share breaking news with their audiences, but also for the companies who want to make sure that their products rise above all the noise.

Broadcom is no exception. Situated in the center of Grand Ballroom of the Mirage Hotel, Broadcom spent the evening not only talking about the power of its connectivity technologies but also opened its booth to some key partners so they could talk up their products to the steady flow of journalists..

A Nod to Nod Labs’ Ring

Consider Nod, a gesture-controlled ring that allows users to use hand motions and Bluetooth Low Energy for manipulating on-screen controls.


On display at CES: Look inside the Nod Ring, a WICED-enabled IoT device that uses Bluetooth and gestures to control other devices. The stainless-steel ring is packed with motion sensors, a Bluetooth 4.0 antenna, and a pair of processors.

Nod showed a virtual reality application with the Oculus Rift headset that allowed users to use the ring to break a virtual on-screen piñata.

It’s a fun way to show how the technology works, explained Nod Labs CEO Anush Elangovan, but the Nod’s Bluetooth chops can also take on more practical  tasks, such as measuring a person’s physical therapy or strength training.

“We not only track motion,” Elangovan said, “We can track human bones.”

High-Tech Air Guitar

And then there’s the Jamstik, a sleek guitar-like device that doesn’t emit sound but instead uses Broadcom’s Bluetooth Low Energy technology to deliver an instantaneous signal from the Jamstik’s “strings” to an iOS mobile device to create music.

The connectivity technology itself is critical, said Chris Heille, music product specialist for Zivix, maker of the Jamstik. At the show, Heille offered a demo that showed how finger pressure on one of the Jamstik’s strings activates sensors that send signals to a mobile device — in a matter of milliseconds.

“Our app sees how fast your fingers are going,” he said. “That’s how fast the technology is.”


Jamstik and tablet: Taps Broadcom’s Bluetooth Low Energy technology to send signals from the musician’s fingertips to a mobile device.

And while those were only a couple of the products on demonstration at Broadcom’s booth, a number of partners, including Parrot and its high-flying drone that hovered over the crowd, showcased products that were powered by Broadcom technologies.

Toys and games aside, attendees also got to see connected devices that had practical uses. One such app was the Breathometer Breathalyzer, which instantly sends a reading to a smartphone, via an app, to not only record a person’s blood alcohol content but also lets the user know how long it will take for their levels to drop back to zero.

The International Consumer Electronics Show runs through Friday in Las Vegas.

Get the latest CES news from Broadcom by following the conversation on Twitter at #connectingeverything, liking us on Facebook and following the blog.

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