The Family CTO Podcast
Playing in the Sun & Taming Fire with Outdoor Tech

Playing in the Sun & Taming Fire with Outdoor Tech

April 7, 2021
Power and control. Light and heat. Sun and fire. This episode features clever technology you can use to harness the world's two most epic energy sources, creating brilliant outdoor escapades whether you're backpacking off-the-grid, camping with friends or kicking back in your own backyard.
Guest 1 - Dig It Apparel
Guest 2 - BioLite
Direct link to this episode, for easy sharing with friends and family:
Microphone used to record it:
Timely tech announcements, reviews and events:
Products mentioned, with time stamps and direct links:
(6:36) UV detection stickers
(15:06) compact, electricity generating wood camp stove
(20:20) efficient portable wood and charcoal burning firepit
(26:43) portable solar light
(27:54) personal, clippable lantern
(28:26) string lights
(28:51) compact, overhead string lighting
(28:58) packable fabric lantern
(29:54) fast USB-C Power Delivery powerbank
(30:13) lightweight, rechargeable headlamps
(36:21) solar panel with sundial and on-board battery
(40:26) video showing BioLite's global mission
Cocktail Hour Gadgets - Live Episode Playback

Cocktail Hour Gadgets - Live Episode Playback

March 26, 2021
Recorded March 19th, this special episode delves into how technology can help create, serve and improve the beer, wine, cocktail and blended drinks we enjoy responsibly. Co-hosts Scott (Founder, The Family CTO) and Chris (Editor-in-Chief, TheSpoon) discuss everything from robots to countertop appliances to jaw-dropping automated wine vaults. If you're a fan of innovative technology and enjoy being social and relaxing with a good drink, you'll want to hear this show!
Chris's articles:
TheSpoon's upcoming ArticulATE Food Robotics Summit:
Links to other products (with when in the show they were mentioned):
(2:45) countertop smart oven
(3:50) drone food delivery service
(5:44) robot bar in Las Vegas
(5:47) maker of that robot bartender
(6:03) Icelandic bionic food and drinks bar
(6:20) mixed drink vending machine
(8:22) pod-based home cocktail making appliance
(9:13) Keurig's version of the cocktail appliance
(11:07) conveyor belt automatic cocktail machine
(12:09) teabag-based cocktails
(12:28) DIY cocktail machine/app
(17:19) defunct beer appliance
(19:19) automated countertop craft brewer
(21:57) home beer dispenser
(23:50) LG's HomeBrew machine
(24:42) wine preservation system
(26:38) automatic wine keeper and server
(27:50) connected wine aerator
(28:25) robotic wine collection kiosk
(29:33) Vegas restaurant with 4-story wine tower
(30:38) comprehensive platform for wine discovery, education and purchase
(43:40) quiet, futuristic, portable blender
(46:51) wine, beer and liquor delivery service
Not Just Invisible: The Virtual Dog Fence, with guest Halo Collar

Not Just Invisible: The Virtual Dog Fence, with guest Halo Collar

March 14, 2021
About 50 years after the first invisible fence was invented to help keep dogs safe without having to construct actual physical fences, one company's changing the way you let your dog know where it's safe to go. According to them, this high-tech collar will give you much more functionality, flexibility and peace of mind than its 20th century counterpart. You'll want to listen in to hear:
  • the tragedy that inspired two innovative brothers
  • how they got a world famous dog trainer involved as a founding partner
  • how this collar will help you "speak dog"
  • why it will keep your dog safe no matter what the terrain, wherever you go
  • "ruffly" 20 other gadgets to help you feed, train, clean and communicate with your favorite furry friend
Our guest:
Invitation to our March 19th live Cocktail Hour Gadgets event:
Articles by the fabulous Chris Albrecht, our co-host for that event:
Direct link to this episode, for sharing with friends and family:
How to catch timely announcements, reviews and events:
Other products mentioned, with time stamps and direct links:
Note: Pasting the following URLs goes to the main page, but actually clicking them takes you right to the respective product page.
(26:59) automatic feeders
(27:37) cook them yourself dog treats
(28:03) hydrating leash attachment
(28:45) Wi-Fi temperature and humidity monitor
(29:19) cellular temperature and humidity monitor
(29:54) FitBark 2 activity tracker
(30:21) Animo activity tracker
(30:48) Separation Anxiety treatment system
(31:53) wirelessly connected play-for-treats system
(32:30) Wicked Ball toy
(32:49) Wicked Bone toy
(32:57) Sphero, robotic/educational toy pioneers
(33:15) remote-controlled flag chasing game
(33:45) microchip-detecting automatic pet door
(34:46) smart, secure sliding glass door
(35:48) customized smart door for pets
(36:48) grooming brush
(37:10) portable, all-in-one deep cleaning system
(37:59) visual aide for pet pics
(38:32) action camera mounting harness
(38:56) video calling button for your dog
Gadget Gift Guide - Audio/Visual with guest Adam Weissman (Anker)

Gadget Gift Guide - Audio/Visual with guest Adam Weissman (Anker)

March 3, 2021
Veteran audio and video consumer electronics product rep Adam Weissman joins us to discuss what you should look for in earphones, headphones, speakers and projectors. And we continue the audio/visual theme, offering over a dozen extra suggestions of cool yet affordable gadgets to get for fans of music, movies, photography and videography.
The Family CTO
Invitation to our March 19th live Cocktail Hour Gadgets event:
Direct link to this episode:
How to catch timely announcements, reviews and events:
Audio products:
100 speakers wirelessly connected:
Other products mentioned, with time stamps and direct links:
(25:11) Nike x Kevin Durant collaboration headphones
(25:47) open-ear bone-conduction headphones
(26:48) collapsible portable speakers
(27:42) outdoor projection screen
(28:46) super-affordable mini soundbar
(29:25) high-resolution digital audio player
(30:36) high-res audio streaming service
(31:02) tiny portable amp series
(31:39) holographic portable amp
(32:49) smartphone camera accessory kit
(33:36) full color mobile lighting accessory
(34:14) tiny wearable action camera
(34:57) electronic gimbals for stable video
(35:28) camera grip and wireless audio rig
(36:04) virtual drumkit
Gadget Gift Guide - Home Office, Automation & Security with guest John Wu (Gryphon)

Gadget Gift Guide - Home Office, Automation & Security with guest John Wu (Gryphon)

February 17, 2021
In fitting with the gadgets we've rounded up for this fun yet practical gift guide, John Wu (CEO of Gryphon Online Safety) joins us to talk about:
  • The worst place many people choose to put their Wi-Fi router
  • How Renaissance statues like David inspired their router's design
  • Why you shouldn't fiddle with your router's antennae
  • The great tech equalizer between parents and kids
  • How a home router can protect your Internet even when you're traveling
More info about Gryphon's Tower and Guardian routers, plus their new Homebound app to make Wi-Fi safe while traveling:
The Family CTO will be hosting a fantastic live Cocktail Hour Gadgets event on March 19th. So mark your calendars now!
Follow our new Twitter channel for important updates:
Other products mentioned in the show, with time stamps and direct links:
(24:55) iPad Desk Stand
(25:16) Laptop Tower Stand
(25:43) HiRise Pro display stand
(27:15) custom wooden charging station
(27:41) wireless marble charging pads
(28:10) desklamp/charging stand
(28:42) 12-in-1 power/media dock
(29:14) driver-less docking station
(30:01) colorful, connected, lighting panels
(30:29) colorful clusters of connected lights
(30:52) smart buttons
(32:01) 360-degree security camera
Gadget Gift Guide - Food and Health Tech with Guest Markos Kern (Fun With Balls)

Gadget Gift Guide - Food and Health Tech with Guest Markos Kern (Fun With Balls)

January 30, 2021
Author, speaker and entrepreneur Markos Kern (Founder and CEO of Fun With Balls GmbH) joins us to talk about:
  • The mission and journey of his company's Limbic Active gaming system
  • How your brain is programmed to get hooked on this sort of play
  • Why major sports are in danger of dying out if they don't evolve
  • How this system can help boost real-world cognitive and physical skills
  • How to get free games for life
And after that interview, you can hear about more than a dozen highly giftable health-minded gadgets. So it's a great episode if you're into sports, health, fitness, and/or video games.

Limbic Active system's recent crowdfunding campaign: 
(The video for it looks fun, right?)
Our new Twitter feed (for podcast episode and other gadget updates):

All the products mentioned, along with time stamps and direct links to more info:
(22:19) Wilson connected basketball
and connected football
(22:52) Stealth
(23:19) BoBo
(23:45) Crossrope
(24:47) Theragun
(25:09) Hypervolt
(25:40) Baby Shark brush
(26:23) Wavee
(26:46) LectroFan Micro2
(27:20) Mind Travel Sleep
(27:50) Healium
(28:32) HoMedics SoundSpa Sunrise
(29:05) Ember
(29:43) HyperChiller
(30:12) Hidrate Spark
(31:00) BlendJet2
Holiday Gadget Gift Guide - Outdoor and Travel Tech with Guest Scott Jordan

Holiday Gadget Gift Guide - Outdoor and Travel Tech with Guest Scott Jordan

December 23, 2020
With outdoor and travel in mind, we welcome guest Scott Jordan, the charistmatic CEO and Co-Founder of highly successful travel-tech lifestyle clothing company SCOTTeVEST. In a candid interview, he reveals the:
  • Core SCOTTeVEST feature he may get rid of
  • Huge compliment Guy Kawasaki paid him
  • Biggest misconceptions about the pockets
  • Mistake (in hindsight) that made him infamous
  • New TV show that'll feature a lead character wearing SCOTTeVEST
As a courtesy, time stamps are listed for when particular products from the gift guide were mentioned in the show, along with direct links to where you can get more information about them:
(22:30) Qalo silicone rings
(23:08) Trova personal smart safe
(23:39) Ekster Parliament recycled wallet
with trackability
(24:16) Pitaka Mag EZ Wallet UE
(24:53) Luno Air Mattress 2.0
(25:25) Biolite portable firepit
and lighting solutions
(26:14) Meater+ wireless thermometer
(26:40) GoSun Brew
(27:00) SPOT Gen4 satellite messenger
(27:26) GL iNet Beryl travel router
(27:48) Eggtronic Power Bar
(28:35) Goldenerre smartwatch bands
(28:53) Mujjo insulated touchscreen gloves
(29:26) ACBC zip apart travel shoes
(30:12) Link Flip-shoe
(30:40) Loop earplugs
(31:17) Nanobag 4.0
Holiday Gadget Gift Guide - Grandparents, Kids & Pets

Holiday Gadget Gift Guide - Grandparents, Kids & Pets

December 11, 2020

Whether you're just curious to discover cool tech items or actually shopping for that special grandparent, kid or pet in your life, you'll want to listen to this targeted gift guide episode--especially if you have a tween or teen on your list. Because they likely have a cellphone on their list, you'll want to hear the story of how real-life mom and Gabb Wireless brand ambassador Anne Marie McDonald gave her son a phone that actually unzombified him. In addition, we discuss 20 or so super-fun gadgets they'll definitely go crazy for (in a good way):

WowWee PowerTreads
Educational Insights Circuit Explorer
SpinMaster Mealtime Magic Mia or Maya
Robosen T9 robot
Dirty Little Secrets: UV-C, Sanitizing Tech and Covid-19

Dirty Little Secrets: UV-C, Sanitizing Tech and Covid-19

December 2, 2020

This holiday season will likely test our resolve more than most. But perhaps tech can play a role in offering us at least some peace of mind. In this episode of The Family CTO, serial entrepreneur Christopher Allen (CEO of iCleanse) and Dr. Jim Malley (professor from University of New Hampshire's Environmental Research Group) each offer their perspective about the roles, benefits and limitations of UV-C technology, as they help us to answer the questions:
What is UV-C (ultraviolet light) capable of?
How safe and reliable are UV-C sanitizing devices?
Can they actually kill the Covid-19 virus?
What's the difference between the devices being used by businesses and consumers?
And how can we avoid a false sense of security in them?

Companies and products discussed in this timely episode:
University of New Hampshire
HoMedics Sanitizer Bag
Mophie UV Sanitizer with Wireless Charging
Otterbox antimicrobial phone cases and screen protectors
Whoosh screen cleaner

Let There Be Light and Other WFH Essentials with guest Trevor Farrow from Lume Cube

Let There Be Light and Other WFH Essentials with guest Trevor Farrow from Lume Cube

November 19, 2020
Although being well lit meant something very different back in college, nowadays it speaks to our ongoing need to actually be seen while attending video conference calls. And to our ability to create compelling, stylized, artistic photos and videos. With both of those in mind, we explore the science of lighting as we chat with a revolutionary company called Lume Cube that's been producing highly portable lighting solutions for several years. This is a great episode to hear if you want to:
  • Understand the terms and common misconceptions behind lighting
  • Improve your image on video conference calls
  • Take your photography to the next level
  • Differentiate the pros and cons of ring lights, box lights and those fancy umbrellas
  • Figure out which lights best suit your particular use case(s)

In addition, we discuss a whole slew of new and cool gadgets to help you find balance, stay productive and keep your sanity as you get work done at home:

Logitech C920s webcam
(By the way, Logitech's site offers a cool configurator tool that asks you questions about you and your setup to help determine which desktop accessories fit best for you.)

Uncaged Ergonomics WorkEZ Executive

Humanscale Quickstand sit/stand converter

Accell's power accessories

HP S430c ultrawide monitor

Vissles and SideTrak portable monitors

Pixel Eyewear clear lens blue light blockers

Anker and Beyerdynamic portable conference speakers

Jabra Evolve2 65 headset

GuruNanda Tower XL 2.0 Essential Oil Diffuser

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