Trends With Benefits

On this episode we discuss some of Digital Trends Best Products of 2015 and a CES 2016 preview/behind the scenes look.

There were many exciting new products that came out in 2015 and deciding which ones were the best is a tough task. However, Digital Trends Best Products of the Year winners are out and there are some truly incredible devices.

In Cool Tech, Drew Prindle walks us through his department's selection, which is DJI's Matrice 100. It's more than just a regular quadcopter drone. Although it has a bit an odd name, the Matrice 100 is basically a "blank canvas" that can be customized to whatever the user would like.

The Home Theater competition is always fiercely contested. If you've heard Caleb on this podcast before though, the winner probably comes as no surprise. LG's flat 4K Ultra HD OLED TV encompasses everything a television should be.

For Home tech, the Internet of Things took a great leap forward this past year. Jenny selected the Amazon Echo as Best of 2015. It started off as a Bluetooth speaker, with a voice-control assistant named Alexa. Amazon then added in more and more capabilities, turning into a device ready to help you do everything from dim the lights, to teaching you how to hard boil an egg.

Switching to CES 2016, we then get a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to be at one of the largest trade shows in the world. Between the thousands of booths and industry parties (er...networking), sleeping goes to the bottom of the priority list.

Pete lets us know about the excitement he sees at Digital Trends from a marketing standpoint. The growth of the site has been incredible, as well as the reception from companies and other media outlets.

With so many companies and products vying for attention, they will go to great lengths to get journalists to visit their booths. Samsung's C-Lab has a Smart Belt, there is a Drone Rodeo and even a VR Porn demonstration. Plus, Drew and Jenny have a great plan to visit every booth that has free drinks. This will have to be broadcast on Periscope!

All of the in depth coverage of CES 2016 will be at and there is a great preview from DT's Jeremy Kaplan up now!


Today's episode features Jenny McGrath, Pete Jacobs, Drew Prindle, Caleb Denison and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit and send in YOUR questions to We also broadcast the show live on Periscope.

Direct download: dtpodcast063.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm PST

On this episode we discuss exciting VR Developments, Google/Ford Autonomous Cars and Star Wars success (no spoilers).

In the opening weekend alone, it is estimated that Star Wars generated over $529 million in revenue, breaking the previous record by Jurassic World. With their $350 million advertising budget, it is everywhere and it seems like Disney is definitely getting their money's worth.

Google has been breaking, or "leaking", a lot of news, lately. This is could be a smart move to get ahead of the CES news cycle. Sources are saying that Ford and Google may partner up for a new line of self-driving cars. 

Self-driving cars are definitely coming to market at some point. The real questions revolve around whether it will be something you would buy and how the regulations work. While we're in the very early stages of this new tech, we discuss what the end result could actually look like for the consumer.

Google has already made it clear that they would like to take on Uber and Lyft, most likely with an autonomous taxi service. Could we soon have robot taxi drivers, ala Total Recall?

Virtual Reality is most certainly going to be one of the biggest, if not THE biggest story at CES this year. There are a lot of companies, other than Oculus, jumping into the market. Could it become over saturated, or watered down? We discuss this and go in depth regarding what VR content is available now and what the future of it might look like.

MIT has announced that you may soon be able to have your own superhero powers! Well...not exactly, but they have created a way to use wireless signals to see through walls. X-Ray vision is something claim to bringing to the consumer market in 2017. No way that this tech could be abused, is there?

Today's episode features Matt Smith, Dan Gaul, Caleb Denison and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit and send in YOUR questions to We also broadcast the show live on Periscope.

Direct download: dtpodcast062.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:22pm PST

On this episode we discuss Star Wars (no spoilers!), new developments in AR/VR and NASA's great leaps forward.

This episode is 100% Star Wars spoiler free! It doesn't mean we aren't excited about it, though.

Microsoft has announced that if you are in New York at the HoloLens Experience Showcase for Developers, you can now get your hands on the augmented reality device. Jeremy Kaplan was at Microsoft's flagship store to test them out. The verdict? It is amazing!

Brad then proceeds to fill us in on some of the exciting developments in the world of Virtual Reality. He sat down with David Bowman, Director of Production at Crytek, and tried out their new game, The Climb. Gaming development is going to be key to the success of Oculus (and all VR) and the potential is great. He explains what it's like testing out this new game.

Having enough space to fully utilize VR is definitely going to be an issue. Not a lot of people have an entire room that they can dedicate to it. Andy Boxall recently tested out Nvidia's Everest with an HTC Vive, which showcases a great example of trying to overcome this problem. (Check out the article here).

A company called Virtuix is attempting to remedy the space requirements for VR, with their Omni VR Treadmill. It involves a trampoline-like setup that utilizes special shoes. It looks a little silly, but it allows users to have complete movement in a virtual world.

Moving on from VR, NASA has had an exciting year. They have received a $1.3 billion increase for their 2016 budget! This is huge and shows that their recent success is being noticed. Is it just the thrilling new photos of planets, or is it also because of the push for the commercialization of space?

NASA also announced that they are opening up public applications to become an Astronaut. There will be a need for hundreds of new employees, as they increase their plans for space exploration. Would you be willing to travel for years in space? Some of us would.

Today's episode features Brad Bourque, Ryan Waniata, Rick Stella and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit and send in YOUR questions to We also broadcast the show live on Periscope.

Direct download: dtpodcast061.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30pm PST

On this episode we discuss Chat Rooms, Apple Live TV, Netflix content, Go Pro Karma, Drone Nets, Apple Watch and Text Grammar.

Apple announced it is suspending plans to develop live internet TV service indefinitely. Giving up seems like a very un-Apple thing to do. We discuss the state of streaming television and while some are failing, others are thriving. (Netflix is killing it!)

Go Pro has finally announced that their new drone will be released sometime next year. It's going to be a quadcopter, called "Karma". There isn't a lot of information on it yet, but it's bound to be a huge seller.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, meanwhile, has announced their plan to fight unwanted and suspicious-looking UAVs. They are setting up a special anti-drone unit that will use...bigger drones with nets. There needs to be a new Netflix series based on this premise.

A listener on Periscope also asked us about the new Apple Watch. Jeff goes over some of the rumors and what he would like to see improved, in the new version.

Finally, we cover the ever changing rules of communication. There is a study released that stated leaving a period, leads people to believe the texter is being passive-aggressive. Multiple can also be misinterpreted......

Today's episode features Caleb Denison, Drew Prindle, Jeffrey Van Camp and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit and send in YOUR questions to We also broadcast the show live on Periscope.

Direct download: dtpodcast060.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am PST

On this episode we discuss our Favorite Chips, Live Facebook Video, YouTube Red, HoloLens In Space and the Hyperchair.

Who knew we were all so passionate about potato chips? To the start the show off, Caleb enlightens us about a secret way to eat chips that he has discovered. Periscope viewers were not necessarily impressed....

Moving on to actual tech topics, we cover the breaking news that Facebook has launched the ability to broadcast live video. This could be a very successful venture and we discuss the ramifications of how this will effect your actual feed.

YouTube Red may be fairly new, but they are already looking at expanding beyond just music. Google has a lot of extra cash floating around and is currently exploring licensing movies and TV shows for the app. With Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime and a myriad of others all having successful streaming services, it may be possible the market is getting a little crowded.

Microsoft's HoloLens has been in tech news for quite some time. However, it does seem like there is a lack of consumer education regarding Augmented Reality vs Virtual Reality. Also, as of today, there are sets of them on their way to the astronauts at the ISS. Astronauts get all the cool toys!

Last week we learned that Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, successfully landed a rocket after being in orbit. Elon Musk, now claims that Space-X will do the same thing next week. While the technological achievement is amazing, the competition between these two is almost equally interesting.

Finally, anyone who has ever worked in an office, knows what a battle it can be to find the right temperature. There will always be someone too hot, or too cold. A company called Personal Comfort Systems is working on a solution, called the Hyperchair.

Today's episode features Caleb Denison, Jenny McGrath, Rick Stella and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit and send in YOUR questions to We also broadcast the show live on Periscope.

Direct download: dtpodcast059.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:30pm PST

On this episode we discuss Black Friday deals, drone regulations, Star Wars/Google and Amazon lands a rocket.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are almost here and Digital Trends has covered all the great deals. We get into a few of them and ask the all important question: Are you willing to go out and shop in the madness?

The price on drones has come down and looks to be one of the biggest "toys" for sale this year.  That's right. Kids are going to be drone owners. What does this mean for the rest of humanity? Also, why do kids seem to have the greatest toys now?

 The FAA special task force has just announced new set of recommendations on how to create a drone registry. In addition to assigning an actual drone number, they may require an educational segment to the registration.

Star Wars has teamed up with Google for a massive crossover. Once again, Star Wars has found a way to invade every aspect of our lives. Pete goes into more detail on how the deal actually works and who is likely paying who, in this massive marketing outreach.

Finally, there was a surprise development on the front of landing a reusable rocket. The surprise was that Elon Musk, Paul Allen and Richard Branson were not involved. Instead, it was a fellow Billionaire, in Jeff Bezos of Amazon. Blue Origin successfully landed the rocket and then Bezos sent out his first ever tweet to announce it.

Today's episode features Marie Pardo-Garber, Pete Jacobs, Nick Mokey, Ryan Waniata and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit and send in YOUR questions to We also broadcast the show live on Periscope.

Direct download: dtpodcast058.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:10am PST

Today we cover 55k Seinhauser Headphones, Vudu 4k Streaming TV, Bio-Printed Organs, Brain Implants & Sous-Vide Turkey.

After discussing the virtues of Sous-Vide Turkey, Ryan let's us know about his trip to LA. He was there to check out the new $55,000 Morpheus headphones from Sennheiser. No, we probably won't know anyone that will actually own them. However, the technology involved could eventually make it's way into something a little more affordable.

The online world of streaming television is constantly evolving and VUDU is the latest to make a splash. They will be offering 4K UHD titles in Dolby Atmos surround with Dolby Vision HDR. 

NBC also makes a move for streaming with Seeso. Seeso will stream classic NBC comedies like The Office, as well as standup specials and sketch comedy series such as Kids In The Hall.

Bio-printing technology may have taken a leap forward, with a Russian firm called 3D Bioprinting Solutions. They claim to have created a thyroid gland for a mouse that actually worked. This, of course,leads to a discussion of the possible "printing" capabilities that could be on the horizon.

Neurologist Phil Kennedy is known as the "father of the cyborg". He took that to heart, by traveling to Belize and having an electrode implanted into his brain! Caleb let's us know that you can apparently get away with a lot in Belize.

Finally, Star Wars, Star Wars, Star Wars! You can't avoid the commercials, video games, product placements, etc. Even for the hardcore fan though, is it getting to be a bit much?

Today's episode features Drew Prindle, Ryan Waniata, Caleb Denison and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit and send in YOUR questions to We also broadcast the show live on Periscope.

Direct download: dtpodcast057.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

Today we cover a variety of topics, including T-Mobile's Binge On, YouTube Music, internet privacy and wireless Bluetooth earbuds.

What is like to attend a T-Mobile Press Conference? We find out today from Nick Mokey, as he was at the Binge On announcement earlier this week. Binge On will allow you to stream a number of content providers without it effecting your data cap. It appears to be a bonus for consumers, but it has some Net Neutrality advocates very concerned about the move.

Comcast seems to be going in the opposite direction with the slow roll out of data caps on "unlimited" accounts, starting in Tennessee. They are positioning it as a way to protect customers, yet it potentially could cost existing customers an additional $35 per month. If you take a look at your current Comcast bill, it may already be on there and just not enacted...yet.

YouTube came out with their new YouTube Music app this week, as well. It seems like a good idea, but also something that should have existed years ago. How will they compete in the saturated streaming music market?

Windows 10 seems is frequently mentioned as an operating system that is constantly "spying" on you. The problem with that theory is that it's simply not true. As Brad stated in his article at, Microsoft is really not as sinister with data collection as they have been accused. There are other companies that are far more blatantly collecting information about your online habits.

Finally, a company has actually managed to bring wireless Bluetooth earbuds to market! Earin started off on Kickstarter and is now (possibly briefly) available at Best Buy. Caleb has a pair on hand and gives us a preview of his upcoming full review.


Today's episode features Brad Bourque, Nick Mokey, Caleb Denison and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit and send in YOUR questions to We also broadcast the show live on Periscope.

Direct download: dtpodcast056.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30pm PST

Today we cover a variety of topics, ranging from home internet control, Reddit, bio-clothing, robots, to the "impossible" EmDrive.

Parents now have a new tool to control home internet usage with Circle with Disney. It's a little white box that works with your existing router and allows you to see everything that is happening on your home internet connection and control (or deny) usage for any device. They seem to have thought of everything and this could be a hugely successful device in the making.

Jumping to a typically "un-PC" website, Reddit has decided to get into the original content game. They are releasing a six-part documentary series on future tech, called Cyber Nation. There is a lot of debate about how good this will actually be and whether anyone outside of regular users will watch it.

How would you like your clothing covered with moisture-reactive "ancient" bacteria? MIT Media Lab's Tangible Media Group has pioneered some BioLogic research into just that. It's designed to be active wear and is another example of the fashion industry adopting tech.

Two former founders of Skype have started up a company called Starship Technologies that has nothing to do with Starships. What they do have is a plan to change household deliveries with a fleet of robots. They essentially look like coolers on wheels and they're launching next year.

Finally, in the biggest story of the week, we discuss the incredible and seemingly impossible EmDrive. It violates the laws of physics, yet it could provide limitless, propellant-less energy!

Today's episode features Caleb Denison, Rick Stella, Drew Prindle and Greg Nibler.

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit and send in YOUR questions to We also broadcast the show live on Periscope.

Direct download: dtpodcast055.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:15pm PST

Today's episode features Nick Mokey, Ryan Waniata, Bill Roberson, Caleb Denison & Greg Nibler.

In this episode we delve into the philosophy of emerging tech. We've got some fantastic new contributors to Digital Trends and we start off with a question proposed by one.

David Weinberger is a senior researcher at the Barkman Center and his newest article is entitled "Should your self-driving car kill you to save a school bus full of kids?". That's a rather dramatic question, but it's honestly representative of the decisions that will have to be made in the programming of autonomous vehicles.

We follow that up with discussion of another article from a new contributor, Douglas Rushkoff. Douglas is Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at CUNY/Queens. The article is great and questions how the digital era has changed not only our viewing habits, but storytelling as a whole.



Finally, we bring up the advent of 3D Printing. Could it bring about a new age in the world of fashion and home design? Round table results were mixed, but please let us know what you think!

Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits, visit and send in YOUR questions to We also broadcast the show live on Periscope.

Direct download: dtpodcast054.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:30pm PST