Shepherd smart deadbolt, Wi-Charge wireless charging & Meet Alexa Hackathon Champ Austin Wilson

The Shepherd smart deadbolt lock by PassiveBolt at CES Unveiled. (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

LAS VEGAS — For the second year in a row, I had the opportunity to attend CES Unveiled at the Mandalay Bay. Boy, was I blown away by all of the new products and inventions that I saw.

First, I met University of Michigan alum Kabir Maiga who founded his own company called PassiveBolt. He showed off his Shepherd smart deadbolt lock. It can be opened or locked with the touch of a finger or with a smartphone.

“This is the latest in keyless technology,” said Kabir Maiga, CEO of PassiveBolt. “It allows you to keep your existing door lock and you install Shepherd inside your home with two screws and less than five minutes. Next time you come home, all you need is a virtual key that can live inside your smartphone or smartwatch. All you have to do is touch it and it will lock or unlock for you.”

Ever leave the house and wonder if you locked the door? Shepherd will give consumers peace of mind that their door is actually locked when they are gone. It will ease their anxiety.

For more information about Shepherd, visit

Wi-Charge showed off its long-range wireless power devices at CES Unveiled. (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

With so many of us having electronics and gadgets, they all have batteries that need to be recharged. For most of us, that means plugging in a charging cable that only last a few months before it breaks.

Secondly, that’s where Wi-Charge wireless charging comes in. The company has introduced a device that can be mounted on a ceiling or in a lightbulb socket that will charge your devices up to 30 feet away. The technology is being called long-range wireless power.

“The need to deliver power without wires is obvious to a lot of people,” said Yuval Boger, chief marketing officer at Wi-Charge. “People hate replacing or recharging batteries and they even hate more running wires to their favorite devices. We have a small energy source that sends a thin beam of infrared light to a receiver that is essentially like a solar cell. It converts it back into electricity and can be used to power or charge devices.”

Wi-Charge would be great for office buildings where there are lots of people working. It would also work inside your home. But the company isn’t selling directly to consumers. Wi-Charge is partnering with other companies that will bring their products to the market.

For more information about Wi-Charge, visit

Meet Case Western Research University student Austin Wilson (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

Finally, I met Alexa Hackathon Champion Austin Wilson. He is a Case Western Research University student who founded his own company called Tauon LLC.

In 2016, Wilson began developing Alexa skills, which are voice apps that people can create to ask Alexa to complete different tasks.

One of his first skills was a Raspberry Pi K’NEX race car that he could control using his Amazon Alexa device. He was able to ask Alexa to move the car forward, backward, and do different motions.

“The second Alexa Hackathon that I completed was connecting Alexa to video games and being able to play your video game with your voice,” Wilson said. “The key thing that was interesting was that I was able to pull information from the game. Not just turn the ship left, turn the ship right but what’s my current speed? How many credits do I have? I developed an SDK to integrate with Unity-based games to communicate with Alexa.”

The CWRU student is currently working on a project that will develop the SDK for Unity and porting it to Unreal and to Amazon Lumber Yard.

CES has wrapped up its week-long run in Las Vegas. But it returns Jan. 6 – 9, 2021!

Video by Jason Rzucidlo /

Stay with for complete coverage of CES 2020…

Suunto PR Manager Emily Banks shows off a Suunto 7 smartwatch (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

A display case filled with CES Innovation Award winning products. (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

Kristy Burns from Willow with the Gen3 breast pumps (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

The Wello Family, seen at CES Unveiled on Sunday, will be easy to park in a city, but you won’t be able to fit too many passengers in it. (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

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