Coravin pours wine without removing the cork

Have you ever been able to open a bottle of wine and pour a glass without removing the cork? Coravin has managed to pull it off with style, and help pair any vino for any situation.

CES is always a potpourri of compelling technology and wacky gadgets, but Coravin’s unit is less a bottle opener, and more a bottle sealer. Wine connoisseurs are known for being picky about aeration. Not finishing a bottle relatively quickly all but spells doom for the stuff inside.

What Coravin has managed to do is penetrate the cork straight through, and pour out the wine into a glass. The cork stays put the entire time, and when finished, it maintains its seal. Remove the Coravin unit, flip the bottle over, and nothing comes out.

Now, the company is launching the Model Eleven, “the world’s first connected and fully automatic wine preservation opener.” Using Bluetooth and a smartphone app, users can preserve their wine and figure out what to pair with almost any scenario.

The sight of half-empty wine bottles with corks intact inside at Coravin’s booth was almost surreal. It was like someone had pulled a magic trick, or a prank by squeezing the cork back inside. Except there was no obvious hole that a typical wine opener would make. In fact, a hole of any kind was barely visible.

Coravin founder Greg Lambrecht’s background in medical devices and nuclear physics helped make this possible. Essentially, the device uses a needle to poke a hole through the cork, injecting pressurized argon gas inside to siphon the wine out through the needle. The gas is totally non-toxic and has no effect on the taste of the wine. I never noticed anything unusual when tasting different wines poured for me at the booth.

Since the wine inside the bottle is never really oxidized, and the cork seals itself afterward, nothing spoils. That means you can enjoy a glass of something without committing to the whole bottle. Coravin says a bottle could last weeks, months or years using its preservers.

The contraption does necessitate stocking parts though. You would need to replace the needle after a while, and the argon canisters are a must for using any of Coravin’s devices.

The Model Eleven adds Bluetooth to sync with Coravin’s Moments app to keep tabs on how much gas each canister has left, and when the needle might need a replacement.

It also suggests wines that might fit a certain meal, or vice versa. Input a wine you already own and it can tell you what food to pair it with.

It can go even more eclectic than that. In the demo I saw, it suggested a wine based on Mexican food and watching Stranger Things on Netflix. Another example had The Godfather and tater tots, with yet another being Happy Gilmore and tacos.

It can go even more eclectic than that. In the demo I saw, it suggested a wine based on Mexican food and watching

Anything it pulls up comes from the Delectable app, so the sourcing is certainly varied and detailed. Social media integration with Twitter and Instagram allows users to share the combinations they’ve come up with.

As nifty as the Model Eleven was, its $999 USD (about $1248 CAD) price point is prohibitive for the average wine drinker. Connoisseurs who spare no expense for every sip they take may take the plunge.

That’s especially true when Coravin already has the Model Two available in Canada. It’s considerably cheaper than the Eleven, but still pricey at over $300 (approximately $375 CAD). Replacement 2-pack argon gas canisters are $29.99 (about $36 CAD), with three needles running at $129.99 ($161 CAD).

And what about screw-cap wine bottles? There is a version made for those too, which was demoed at the booth. There’s even a vintage needle for old corks going back to bottles before the 1970s and 80s.

Despite the expensive cost of entry, Coravin’s units were among the most intriguing at CES this year. Preserving wine isn’t easy to do. Anyone going back to a bottle after a day or two can attest to that.

Coravin says the Model Eleven will be available in September, with the app possibly coming before that. You can find the Model Two at Amazon.ca, Bed, Bath and Beyond and Williams-Sonoma.

Have you ever been able to open a bottle of wine and pour a glass without removing the cork? Coravin has managed to pull it off with style, and help pair any vino for any situation.

CES is always a potpourri of compelling technology and wacky gadgets, but Coravin’s unit is less a bottle opener, and more a bottle sealer. Wine connoisseurs are known for being picky about aeration. Not finishing a bottle relatively quickly all but spells doom for the stuff inside.

What Coravin has managed to do is penetrate the cork straight through, and pour out the wine into a glass. The cork stays put the entire time, and when finished, it maintains its seal. Remove the Coravin unit, flip the bottle over, and nothing comes out.

Now, the company is launching the Model Eleven, “the world’s first connected and fully automatic wine preservation opener.” Using Bluetooth and a smartphone app, users can preserve their wine and figure out what to pair with almost any scenario.

The sight of half-empty wine bottles with corks intact inside at Coravin’s booth was almost surreal. It was like someone had pulled a magic trick, or a prank by squeezing the cork back inside. Except there was no obvious hole that a typical wine opener would make. In fact, a hole of any kind was barely visible.

Coravin founder Greg Lambrecht’s background in medical devices and nuclear physics helped make this possible. Essentially, the device uses a needle to poke a hole through the cork, injecting pressurized argon gas inside to siphon the wine out through the needle. The gas is totally non-toxic and has no effect on the taste of the wine. I never noticed anything unusual when tasting different wines poured for me at the booth.

Since the wine inside the bottle is never really oxidized, and the cork seals itself afterward, nothing spoils. That means you can enjoy a glass of something without committing to the whole bottle. Coravin says a bottle could last weeks, months or years using its preservers.

The contraption does necessitate stocking parts though. You would need to replace the needle after a while, and the argon canisters are a must for using any of Coravin’s devices.

The Model Eleven adds Bluetooth to sync with Coravin’s Moments app to keep tabs on how much gas each canister has left, and when the needle might need a replacement.

It also suggests wines that might fit a certain meal, or vice versa. Input a wine you already own and it can tell you what food to pair it with.

It can go even more eclectic than that. In the demo I saw, it suggested a wine based on Mexican food and watching Stranger Things on Netflix. Another example had The Godfather and tater tots, with yet another being Happy Gilmore and tacos.

It can go even more eclectic than that. In the demo I saw, it suggested a wine based on Mexican food and watching

Anything it pulls up comes from the Delectable app, so the sourcing is certainly varied and detailed. Social media integration with Twitter and Instagram allows users to share the combinations they’ve come up with.

As nifty as the Model Eleven was, its $999 USD (about $1248 CAD) price point is prohibitive for the average wine drinker. Connoisseurs who spare no expense for every sip they take may take the plunge.

That’s especially true when Coravin already has the Model Two available in Canada. It’s considerably cheaper than the Eleven, but still pricey at over $300 (approximately $375 CAD). Replacement 2-pack argon gas canisters are $29.99 (about $36 CAD), with three needles running at $129.99 ($161 CAD).

And what about screw-cap wine bottles? There is a version made for those too, which was demoed at the booth. There’s even a vintage needle for old corks going back to bottles before the 1970s and 80s.

Despite the expensive cost of entry, Coravin’s units were among the most intriguing at CES this year. Preserving wine isn’t easy to do. Anyone going back to a bottle after a day or two can attest to that.

Coravin says the Model Eleven will be available in September, with the app possibly coming before that. You can find the Model Two at Amazon.ca, Bed, Bath and Beyond and Williams-Sonoma.

An AR device that only requires a smartphone and include motion control lightsaber to let you feel like the ultimate Jedi warrior? Sign me up.

At a recent media event in Toronto, I found that Jedi Challenges did indeed succeed in that regard, offering the ultimate engaging lightsaber experience — for a while, at least.

Packed in with the Mirage AR headset is a motion-tracking beacon and lightsaber hilt for you to swing around in AR-simulated duels. Star Wars fans will surely recognize that the lightsaber belongs to Anakin Skywalker, which was later passed on to Luke and then Rey.

A free iOS and Android companion smartphone app must also be installed, with phone models like the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 or later supported. It’s worth noting that because Lenovo already had the headsets prepared for the demos, I wasn’t able to see how easy the setup process is.

companion smartphone app must also be installed, with phone models like the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 or later supported. It’s worth noting that because Lenovo already had the headsets prepared for the demos, I wasn’t able to see how easy the setup process is.

One of the most important elements of a headset is how comfortable it feels, and this is one area where the Mirage AR really excels. Weighing in at 1030g, the headset is light and, thankfully, never felt clunky during my multiple playtime sessions. What’s more, the headset can snugly accommodate glasses, which is a necessity for bespectacled people like me.

Likewise, requiring a smartphone only means you don’t have to deal with the rather cumbersome multi-cable setups of higher-end headsets. That said, $289.99 CAD is by no means a small chunk of change, so that begs the question: does the content offering justify the hefty price tag?

Jedi Challenges’ most prominent feature is, naturally, its ‘Lightsaber Duels’ mode, which pits you against the likes of Darth Vader, Darth Maul and Kylo Ren, as well as stormtroopers, droids and other enemies.

Activating the lightsaber for the first time and seeing the holographic blue blade shoot up is incredibly neat. More to the point, though, I was most impressed with how good it feels to use the lightsaber. Motion control gameplay can often feel imprecise, but swinging the blade around worked surprisingly well. When in a prequel-era mission, I was particularly impressed with how the spindly droids would fall apart depending on where I slashed at them.

Delightfully, I was able to cut off specific arms, heads, legs and even the barrels of guns, making me feel like a skilled Jedi Knight. You can also deflect blaster bolts by positioning your blade towards enemies, which feels really satisfying to pull off.

In battles with lightsaber-wielding foes, the game can get even more thrilling. On-screen flashes will warn you of the direction of incoming attacks (which can come from many different angles), and successfully parrying all of the blows will leave your enemy vulnerable to a powerful counter move. Kylo Ren in particular comes at you with an unbridled fury, making it rather tense as you try to block his barrage of attacks.

You’ll also be able to equip a Force power before the battle starts, with options including Force Speed (slowing your foe down momentarily) or Force Push (sending enemies flying). In combat, these can be executed by pressing the same button you ignite your lightsaber with.

The noisy setting I was in made it rather hard to hear the sounds in the headset, but they were certainly authentically Star Wars. Your opponents also talk during the game, adding more life to their already solid character models and animations. At one point, I caught Ren saying “I have failed you, grandfather” when I beat him, referring, of course, to Darth Vader.

To Lenovo’s credit, the Jedi Challenges experience could have just been a lightsaber duels simulator, but instead, it features two other full gameplay modes that also span all eras of Star Wars. The second mode, Strategic Combat, is a fun sort of Civilization- lite real-time strategy game.

To Lenovo’s credit, the Jedi Challenges experience could have just been a lightsaber duels simulator, but instead, it features two other full gameplay modes that also span all eras of Star Wars. The second mode, Strategic Combat, is a fun sort of

By moving the lightsaber, you’ll be able to position infantry in a battle, with objectives including protecting key starfighters. The mission I played featured Naboo during the climactic battle of The Phantom Menace , and I was able to place and command notable ships, soldiers and even Obi-Wan Kenobi himself to defend my units.

By moving the lightsaber, you’ll be able to position infantry in a battle, with objectives including protecting key starfighters. The mission I played featured Naboo during the climactic battle of

, and I was able to place and command notable ships, soldiers and even Obi-Wan Kenobi himself to defend my units.

The final mode — by far the weakest addition — is Holochess, a version of the holographic game that Chewbacca and R2-D2 play on the Millennium Falcon in A New Hope. As with Strategic Combat, you’ll sometimes need to be careful with how you manage your pawns, as some do more damage than others. Overall, though, there didn’t seem to be much else to this mode and I quickly got bored with it.

As with Strategic Combat, you’ll sometimes need to be careful with how you manage your pawns, as some do more damage than others. Overall, though, there didn’t seem to be much else to this mode and I quickly got bored with it.

One of the biggest draws of Jedi Challenges is that Lenovo has promised free additional content for the headset, which is released through updates to the smartphone app. The first expansion, centred around The Last Jedi, came out after my hands-on event, so I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to try it out.

One of the biggest draws of Jedi Challenges is that Lenovo has promised free additional content for the headset, which is released through updates to the smartphone app. The first expansion, centred around

However, based on a behind-the-scenes trailer, the update promises content related to the new Crait planet, Supreme Leader Snoke’s fearsome Praetorian guards and even a few Porgs.

In spite of all this, my biggest concern with Jedi Challenges is that while there are multiple game modes, it’s not entirely clear just how much they have to offer. When asked how many missions or hours of content are included in Jedi Challenges , Lenovo Canada retail executive Chet Joshi didn’t commit to a specific number. Instead, he mentioned that people can play the game for many hours in a day if they wanted to, which doesn’t exactly instil me with confidence that there’s a significant breadth of content.

In spite of all this, my biggest concern with Jedi Challenges is that while there are multiple game modes, it’s not entirely clear just how much they have to offer. When asked how many missions or hours of content are included in Jedi Challenges

Lenovo Canada retail executive Chet Joshi didn’t commit to a specific number. Instead, he mentioned that people can play the game for many hours in a day if they wanted to, which doesn’t exactly instil me with confidence that there’s a significant breadth of content.

Because I was playing a demo version, I was only able to access a handful of pre-picked missions, making it difficult to gauge any volume of content for myself. Interestingly, though, Joshi said no one in the world has fully completed the game. Doing so will reveal “something special,” he said, although he remained mum on what that might be.

On a broader level, one of the biggest challenges with headset-based technology is letting consumers experience it for themselves. Short of actually buying one, your only options are typically finding the occasional public demo or visiting a VR arcade . For that reason, Joshi said that Lenovo has offered public demos in the past — such as in Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square, in theatres to coincide with the release of The Last Jedi and at various Best Buy locations. Going forward, Joshi said Lenovo will continue to offer demos in Best Buys and other public spaces in the coming months. But according to Joshi, that’s just the start.

On a broader level, one of the biggest challenges with headset-based technology is letting consumers experience it for themselves. Short of actually buying one, your only options are typically finding the occasional public demo or visiting a

. For that reason, Joshi said that Lenovo has offered public demos in the past — such as in Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square, in theatres to coincide with the release of

and at various Best Buy locations. Going forward, Joshi said Lenovo will continue to offer demos in Best Buys and other public spaces in the coming months. But according to Joshi, that’s just the start.

“As the Star Wars story continues and develops into the new generation, we’re able to bridge the older generation — which is the authentic lightsaber experience — with some of the newer content and new bleeding edge technology, which is augmented reality,” said Joshi. “We’ll continue to develop on that platform, both from a hardware perspective and from a software perspective. The Star Wars [brand] with Disney has a long-term roadmap — this is not a one-and-done and we’re going to continue to provide exciting content going forward.”

A long-term promise is certainly good to hear. For now, though, $289.99 CAD is pretty steep, and being entirely Star Wars-focused is at once Jedi Challenges’ greatest asset and most glaring shortcoming. Featuring Star Wars-only content means that most of what’s featured in the headset is quite fleshed out and entertaining. At the same time, though, it’s unclear just how much you’ll get out of the device. While this may be somewhat remedied with additional content rollouts — such as this week’s The Last Jedi update — I’m ultimately unsure of Jedi Challenge’s long-lasting appeal.

A long-term promise is certainly good to hear. For now, though, $289.99 CAD is pretty steep, and being entirely Star Wars-focused is at once Jedi Challenges’ greatest asset and most glaring shortcoming. Featuring Star Wars-only content means that most of what’s featured in the headset is quite fleshed out and entertaining. At the same time, though, it’s unclear just how much you’ll get out of the device. While this may be somewhat remedied with additional content rollouts — such as this week’s

Higher-end virtual reality headsets like the PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift have continued to drop in price over time, to the point that they now only cost around two hundred dollars more than Jedi Challenges. Spending that extra chunk of change would give you devices that are capable of so much more than just Star Wars mini-games. At nearly $300, a single-application device like Jedi Challenges is hard to recommend to anyone but perhaps the most avid of Star Wars fans.

have continued to drop in price over time, to the point that they now only cost around two hundred dollars more than Jedi Challenges.

Spending that extra chunk of change would give you devices that are capable of so much more than just Star Wars mini-games. At nearly $300, a single-application device like Jedi Challenges

To be sure, Jedi Challenges is still a novel concept, and one that’s pretty accessible from a hardware perspective to everyday consumers. Further, as with virtual and augmented reality technology as a whole, I expect to see it greatly expanded and improved upon over time. As it stands, though, the headset will make you feel most impressive, but not quite like a Jedi yet.

Lenovo Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is available exclusively at Best Buy . The headset normally retails for $289.99 CAD, but it’s currently on sale for $269.99 until January 18th.

. The headset normally retails for $289.99 CAD, but it’s currently on sale for $269.99 until January 18th.

This week on the SyrupCast, Igor Bonifacic , Patrick O’Rourke , Rose Behar , and now free agent, Josh McConnell, are back after a two week holiday break to bring you their opinions about Apple’s recent battery fiasco.

are back after a two week holiday break to bring you their opinions about Apple’s recent battery fiasco.

Just before the holidays, Apple confirmed that the company does indeed slow down older iPhone models in order to conserve battery quality. Apple fans are especially frustrated that they were not made aware of this feature and that the Cupertino, California based tech giant was forced to reveal that it throttles batteries only after it was uncovered.

Just before the holidays, Apple confirmed that the company does indeed slow down older iPhone models in

Apple fans are especially frustrated that they were not made aware of this feature and that the Cupertino, California based tech giant was forced to reveal that it throttles batteries only after it was uncovered.

Apple has since apologized for its lack of transparency . As a result of the public outcry in response to the revelation, Apple has marked the price of replacement batteries down considerably .

Do you have questions, comments, thoughts, or anything you would like addressed on the podcast? Send us an email to podcast@mobilesyrup.com . If you’re feeling extra adventurous, send us a voice recording of your question or comment and you may end up featured in a future episode!

Do you have questions, comments, thoughts, or anything you would like addressed on the podcast? Send us an email to

Rose gives his shoutout to the first concept phone with a in-screen fingerprint scanner . Josh’s shoutout goes to Google Play Music . Patrick throws a shoutout to Mario Tennis Aces . Finally, this week Igor shouts out The Hospital Suite .

You’re not alone. French-American company Spartan has launched a line of boxer briefs made of cotton with interwoven silver fibers it says acts as a Faraday Cage for your genitalia, protecting the family jewels from cellphone and Wi-Fi radiation between 450 MHz and 5GHz.

And don’t worry, the company promises the briefs won’t set off the airport scanner and are completely machine washable.

After launching a Kickstarter in February of last year, the Spartan briefs made waves at CES 2018 this year. The shorts are now available online, with worldwide shipping, beginning at $45 USD for one pair.

After launching a Kickstarter in February of last year, the Spartan briefs made waves at CES 2018 this year. The shorts are now

I think it’s fair to say the science isn’t fully in on this one yet. Though it may feel like mobile phones have been around forever, in actual fact they’re still a relatively new technology and since our usage continues to change, there are no definitive answers yet as to how they affect our health.

Some health authorities are saying the same. In December 2017, the California Department of Health stated that although the science is still evolving, “there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the energy emitted by cell phones,” recommending that users not keep phones in their pockets.

stated that although the science is still evolving, “there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the energy emitted by cell phones,” recommending that users not keep phones in their pockets.

As to the reduction of sperm specifically, again, there are no conclusive answers, though there are a few studies that show correlations between phones and lowered male fertility, it should be noted that those studies are often published in lesser-known journals and have occasionally been criticized by peers as flawed.

As to the reduction of sperm specifically, again, there are no conclusive answers, though there are a

that show correlations between phones and lowered male fertility, it should be noted that those studies are often published in lesser-known journals and have occasionally been

To top it all off, even if cellphone and Wi-Fi radiation is harmful, it’s not exceedingly clear whether these underwear are the best defense.

So, guys, it’s not really for me to say, but if I was you? I’d save my money and purchase some regular old Fruit of the Loom briefs instead. At least for now.

Note: This post is part of an ongoing series titled Sticky or Not in which Senior Reporter Rose Behar analyzes new and often bizarre gadgets, rating them sticky (good) or not (bad).

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