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DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson addresses a press conference. (DHS photo)

Are DoD, DHS choosing Silicon Valley Over Local Vendors?


The U.S. Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security have opened new offices in Silicon Valley with leaders making high profile visits to both. But in doing so have these military leaders shunned lesser known start up hot beds like Boston, New York City, Pittsburgh and even Washington D.C.?TandemNSI Founder Jonathan Aberman discusses the topic with Federal News Radio’s Tom Temin on Federal Drive.  Read more

Cyber Timez CEO Sean Tibbetts

Cyber Timez Builds Wearable Tech to Help People with Disabilities


A friend who lost two limbs on a deployment to Afghanistan had trouble opening a refrigerator door. Every time he went to grab a drink from the fridge he experienced pain because his prosthetic didn’t fit into the refrigerator door handle adequately.

Cyber Timez Founder and CEO Sean Tibbetts and the soldier had been friends for many years in Kentucky. He wanted to create a solution that would ease the pain of his friend. That solution turned into Cyber Armz – one of the many innovations Tibbetts and his team have created.

Tibbetts first started Cyber Timez in 1997 as he worked to build the company part time while he maintained a full time job. The company was mostly dormant from 2004 to 2015 before Tibbetts made the leap and committed himself full time to building the company this year.

Tibbetts and his team have since competed and won multiple innovation awards as they expand their list of offerings of wearable technologies. Many of those innovations have a backstory such as Cyber Armz: Tibbetts discovered a personal problem someone he knew needed to be solved to make their lives easier.

The solution he created for his veteran friend (that is now called Cyber Armz) was an off-the-shelf watch that is programmed to open different appliances in his house. With the press of a button on an Android-based watch, Tibbetts’ friend can open his refrigerator and microwave.

Another example, Cyber Eyez – a device that works with Google Glass – was created after a woman with a vision impairment asked Tibbetts for help. His team created Cyber Eyez – a device that reads out text to users where ever the headset is pointed.

Tibbetts is committed to creating wearable tech products because he sees it as the source of the next big technological breakthroughs both commercially and for the government.

The Defense Department agrees. Defense Secretary Ash Carter signed off on a $75 million investment in wearable technology as part of the opening of the Pentagon’s Silicon Valley office this past summer.

Cyber Timez is not focused solely on working with the government but sees them as a potential client, especially an agency like the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The company was admitted to a Department of Homeland Security program called the EMERGE Accelerator Program, which was designed to attract startups and small businesses to create products for DHS first responders.

Tibbetts took part in the three-month program where he developed Cyber Trackz. The system leaves an electronic trail of bread crumbs that allows first responders to follow each other more easily through fires or disaster areas.

Cyber Timez is based out of Virginia where the company recently won an award in Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Destination Innovation 2015 contest for the wearables and robotics division. In September, Cyber Timez also won CTIA’s Best Internet of Things Company at their conference in Las Vegas.

The company won the Destination Innovation award for Cyber Earz, which again was the product of Tibbetts responding to the needs of a disabled friend.

A friend’s mother could not hear her oven timer because of a loss of high frequency hearing. Tibbett’s friend went to visit his mother and found out she had left the oven on for three days. In response, Tibbetts and the Cyber Timez team developed an off-the-shelf watch that would alert her when her over timer went off as well as other appliances.

“Destination Innovation was a huge win for us. It really provided a strong validation that we have a product that the world wants and solves a real problem in real people’s lives and put us on a path of rapid expansion and many more award opportunities,” Tibbetts said.

— Michael Hoffman can be reached at