Remotely Possible

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Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 10, 2018  |  0 comments
After walking into the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center today at around 11:15 AM, I noticed something was amiss. In an industry nearly 100 percent reliant on electricity, the entire hall's AC power was out. It was (and still is as I write this) an eerie feeling to be surrounded by so much AV gear hear only conversations. No loud music. No flashing TV screens. The overhead announcer has helpfully told us that "We are experiencing a power outage. We are addressing the problem." I'm glad they mentioned this, because I at first thought it was the aftereffects of having the flu that was causing my lack of sensory overstimulation.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 05, 2018  |  2 comments
CES 2018 is coming! Here's our preview of the upcoming tech-fest.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 22, 2018  |  2 comments
Two things delineate the extremes of my life: cleaning out the kitty litter box and drinking coffee.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 14, 2019  |  0 comments
CES is known for being a high-tech love-fest, where approximately 180,000 strangers gather to gawk at geeky gadgets—some of which will never see the bright light of day shining outside the Las Vegas Convention Center. CES 2019 was no exception. There was more new, high-tech stuff than any single human being could see, even over the course of the six days this human being was in attendance.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 05, 2016  |  0 comments
Sure, it's not our normal beat. But who wouldn't want a Candy Crush scented phone case...?
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Oct 22, 2013  |  3 comments
Maybe I’m still suffering the aftereffects of installation overstimulation at CEDIA last month, but it seems that everywhere I turn someone’s talking up home automation. Yesterday, for example, Control4 issued a press release touting – and rightly so – the many benefits of integrating home security systems with home automation systems. While that’s definitely awesome, the more interesting buzz that I’ve noticed lately isn’t about Home Automation, where the cost of the hardware, installation, and programming is often discussed in terms of a percentage of the cost of the home it’s installed in. No, the chatter du jour is about home automation “for the rest of us” (to borrow a term from Apple that originally had nothing to do with price, nor does it now). Once again, there’s a push to bring home automation to the masses – or at least to the smaller masses who would be willing to spend a couple hundred bucks for it.

But what kind of home automation can you get for $200 or maybe, if you’re willing to splurge, $300?

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 11, 2018  |  0 comments
ConnectSense's Smart In-Wall Outlet adds a multitude of features not found on other "smart" outlets.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 21, 2016  |  0 comments
There’s no dearth of smart outlets with Wi-Fi connectivity, but you might not know of their existence because they really don’t get much ink (or pixels) in the press. Fancy smart home hubs and biometric door locks are much more exciting to talk about than an electrical outlet that you can turn on and off via Wi-Fi using an app on your smartphone. I’ve fallen into the same “been there, written about that” trap myself. But a review sample of the Smart Outlet from ConnectSense showed up on my doorstep a few days after CES 2016 ended, and it is a Wi-Fi-enabled smart outlet that’s definitely worth spending some time talking about.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 08, 2016  |  1 comments
The world in which our smart cars drive us to and from our smart homes isn’t here just quite yet, but Control4 is already doing its part to make that smart home living dream come true.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 26, 2016  |  0 comments
It won’t make international news (or national news, for that matter), nor will it overshadow coverage of the latest dazzling Kickstarter darling in most of the tech press outlets. But the three new home entertainment and automation controllers Control4 announced (and began shipping!) today are likely to be the most exciting and impactful smart home-related hardware that will actually make it into people’s homes in all of 2016—and I say that fully cognizant of the fact that we have 11 more months yet to go in the year.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jul 11, 2013  |  0 comments
Thank goodness for WebEx and GoToMeeting. Online services such as those two have made it incredibly easy to attend seminars, meetings, and press conferences without really being there – both physically and mentally. I’m not saying that such was specifically the case earlier this year when I sat through a special online session Control4 set up for press people during which the company introduced, among other things, a little box they called the Wireless Music Bridge. Honestly, I was paying attention; it’s just that, at the time, I had trouble getting excited about what seemed to me to be not much more than another streaming music device destined to come up short in the inevitable comparison to SONOS, the master and commander of all things having to do with multi-room music streaming. Fortunately, I didn’t have to feign enthusiasm since my face remained hidden by the magic of the Internet.

A couple of weeks ago, however, Control4 did succeed in piquing my interest when a new Wireless Music Bridge arrived at my door. Since I thought it would be rude not to hook it up and try it out...

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 09, 2017  |  0 comments
Although not associated with Stephen King and his his horror novel of the same name, smart firewall maker, CUJO, says that there are over 20 billion internet connected devices worldwide as of 2017. These devices include internet-connected TVs, refrigerators, thermostats, security cameras, home automation systems, and even baby monitors. Surprisingly, most of these devices have little, if any, security measures built-in, a situation which is essentially equivalent to leaving all the doors and windows in your home wide open with a sign on the lawn saying, “Take what you want.” If you have children in your home, there’s the additional worry of dangerous, devious, and/or deviant web sites that are waiting to be discovered by the youngsters who have access to the internet through your home network.

CUJO is a friendly looking, tabletop device with LED status “eyelids” embedded on the front. CUJO uses artificial...

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Mar 25, 2013  |  6 comments
At first glance, you’d think a documentary about a defunct recording studio would have a hard time maintaining the interest of anyone other than a recording engineer for its entire 108-minute runtime. When I tell you that this documentary spends a great deal of those 108 minutes reverently reminiscing about the analog mixing console at the studio, it’s likely you’ll start wondering what insane, “analog forever”, diehard audiophile thought this subject would ever appeal to more than a dozen or so people. Frankly, it’s the sort of film you’d expect to find in the mosh-pit discount bins of DVDs and Blu-rays in the aisles of Walmart.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 05, 2016  |  3 comments
Despite the fact that CES2016 hasn't even officially opened yet, DISH's press conference is likely to be one of the top highlights of the entire Show this year.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 15, 2016  |  0 comments
You can always expect to find something you didn’t expect to find at CEDIA. This year, for me, it was a better mousetrap—a Z-Wave-enabled mousetrap, as a matter of fact. Dome took top honors in the unexpected category with the company’s announcement of the Mouser, “the first ever smart mouse trap…designed to humanely eliminate mice and other rodents with an electric jolt and send a notification that the trap is ready to be emptied.” No, I’m not joking. And no, it’s something that’ll actually be useful for people who suffer from an overabundance of mice...

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