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Darryl Wilkinson  |  Dec 13, 2016  |  0 comments
It’s too easy to make things complicated, especially when it comes to gift giving—and, ironically, smart home automation systems. In my opinion, 2016 has already been way too complicated, so here are some simple smart home things for you to consider putting on your KISSH (Keep It Simple Smart Home) holiday gift list.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 09, 2017  |  0 comments
Linkplay is a “a leading WiFi audio solution provider,” which basically means they make the core communication hardware and software that speaker manufacturers can use to design new wireless, streaming speakers without having to engineer everything from the ground up. In other words, a loudspeaker manufacturer—such as Fabriq or Jam Audio, two of the first companies to embrace the Linkplay solution—can concentrate on the thing it does best (make speakers) and get the digital backend from Linkplay. Another huge bonus of incorporating Linkplay into a streaming speaker is that Linkplay provides integration with Alexa Voice Service, wirelessly and hands-free.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Aug 17, 2015  |  0 comments
If you’re an AV aficionado, enthusiast, geek, or however you think of yourself, Logitech’s Harmony is most likely the first—and maybe only—name that comes to mind when you hear the term “universal remote control.” Although none of the company’s remote controls are perfect (the perfect universal remote control only exists in that magical fantasy world inhabited by unicorns and hard drives that never crash), Harmony’s remotes have been good enough to pretty much crush the competition in the $30 to $350 range. Despite their king-of-the-hill position, Logitech nearly sold off the Harmony division in 2013. It’s a good thing they didn’t, because since then the company has embraced home automation in many of its universal remote controls—and recently Harmony has turned that embrace into a giant bear hug.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 08, 2016  |  0 comments
I’ve used LOKSAK’s awesome waterproof phone and tablet bags for a couple of years now, and I’m a huge fan. That’s because LOKSAK’s resealable, see-through, storage bags create a hermetic, airtight seal that prevents water from getting inside—or letting whatever is inside out—even when submerged down to 60 meters (200 ft). In addition to protecting against water, LOKSAK’s also protect against microscopic particles like dust and sand. They’re reusable and recyclable. You can make and receive phone calls while your phone is in a sealed LOKSAK, but the best feature of all is that all touchscreens work—including capacitance touch screens—inside the bag. Now LOKSAK has a new series of bags that protect against something even smaller than water molecules and microbes: RF (radio frequency) and IR (infrared).
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 17, 2016  |  0 comments
Amongst the many announcements concerning Amazon Alexa integration with higher-end control systems—including Control4, Crestron, Savant, and others—one of the more exciting reveals was the news that Lutron is adding Alexa integration to its HomeWorks QS and RadioRA2 lighting control systems, providing voice-activated control of lights, shades, and temperature setting via an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, or Amazon Fire TV.

Lutron, of course, is no stranger to the voice-activated world of Amazon Alexa having introduced integration...

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 09, 2017  |  0 comments
Lutron Electronics announced an addition to the company’s lighting control systems, called RA2 Select. The new system incorporates select features from Lutron’s RadioRA 2 and Caseta Wireless systems, including Lutron’s Caseta Wireless that provides wireless communication capabilities for each system...

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 06, 2016  |  0 comments
Parent company Invoxia calls Triby “the next generation voice-controlled speaker for the kitchen”, which is a relatively boring, generic description for a device that is much more exciting than that tag line makes it seem to be. And now that Triby is “the first third-party device to announce integration with the Amazon Alexa Voice Service” it’s even more exciting.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 17, 2018  |  4 comments
Two years ago, I stumbled across a display booth with an overly energetic dude eager to convince me that he'd invented something akin to the home-theater version of sliced bread — a DVR for the streaming age. It appears that the Modulus M1 is about ready to ship.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 14, 2016  |  5 comments
Moulus Media Systems announced a “revolutionary media hub” that’s almost too good to be true. Imagine putting a Kaleidescape server with a Roku 4, and then wrapping the combo in a TiVo DVR—and that description still doesn’t come close to describing the Modulus M1.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 08, 2017  |  0 comments
Online retailer Monoprice debuted seven new models in the company’s Amber series of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. The in-wall models feature...
Darryl Wilkinson  |  May 06, 2013  |  1 comments
Power cords. Three-prong adapters. Wall-wart power supplies and USB chargers with their thin, inevitably tangled cords. Running out of available outlets. These are all things I hate. Hell, even polarized plugs annoy the crap out of me. Let’s just say that when wireless power transmission – or power-harvesting devices – ever becomes a reality, I’m going to be a particularly happy individual. (If only Tesla were still alive…) In the meantime, the previously mentioned assortment vexing electrical necessities are things we all have no other choice than to deal with.

Fortunately there are plenty of devices out there that are specifically designed to lessen the pain of dealing with power cords and power supplies...

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 11, 2018  |  0 comments
MySmartBlinds new Home Automation Kit for roller shades is a followup to the company's existing Home Automation Kit for window blinds. Both kits are designed for DIY retrofits that turn existing manually operated blinds/shades into wirelessly controlled, motorized blinds/shades.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 28, 2015  |  1 comments
I’m not a terribly big fan of Nest, but I don’t hate them, either. I own a Nest Thermostat, and I like it—for the most part. What I don’t understand is the gushing amount of praise a lot of writers give it, both as a standalone thermostat and a major smart home device/controller. You get the feeling that if God needed a thermostat, the Nest would be the one He’d buy. Despite what you might read, the NEST thermostat has its flaws, two of which are its inability to detect occupancy in other areas of the home and its requirement for an always-on Internet connection when used with other smart home systems.

But I have to give the Nest folks a great deal of credit for doing a very honorable thing recently...

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 10, 2017  |  0 comments
At CEDIA 2017, NETGEAR introduced the Netgear FlexPower, ONVIF Compliant Wire-Free IP Camera System, what the company describes as “the industry’s first and only wire-free, battery-powered ONVIF-compliant camera.” The new NETGEAR security-camera system consists of two basic components...
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 08, 2017  |  1 comments
Connected health technology, tracking devices, biometrics, and anything else remotely related to a cough, cold, or sleep disturbances abound at CES 2017. Some look pretty suspect, while others appear to have some actual scientific merit behind them. NeuroMetrix was exhibiting the company’s Quell Wearable Pain Relief Technology. Here’s how NeuroMetrix tells it: “Quell combines neurotechnology to treat chronic pain with a sophisticated app to personalize and control therapy, while tracking progress.” At first glance, Quell looks like it’s a standard TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) device in a fancy leg wrap. But it’s quite a bit different than the little zap-happy, stick-on electrodes TENS users will be familiar with.

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