Home Automation

Noise in the smarter machine

The lady sitting in front of me on the tram was clearly into her music. She was using headphones, but it didn’t really make much of a difference. The tram driver came back with the request for her to turn her iPhone volume down, which she did. In the relative quiet that followed, I realized that there were two tech issues addressed by that single moment. Firstly, in a future (or in some places, current) world where there is no tram driver anymore, we would have continued to listen to the tinny echoes of Eric passing through the headphones; and secondly, tech smarts can (at least for now) be ignored at will by the consumer.

All that glitters...

LeEco’s vision for the U.S. was bright and promising, but a bit more fleeting than some anticipated. The company started that way, with a spectacular launch event that promised an array of hardware (from TVs and VR, to a connected bike and self-driving car) as part of a much broader vision to be the ultimate content ecosystem. But its strategy quickly started to show flaws, with little positive news following the initial hurrah, and a slow trickle of doubts and rumors about if it was possible to turn the LeEco dream into reality.

More Artificial Than Intelligent

Spring is making a late arrival in New York this year, and the delay is beginning to take its toll. Last week, as I prepared to drive back from the warm, balmy air of Virginia towards New York, I decided to take the top off of my Jeep for a taste of spring. Despite knowing it was a rainy day back home, I took my chances and tried to judge how far I could push it before pulling over to put the roof back on. Naturally, I sought the advice of my smartphone’s digital assistant...

Sitting Pretty in the Post-Mobile Era

If there was any doubt that we are entering the post-mobile era, this year’s CES ratified the fact. The absence of mobile integration as a core discussion, and “must show-off” checkbox, demonstrates that the ground has shifted. Where iOS and Android integrations were the must-have stamp of approval in previous years, this year the badge of honor was to show-off Alexa integration.

Chaos & Technology

As we embark on the holiday season, two distinct dynamics tend to converge: chaos; and new technology. Is your work done? Are you ready to take the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day? Have you even started your holiday shopping? As you read on, I hope you spot a gift idea for that tech-crazed special someone on your list.

Perhaps, to be Practical is Madness

We find ourselves among a new generation, one that is redefining the technology that will shape their lives. Not the often publicized Millennials, but their successors, Generation Z. While no dates squarely define their age and few characteristics evoke imagery of who they will become, one thing cannot be argued: they were born into an always-on, always-connected world.

Hey DJ, keep playing that song …

I’m not sure it’s possible to work in the technology sector without sitting through an industry presentation where the speaker engages the audience by discussing how many steps their fitness tracker recorded that day. We’ve all been around fitness tracker junkies; those that find solace in reaching their daily goal, and those that always seem to be a few steps behind...

Get drunk & save the planet - the promise of a connected world

Covering CES 2016, the mission was to discover new trends in home automation that will comprise the fabric of tomorrow’s connected world. What makes these new devices unique? How will they improve our lives? What’s being done better than before? We came across a few products that embody the broader industry challenges and opportunities surrounding embedded connectivity - enhanced utility, a cleaner environment, and a need to continue refining product implementation.

Boom Beach Takes All In Vegas

The sensory overload of CES 2016 is over and most of us have made it home to appreciate the relative peace and quiet of anywhere except Vegas. As I think back on the sights, sounds and devices that I saw in the past week, few stand out as surprises. This year seemed to be one of incremental advances, rather than giant leaps forward.

Intelligence Before Automation in the Kitchen

The kitchen refrigerator has got one heck of a challenge ahead of it when it comes to the automated home. Many household appliance advocates talk wistfully of when the fridge will know all about the food inside it and will be able to tell you that the eggs are about to go bad and that little Johnny just swigged the last of the milk and you are all out. And why stop there?

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