by Dave Gardner
As Christmas approaches, techno-weenies throughout NEPA are celebrating the arrival of new toys and gizmos, including the ongoing evolution of some proven electronic products.
The big tech picture for year-end 2017 was summed up in a narrative by Chris Nash, president of LSEO, as he quipped that humans have proven themselves to be fundamentally lazy in nature by virtue of the love of remote control products, including the infamous Clapper. He has therefore become a big fan of trends within the Internet of Things (IoT), which refers to the interconnection of devices to the Internet other than typical electronics such as smartphones and computers.
“For example, appliances, cars, thermostats and even blood glucose meters can all be connected through the IoT,” said Nash.
LOVING AT HOME
His most intense tech love is now the Smart Home. Nash related how he returns to his home each evening and asks his Alexa technology to turn on lights, raise the temperature a few degrees, and even switch to a different Pandora station. In addition, Alexa can offer country music for Nash’s dog when he is away from home.
“Alexa is old news at this point, but the maturity of these voice activated and connected devices is finally starting to take shape,” said Nash. “They are truly starting to becoming smart devices.”
Nash therefore thoroughly approves of how voice control is becoming the new home remote control. He explained that users may no longer need a separate device since their smart phone can do all of these things while taking voice commands.
“An upgrade to an enhanced home control unit like the Amazon Echo is worth the money if you want to take your smart home to the next level,” said Nash.
He also related how that simply pushing a few buttons on a phone can send a Roomba unit swirling into action to vacuum an entire home. The unit automatically will dock itself to recharge so that the entire cleaning job can be completed.
Nash declared that he is a huge Google fan, and that he is currently pitting the Google Home against the Amazon Echo in an all-out war for first prize as the top smart home device. According to Nash, Google home is smarter from an artificial intelligence perspective, but Amazon has better control of integrations and apps with a rapidly growing network.
“This contest is still a tossup for now and it will be interesting to see how this space develops,” said Nash. “All of the big tech players are vying for it and they know how important this space is to their long-term success. I don’t want to make too many generalizations, but it’s similar to the way the PC changed home computing back in the 80s.”
Esquire.com recently released its list of tasty tech goodies for the 2017 holiday season. Among these with special appeal to the mobile millennials is the ultra-high capacity Anker Portable Charger. Weighing only 12.5 ounces, this product boasts PowerIQ and VoltageBoost combined to deliver the fastest possible charge while a MultiProtect safety system ensures complete circuit safety.
Readers on any Christmas gift list may covet the Kindle Oasis, claimed to be the thinnest and lightest Kindle ever. It features extra-long battery life, an included leather charging cover can boost battery life by months, and a crisp high-resolution 300 ppi display.
Another gift idea, which stands as a throwback to the days of classic rock and roll and its pounding bass, is the Sennheiser wireless headphone. This over-the-ear unit, produced by a company with a long history of professional microphone development, extends the range of its remote up to 120 feet, and even penetrate through walls and ceilings. Perhaps above all, the detailed sound reproduction with heavy bass is ear-opening.
Santa also is capable of delivering professional gifts from his sleigh, including the ultimate and total workstation for business, according to Christian Weilage, CEO of PlanGuru. He has become a huge fan of Microsoft’s Surface Book Two in One system, which features a screen that snaps off and can be used as a stand-alone tablet. A plug-in to a monitor format is also instantly available.
“This system creates a total workstation that is both powerful and fast with minimal training time,” said Weilage.
He noted that users of the product can flip it backside to have a “big beautiful tablet” or unplug it for conference use creating a situation where paper notes no longer disappear. This means the user has, in effect, a high-powered machine plus a tablet, plus the capacity to be electronically organized, which Weilage emphasized is much better than flipping through paper notes.
“Some of employees were a bit reluctant to embrace this technology, even the younger ones,” said Weilage. “However, I personally have witnessed higher employee productivity levels, so I swear by it.”