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Americans Balking at Buying Smart Home Devices
January 13, 2021
Smart devices, the cornerstone of the home of the future, can't seem to capture the imagination or open the wallets of a large number of Americans. Some 46.7 million broadband households aren't ready to buy a smart home device, according to a survey released this week by Parks Associates, a market research and consulting company specializing in consumer technology products.
Cut the Cord to Trim Your TV Viewing Overhead
January 5, 2021
For the majority of consumers, cutting the cable TV cord is a mixed bag for a variety of reasons. The big misconception is that you will drastically lower your cable bill. That is not the case unless you can also pickup free TV reception from an antenna. Otherwise, you will need to use a video streaming service to help lower your costs.
Standout Tech Products of 2020
December 21, 2020
TechNewsWorld columnist Rob Enderle looks back at all of the Products of the Week he selected during the year and picks the one that made the most significant impression to crown the Product of the Year. Let's look at the contenders that made the initial cut, and then he'll rank the top four products leading up to the 2020 Product of the Year.
Tech Gift Ideas to Help Tackle Your Holiday Shopping List
November 30, 2020
Today is Cyber Monday, which doesn't mean as much this year because the related sales have been going on for much of November as retailers try to bring in every available dollar they can. This week, let's look at some of the best deals or products that stand out as game changers in their segment.
Smart Device Life Cycles Can Pull the Plug on Security
November 20, 2020
The use of smart and connected devices promises to make our lives easier, but it might also give their manufacturers greater control over our lives. Some companies offering smart devices, including Google, Belkin, and Best Buy have killed off their smart device product lines without warning, leaving consumers in the lurch.
A Momentous Week for 4 Tech Vendors
November 2, 2020
Powerful events and product launches by Cisco, Lenovo, Microsoft, and Qualcomm promise to make our future brighter. From more effective courts and legislators, to flexible and intelligent robots, to tools we can use to improve remote productivity, to validation that our justice system works -- last week was remarkable.
Some Smart Home Devices Headed to the 'Brick' Yard
October 29, 2020
The demand for smart home devices is projected to grow steadily over the next few years. Nonetheless, consumers should think carefully before making a purchase due to a trend of manufacturers phasing out "smart" products. While it does not look good when a smart device maker abandons a product line, these actions are far from random.
Why Are Homes and Autos Still Built the Old Fashioned Way?
October 18, 2020
We could build homes that stand up to hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and other disasters. We could build cars that are lighter and more fuel-efficient. Like the opening for the old TV show, "The Six Million Dollar Man," we have the technology. So why don't we use it? The reason is that people who build homes, cars, and other things would need to be retrained -- but the result would be a more sustainable and safer world.
Apple Finally Reveals 5G iPhones ... and HomePod Mini
October 14, 2020
Apple has refreshed its iPhone product line with four new models, as well as a downsized version of its HomePod smart speaker. All of the new iPhones are built around Apple's blazing fast A14 Bionic chip, support all flavors of 5G wireless connectivity, and are protected by a Ceramic Shield that protects the phone from damage after a fall four times better than in previous models.
Microsoft Ignite and Dominating the Future of Tech the Right Way
September 28, 2020
At Microsoft Ignite last week, the breadth and focus that Microsoft demonstrated were arguably well beyond what any other company is capable of doing. This lesson is worth remembering because Microsoft, unlike its peers facing antitrust action, is showing how to become powerful without becoming a threat. The result is far more powerful and far less risky than the company's prior path.
Google Bringing Cash, Nest to ADT
August 4, 2020
Google's Nest line of smart home products will be combined with ADT's security services in a partnership announced Monday by the two companies. As part of the agreement, Google will invest US$450 million into ADT to acquire a 6.6 percent interest in the security and smart home solutions provider. The deal gives Google access to an important channel for its smart home products.
Amazon Gives Alexa App a Makeover
July 29, 2020
Amazon's Alexa mobile app has a new look. The company on Monday introduced an updated version of the app that aims to give users a more personalized experience and moves all third-party "skill" suggestions off the main screen. The app is being rolled out this month for iOS, Android and Fire devices, and should reach all users by the end of August.
Victory Gardens 2.0: Gardening in the Pandemic Era
July 27, 2020
The pandemic era has seen a resurgence of interest in growing, tending, and harvesting fruits and vegetables from one's own patch of land or city balcony. Home gardening offers a sense of security and independence. Even when the world has been upended, a home garden can provide a bit of food insurance. Many people are finding that gardening offers a way to take control of a situation that can sometimes feel chaotic and unpredictable.
Fitness Products Shatter Online Sales Records During Lockdown
July 20, 2020
As traditional gyms, fitness centers, and health and wellness studios shutter during COVID-19, technology has kicked in to provide a replacement or an alternative for growing numbers of online shoppers. Digital at-home exercise sessions and sales of home exercise and health equipment purchased online are fueling new consumer trends that could permanently supplant old shopping routines.
Tech Products That Make It Easier to Stay Home
June 15, 2020
Being locked up at home can drive people a little nuts. Several technology products have been particularly helpful while sheltering in place, making this semi-forced timeout feel less like a punishment and more like something I could endure. The Atmoph Window 2, for example, looks like a picture on your wall, but inside the frame is a connected 27-inch 4K display that is tied to remote cameras.
Rethinking Remote Education
June 8, 2020
In these trying times, kids have to deal with a lot of stuff they weren't prepared for: a significant loss of weeks of education, damaged GPAs, and no assurance they'll be going back in the fall. However, some schools were able to pivot because they already had implemented remote programs that were mature, easily implemented, and designed by teachers for teachers.
Google Aims to Secure Voice Purchases Through Match Feature
May 28, 2020
Google has undertaken a pilot program for Voice Match. A limited number of users can use the tool with Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers and smart displays to make in-app digital purchases on Google Play, or to make purchases from restaurants that enable food ordering through Google. "Many folks used to Google Assistant will take advantage of this convenience," said tech analyst Ray Wang.
How to Soup Up Your Home WiFi With Multiple Repeaters and Access Points
May 21, 2020
Does flaky Internet connectivity have you scrounging for solutions? The COVID-19 pandemic increased our demand for Internet service due to working from home, online learning for kids, and video conferencing with colleagues and family members. For many people stuck at home, Internet connectivity issues became more troublesome in recent months. Use these tips to improve your WiFi performance.
How to Solve WiFi Speed and Connection Problems
May 14, 2020
In theory, all you need is a shiny new router for hassle-free wireless connections in your home or small office. Yet in practice, your wireless reception often will be plagued with interference issues. Interference can cause slow delivery, higher latency than hardwired connections, frequent disconnects and reconnects, and sometimes a complete inability to access a WiFi signal.
How to Turn an Old Android Device Into a Cool, Useful Gadget
April 2, 2020
What do you do with your old Android phones or tablets? That question usually prompts three tired answers. You might trade them in for a new purchase. Or you could resell them on eBay. Probably, though, you will just stuff them in a drawer as emergency backups. Better options exist, however, that would let you continue to get value from your aging devices.
COVID-19 Outbreak: Thoughts From the Stay-at-Home Front
March 23, 2020
Steps can be taken to mitigate the threat of spreading the coronavirus to folks who are sheltering at home. In many cases delivery drivers don't seem to have any protection, and if it's necessary to sign for something, customers are expected to touch a stylus or a screen that has been used by others. Drivers should be practicing social distancing, setting down packages at least six feet away.
Philips Hue Vulnerability Shines Light on Possible IoT Security Nightmare
February 6, 2020
A vulnerability in Philips Hue smart lightbulbs and their controller bridges could allow intruders to infiltrate networks with a remote exploit, Check Point Software Technologies has disclosed. The researchers notified the owner of the Philips Hue brand about the vulnerability in November, and it issued a patched firmware version through an automatic update.
From Personal to Planetary: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 4
January 30, 2020
We asked ECT News Network's roundtable of industry insiders to reflect on their own personal tech preferences, to speculate on what popular gadgets may vanish from use in the next decade, to consider the role of wearable health tools -- and then to expand the discussion to the health of the planet, tech advances in traveling on it, and the prospect of leaving it altogether.
Few Households Have Taken the Gigabit Broadband Leap
January 7, 2020
Increasing numbers of connected devices in the home and greater consumption of streaming media are driving consumer demand for faster broadband speeds. In recent years providers have introduced greater service speeds, bundles and pricing models to address widespread consumer churn. The service speed average among U.S. broadband households has increased steadily over the last four years.
CES 2020: Prepare to Be Amazed
January 6, 2020
Every year I look forward to CES being over. That's not because it isn't interesting -- it is. It's because the place is a nightmare to get around, thanks to some incredibly stupid decisions that turn Las Vegas into a gridlocked mess. Coming right after the holidays, it destroys more family vacations than any other event short of a long driving trip with very young children.
2010 - 2019: Product of the Decade
December 30, 2019
As we get to the end of December, I typically pick my product of the year, but this is also the end of the decade, so I'll go back and look at the prior products of the year, name my pick for this year, and then pick my product of the decade. 2010 was an easy choice as the iPad came out and scared the hell out of the entire PC market. Its release made the whole "PC is Dead" thing real.
Tech Firms Join Forces to Create Smart Home Connectivity Standard
December 19, 2019
Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance are teaming up on a new Internet Protocol-based standard for smart home device connectivity. Connected Home over IP will be an open source project. A working group will define a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification. The goal is to enable communication across smart home devices, mobile apps and cloud services.
Researchers Use Lasers to Hack Smart Speakers
November 6, 2019
University researchers have discovered a way to issue unauthorized commands to digital assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, Facebook Portal and Siri via laser beams. The microphones in devices like smart speakers, mobile phones and tablets convert sound into electrical signals, but what the researchers found was that the mics react to light aimed directly at them, too.
Voice Commerce: It's a Natural
November 5, 2019
Consumers increasingly are shopping by voice rather than typing on a keyboard or searching on a phone. People are growing more comfortable with voice assistants, as the tech becomes smarter and more conversational every day. "Consumers appreciate the simplicity of using voice to shop," said Shilp Agarwal, CEO of Blutag. "Users can express their purchasing intent much more quickly over voice."
Nvidia's New Shield TV Models Add Dolby Vision, Atmos
October 29, 2019
Nvidia has introduced two new versions of its Android TV-based Shield streaming product. Shield TV and Shield TV Pro are replacements for the last generation of Shield video streamers, which Nvidia introduced in 2017. The Shield TV Pro retains the form factor of its predecessors -- the box-like form favored by the industry generally -- while the lower priced Shield TV is cylinder-shaped.
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Which of these topics being featured at CES 2021 interest you most?
5G & Internet of Things
Advertising, Entertainment & Content
Automotive Technologies
Blockchain / Cryptocurrency
Esports / Sports Tech
Health & Wellness
Home & Family
Immersive Entertainment & Gaming
Product Design & Manufacturing
Robotics & Machine Intelligence