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Darryl Wilkinson

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 12, 2011 0 comments
While it would seem a just another target-rich environment for feminism-bashing jokes and inappropriate sexual innuendoes in the sausagefest that is the annual CEDIA conference, the annual Women in CE breakfast held Saturday morning was actually one of the serious high points of this year’s CEDIA for me (and not simply because of the free prizes that were given out). In addition to a very interesting keynote address by Debra Boelkes, CEO of Business World Rising (a leadership development services firm dedicated to the advancement of high potential business leaders and stronger, more inclusive enterprises) that covered some of the societal and personal reasons why women succeed or fail in the current corporate business world, I was able to catch up with an old friend, Molly Gibson, who recently founded Sixty3percent, a retail sales training concept solely dedicated to marketing to women.

According to Molly (a woman with over 20 years of experience in marketing and sales in the CE industry), women make 63% of consumer electronics buying decisions, but despite the overwhelming numbers, they’re not engaged in the process at all. After interviewing hundreds of women in all economic ranges, Molly’s come up with a sales training program aimed at helping retailers and manufacturers to stop ignoring (at best) or alienating (at worst) the half of the population that makes the larger percentage of buying decisions when it comes to consumer electronics. While the ulterior motive for manufacturers and retailers is to sell more stuff to women, if they can figure out ways to do that while also improving the experiences that many women have when they walk into most consumer electronics stores, everyone will win in the end.

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 12, 2011 0 comments
ihiji is a service company aimed at helping custom installers help their clients. It’s a neat concept for two things you won’t see: the graph above that kind of reminds you of a nuclear fallout pattern, and the install company’s truck that won’t be parking in front of your home. ihiji’s servers constantly monitor your home’s AV and automation system and can pinpoint problems with IP communication (which are then displayed on the network connection graph), allowing the installer to potentially solve the problem (by sending a reboot command, for example) without ever leaving the shop. It saves on service calls, service fees, and aggravation on everyone’s part.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 12, 2011 0 comments
URC knows how to make a splash with remote control technology, and the new MXW-920 is the splashiest remote control on the market. It’s an IR/RF one-way “wand-style” remote control with a monochrome LCD that’s water-resistant (with a rating of JIS Class 4, IP-class 54 – whatever those mean). It’s PC programmable, uses the same programming as URC’s MX-900 and KP-900, and is probably the slickest, most advanced water-resistant remote control on the market. It has an MSRP of $449.95 (plus programming) and is great for use outdoors, by the pool/tub, or by your side on the couch during really good horror movies that might cause you to pee in your pants.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 12, 2011 0 comments
After coming out with a relatively pedestrian and otherwise less-than-beautiful RadioRA 2 seeTemp wireless thermostat, Lutron has now partnered with Honeywell to offer the slightly more high-tech, slightly easier to manually program TouchPRO wireless thermostat with the same rock-solid Clear Connect RF technology used in the amazingly retrofit-friendly RadioRA 2 lighting control system.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 12, 2011 0 comments
It ain’t cheap, but it sure is easy (and fast). VidaBox gives you a way to archive and browse your Blu-ray and DVD movies, store and play music CDs, record and watch favorite TV shows, create animated slide shows, plus stream Netflix and other internet video content from one of a couple of media servers directly to your TV or via a extenders on other TVs in your house. If you’re worried about running out of storage space, VidaBox offers an expandable RAID6 storage device that – in a single unit – can hold u- to 10, 890 DVDs or 2,640 Blu-rays. In addition to the massive storage capabilities, one of the most impressive aspects of the VidaBox system was the speed of its GUIs and searches.

Media centers start at around $3,300. Clients start at around $2,000. (That ginormous storage server runs $15,000.)

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 12, 2011 0 comments
It’s exciting to think about using an iPad2 mounted in the wall instead of a (usually) expensive dedicated touch panel for a variety of home automation/control systems. At least, it’s exciting until you see how much most in-wall iPad2 mounting systems cost. Although primarily known for making media servers, VidaBox showed a new iPad2 on-wall frame/mounting system that’ll have your iPad2 hanging pretty as a picture in minimal time for only – get this - $99. VidaBox offers the frames in seven different colors and finishes, or the frames can be painted to match your wall. Optional chargers (starting at $30) are available for providing continuous power at up to 15 – 25 feet or a steady trickle charge over longer distances, and all that’s required is a single Cat 5 cable from the charger to the frame. (No j-box is required, either.)
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 12, 2011 2 comments
Somfy makes a blinding array of motors and automatic control solutions for window coverings, and the company’s new TaHomA total home automation system aims to take over the rest of the house – not just the shades. In addition to providing comfort and sweet, sweet convenience, TaHomA is designed to manage what Somfy calls the home’s “Energy Triangle” (consisting of shades, lights, and thermostats) to ensure that the home is running as efficiently as possible. The current iteration of the TaHomA user interface has been nicely improved since the first prototype version I saw at CES in January of this year, and it makes both usage and programming control very easy the homeowner via the PC, iPad, iPod touch, or other handheld device. Motion sensors, remote controls, in-wall switches, and wireless thermostats are all available parts of the system to extend its reach. Participating suppliers include Cooper Wiring Devices and Leviton. Currently the system is not capable of a great deal of AV system control, but stay tuned – this looks like it could be the beginning of something especially nice in the world of home automation.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 11, 2011 0 comments
Sound control company Auralex brought examples of the company’s HD Cinema Series of absorption panels that not only seriously improve the sound quality of your home theater room – they can seriously improve the looks of your room, too. The panels come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors; so you can mix and match panels to come up with your own unique look. Panels start at $255/each.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 11, 2011 2 comments
You might want to start looking around for a great set of speaker stands (the ones GoldenEar Technology used were filled with sand and lead shot) or upgrade the shelving on your bookcase/wall because the new Aon 2 and Aon 3 from GoldenEar Technology are so f’superb they demand something extra f’special underneath them. The new Aons will catch your eye from the start thanks to their “truncated pyramidal construction” which results in a speaker cabinet that not only looks good but is also integral to the sound quality due to the absence of parallel cabinet walls and minimal front baffle area. Like the mind-blowing Triton Two towers from GoldenEar, the Aons incorporate the same High Velocity Folded Ribbon (HVFR) high-frequency driver. Each Aon model also has two side-mounted planar low-frequency radiators (8-inch in the Aon 3 and 6-inch in the Aon 2). The result of the way these drivers couple with the room, the Aon 3 (that’s the model I spent some time listening to) had an f’incredible amount of bass output. These speakers are sure to make some noise when they start shipping later this year for $399/each (Aon 2) and $499/each (Aon 3).
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 10, 2011 0 comments
Who is Mr. Excellence, and how much does he pay? Is he a good boss to work for? What kind of benefits does he offer?

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