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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2016 2 comments
Synology makes network attached storage (NAS) servers. If your home entertainment life revolves solely around media you can stream—or you store you entire life in the cloud (on someone else’s remote server)—it’s unlikely you’ll have need of a NAS server. On the other hand, if you have thousands of digital images, movies, and songs in your collection, and you’d like to have easy access to them, a NAS server is one of the most essential digital storage components you can have. Fortunately for people with lots of files to store but not so much money, Synology introduced the DiskStation DS416j—a 4-bay NAS device the company has designed for home and small office use and budgets.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 08, 2016 1 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 Posted: Jan 08, 2016 2 comments
The world in which our smart cars drive us to and from our smart homes isn’t here just quite yet, but Control4 is already doing its part to make that smart home living dream come true.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 08, 2016 1 comments
Cassia Networks demonstrated what the company is calling, “the world’s first Bluetooth router which uses a new enabling technology that redefines what’s possible with Bluetooth.” The word router isn’t one that’s normally heard in association with Bluetooth. Nor is the term “long-range”. (I’ve used another choice term or two when talking about Bluetooth, but we’ll leave those unspoken for the moment.)
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2016 Published: Jan 08, 2016 4 comments
Anyone who ever writes about consumer electronics—especially at shows like CES and CEDIA—runs the risk of praising a really cool product that, unfortunately, never sees the light of day. (It’s also the curse of anyone who covers Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns.) So I’ll begin this post with the following caveat: I have no idea whether or not the folks at Senic in Germany will be able to bring their Nuimo “Universal Control for Your Smart Home” to life as a real, honest-to-goodness product. But I sure as hell hope they do.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2016 1 comments
There’s certainly no lack of interesting DIY home monitoring cameras at CES2016. The original Oco is here, still featuring self-learning sound and motion-detection algorithms, night vision capability, and two-way audio communication. But the diminutive 1280 x 720 (25 fps) camera isn’t alone at the company’s booth.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2016 2 comments
EZVIZ makes cheap—no, that’s not right, because they’re high-quality so let’s say very affordable—cameras for DIYers to use to monitor homes and apartments without breaking the bank in the process. The company’s cameras are also small, unobtrusive, and, importantly, not ugly. I tried out the EZVIZ Mini last year and was quite impressed with the performance and form factor, especially considering the $69 price. Now EZVIZ is introducing several new models that, if they live up to their pre-release promises, will be even more exciting.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2016 1 comments
Have you heard of Riva Audio? Yeah, me neither—until earlier this evening when I attended a press reception in the Riva Audio suite at the Westgate Hotel in the midst of all the craziness that is CES. Riva currently offers two extremely well-reviewed models of portable, rechargeable, Bluetooth speakers: the water-resistant Turbo S and the larger, more powerful Turbo X. (You can read Lauren Dragan’s review of the Turbo X here. But that’s just the beginning for the young company, because Riva plans to introduce a wireless, multiroom speaker ecosystem later this year.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 06, 2016 1 comments
Most battery-powered smoke detectors are designed to give a warning when the battery is running low, and that’s a good thing. On the other hand, it’s almost inevitable that your smoke detector will wait until the middle of the night before it starts emitting that purposely annoying chirp warning sound. The Roost Smart Battery For Smoke Alarms is a dead-simple, very affordable device that will prevent middle-of-the-night chirping and also add some smarts to your “dumb” smoke alarm.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 06, 2016 1 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.

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