Remotely Possible

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Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 14, 2019  |  6 comments
CES is known for being a high-tech love-fest, where approximately 180,000 strangers gather to gawk at geeky gadgets—some of which will never see the bright light of day shining outside the Las Vegas Convention Center. CES 2019 was no exception. There was more new, high-tech stuff than any single human being could see, even over the course of the six days this human being was in attendance.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Oct 08, 2018  |  7 comments
Last week Lutron opened the doors to a "newly reimagined Experience Center and training facility in the Decoration and Design Building in New York City." If you're in the area, it's definitely be worth a visit.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 17, 2018  |  8 comments
Two years ago, I stumbled across a display booth with an overly energetic dude eager to convince me that he'd invented something akin to the home-theater version of sliced bread — a DVR for the streaming age. It appears that the Modulus M1 is about ready to ship.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Aug 29, 2018  |  2 comments
Less than a week before the CEDIA Expo 2018 is set to begin in San Diego, Sonos has taken the wraps off of the company's all-new Amp. Replacing the CONNECT:AMP, one of Sonos's earliest products (originally called the ZP120) that has been in its lineup for 12 years, the Sonos Amp is more than twice as powerful (125 watts per channel) and features an entirely revamped design—both on the inside and the outside—enabling it to be used in more custom applications (including powering up to 4 speakers in stereo or mono, a feature often requested by custom integrators) and within more decors (as well as AV racks) than its predecessor. In addition to more power...
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jun 27, 2018  |  0 comments
Over the weekend, I attended the Maker Faire Kansas City. I'd never been to a Maker Faire before, although I've wanted to attend one for quite a while. A couple members of my family asked me to explain what a Maker Faire is; and, even after spending two incredibly interesting days wandering the halls and grounds of Kansas City, Missouri's beautiful and historic Union Station, I'm still trying to figure out how to describe it...
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jun 08, 2018  |  0 comments
It may be hard to believe, but it's been under four years since the Amazon Echo was first introduced in late 2014. Since then, the number of companies offering or developing so-called "smart speakers" has mushroomed to the point where smart speakers have become yawningly commonplace. The recently introduced Sonos Beam, though, takes the concept of a smart speaker to an entirely new level—and into a previously neglected room. When Beam begins shipping on July 17 of this year, it will include Amazon Alexa as a built-in voice-control service; and, Sonos says, Beam will have...
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Apr 23, 2018  |  0 comments
By now, even the most ecologically minded person has probably had their fill of Earth Day articles and blog posts. Bear with me, though, because this post is only tangentially related to Earth Day and eco-sensibilities. Instead, it's more about getting your hands dirty with the innards of an electronic gadget or component after you've removed or cut the "WARRANTY VOID IF SEAL BROKEN OR REMOVED" sticker on the device's outer casing. I've done it plenty of times before...
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Mar 13, 2018  |  5 comments
A couple of weeks ago, I received a package from Soundcast, the makers of outdoor, water-resistant, portable, Bluetooth loudspeakers, such as the original OutCast series; the smaller, easier-to-carry Melody; and the new VG-series models (including the VG10 and VG7). Inside the box was the "first production press sample" of the company's latest speaker, the latest introduction, the VG5. Along with the VG5 was a sample of Soundcast's VGtx, "a long-range wireless stereo transmitter featuring Bluetooth 4.2 and the aptX Low Latency codec."

I've never had much love for Bluetooth...

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Feb 27, 2018  |  0 comments
When I first saw Flexound's HUMU Augmented Audio Cushion at CES 2018 in early January, my initial reaction was "[deleted] gimmick!" But then I sat down for a demonstration followed by a long discussion with Mervi Heinaro, Flexound Systems' CEO. As you might guess, I don't normally spend much time talking with folks about gimmicky products or technologies. (I have enough crazy ideas running through my head already, thank you very much.) As it turned out, HUMU is the real deal-one of those magical products that I always hope to find at CES. A product that's simultaneously unusual, cool, compelling, and ready to ship. At least in this case, I got three out of four, because Heinaro said HUMU wasn't available in the US at that moment. She assured me, however, that Flexound could ship a sample to me by the end of January.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Feb 13, 2018  |  2 comments
Too often smart home technology is more "because we can" than it is "because we should." The Flex House at CES 2018 proved that you can integrate smart home technology that's highly functional rather than mostly hype.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 22, 2018  |  2 comments
Two things delineate the extremes of my life: cleaning out the kitty litter box and drinking coffee.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 13, 2018  |  3 comments
The folks at WIFIPLUG claim that their WIFIPLUG HOME Wi-Fi-enabled plug is—or will be when it begins shipping to customers sometime around April—the "Smartest Plug on Earth". That's a pretty electrifying statement; and, since I haven't checked out every other smart plug on the planet, I'm in no position to say it's not.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 13, 2018  |  0 comments
The audio industry likes to promote the slogan "Music Matters!" I happen to agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment, but the Focused Ultrasound Foundation could be said to have the motto "Sound Matters!" In their case, in fact, sound—specifically, focused ultrasound—matters so much because it can save lives.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 13, 2018  |  1 comments
I didn't know who or what the ULE Alliance was when I agreed to meet with them at CES 2018. For all I knew, they might have been an organization dedicated to promoting electronic ukuleles.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 13, 2018  |  0 comments
In the WiSA suite, Axiim demonstrated the company's newest WiSA-certified device, the Axiim Link HD wireless speaker system. In addition to the fact that the new system adds to the growing the universe of WiSA-certified products, the Axiim Link HD is exceptionally noteworthy for being "the first wireless home theater solution designed for Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs."