John Sciacca

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John Sciacca  |  Jan 09, 2015  |  Published: Jan 10, 2015  |  0 comments
Astell&Kern has made a name for itself with ultra-high-resolution portable music players like the AK240 and AK120, allowing users to listen to their high-res FLAC and DSD audio files while on the road. At CES the company unveiled its new AK500N Ultimate Network Audio Player, bringing audiophile listening into the living room.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 08, 2015  |  0 comments
First, when you can intersect technology and beer, you are likely never going to go wrong. I have met very few people in this industry that don’t also love a good ale, lager, IPA, Belgian, stout, lambic, or other.

Now, I love craft beer. Like, I love craft beer. In fact I have a separate blog devoted to reviewing the stuff, and I’ve drank/reviewed almost 400 to date. But, I have no real interest in making beer. To me it is too much hassle, too much mess, too much chance for bacteriological contamination ruining the batch, too much chance of crafting gallons of stuff I wouldn’t want to drink. In a way, craft beer is like sausage for me; love to drink it, don’t really want to know how it is made. However the good folks at PicoBrew also love beer, and their new Zymatic fully automatic brewer is just high-tech and awesome enough to make me reconsider my non-brewing ways.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 08, 2015  |  0 comments
The Philips Pronto touchscreen remote control revolutionized what a non-professional programmer could do when it came to customizing their personal controller. User groups traded graphics files, created games, and spent hours tweaking and refining their beloved Prontos. But this venerable remote was discontinued by the manufacturer several years ago, and the Pronto name was all but lost, only to be spoken of in hushed and revered tones.

But, good news, Pronto and iOS lovers! The new Pronto Peel is going to bring some of the love and control back in a new form factor and simple to use way!

John Sciacca  |  Jan 08, 2015  |  1 comments
Chances are you have a touchscreen phone that uses some form of swipe or button press combo to unlock the phone for use. As you know, the oils on your fingers can leave smudges behind, and over time can leave a tell-tale treasure map of greasy DNA to tell people which buttons are used to unlock your phone.

Since the touchscreens on smart door locks are used far less frequently – and primarily for entering the home’s unlock code – this can be a real problem, and can leave smart lock owners vulnerable to something far more than someone checking out your emails and selfies. Fortunately Kwikset has added a new technology to foil any would-be fingerprint grabbers with a simple and foolproof method called SecureScreen.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 07, 2015  |  0 comments
The coolest bits of technology can often come from someone looking at the same problem everyone else has but seeing a new and better way to fix it. Every been awakened at 3 AM to the dreadful CHIRP! from a smoke alarm? Ever heard the chirping and then had to wander around the house trying to figure out which detector it is that is making the infernal racket? What if you were away at work or on vacation and your house caught fire…wouldn’t you like to know about it before you came home to find the smoldering ruins of Pompeii where your home theater used to be? These are all problems solved in a brilliantly simple manner by Roost.
John Sciacca  |  Jan 07, 2015  |  0 comments
If you have a home, then you probably have a lawn. And if you have a lawn then you probably have an irrigation system. Even with programming and some crude scheduling, these are dumb devices that essentially haven't been changed or seen any real technological updates in years and just run until you remember to tell them to stop. I can’t tell you how many times I wake up to hear my sprinkler system running as it competes with a massive South Carolina rainstorm. Or how I try and remind myself to turn the system off for winter – and back on for summer – but inevitably forget to do it until multiple cycles into the new season. Fortunately, technology in the form of Skydrop is coming to bring some intelligence and Internet control to irrigation controllers.
John Sciacca  |  Jan 07, 2015  |  0 comments
If you’re one of the 83% of adults that drinks coffee in the US, then you probably care about the quality and flavor and freshness of your morning Joe. And if you are in the group of people that is looking to press the boundaries of freshness beyond just grinding your own beans, then you are definitely going to be interested in Bonaverde’s Dalia.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 06, 2015  |  0 comments
While the company teased the launch of its new app at CEDIA this past September, the new Savant app is now fully released and they’re real and they’re spectacular! Savant has always been known for a system that utilizes gorgeous graphics and the new app definitely doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Beyond just being a pretty face, the new app places a level of personalization, power and adjustment into the hands of the end-user like never before.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 06, 2015  |  0 comments
Think home automation and lighting control shouldn’t cost thousands of dollars and take a team of programmers days to install and set up? Then you are of like mind with SwitchBee, a company looking to bring simplified lighting control to the masses and bring “a quick switch to a smart home” with a one switch, one screwdriver, two minutes, $50 philosophy.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 06, 2015  |  0 comments
If beauty is only skin deep, it runs awful thick in the new Soledge Canto range of wireless audio components. All of the components are covered in a thick layer of eye-catching, bright white Corian, making for stunning components that look every bit as beautiful as they sound. I couldn’t resist running my hands across the tops of the components, reveling in the feel of ultra-high-end build quality.