Category Archives: Home

Fixbid wants to save you from bad home renovations @ CES 2021



Fixbid contractor hiring toolFinding a quality and trustworthy contractor can be an absolute nightmare. Almost everyone who has done home remodeling work has a story about someone involved in the project who was or caused a problem. When my family built an add-on to the house, we ended up with a large collection of issues (we still have one door we can’t use nearly 30 years later). But, the mobile app Fixbid wants those issues to be a thing of the past.

There have been contractor rating platforms before, but they never quite work. The problem has always been that the scores come exclusively from customers. And who takes the time to review someone? Unhappy customers or people being incentivized. Joe Lycett showed just how easy it is to become the top water purification system on Trust Pilot without ever having a product. The process is far too easy to game, making the scores fairly useless.

Fixbid set out to fix this problem by using actual certification metrics. Rather than just hoping that customer reviews are accurate (which they are not), Fixbid uses the American Rating Company as its basis. All contractors that are listed on the system are all Diamond Certified Contractors, giving a higher level of confidence in hiring them.

Of course, the goal of the platform is to help you pair up with a contractor that offers the service you need, whether it be electrical, plumbing, solar, and more. You can find, communicate, and even pay for the services all through Fixbid.

The service is currently available in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, with plans to expand that service area in the future. To learn more about the service or explore the available contractors, head to the Fixbid website. From there, you can register and download the app.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

Sponsored by:
Get $5 to protect your credit card information online with Privacy.
Amazon Prime gives you more than just free shipping. Get free music, TV shows, movies, videogames and more.
The most flexible tools for podcasting. Get a 30 day free trial of storage and statistics.


Baru allows you to customize your home and office furniture @ CES 2021



Baru custom furniture designMoving can be a stressful experience. Part of the stress is created by the desire to make the new place as nice as possible, but since every place is different, your old furniture just might not work. In fact, while moving is one of the most common times to replace your furniture. The process of choosing just the right set can be difficult and expensive, but Baru is here to make it an easier process.

Here’s how the system works. There is a large collection of furniture designs in categories like desks, dressers, armoires, beds, nightstands, and storage. Once you choose the piece that fits your needs, you get to customize it to your liking. First, choose your material. This can vary depending on the piece, but includes matte and gloss coverings, as well as natural woods like raven oak and smoked walnut. Once you’ve chosen your material you can customize the size. Obviously, the customizations will be different for different types of furniture but will give you a lot of capability.

Possibly the best part of the Baru process is the quick delivery time. If you are within one of the operating zones, you are guaranteed delivery of your custom-designed and manufactured piece within 2 weeks. The impressive turnaround time is possible because of an automated cutting process. Using a CNC machine, the pieces can be custom cut on-demand in partner shops, delivered to the address, and assembled – all within the short timeframe.

The service is live now, with dozens of pieces available for customization and order. Prices vary depending on material selected, and free delivery and 2 week timeframe are dependent on proximity to an operating zone. To check out what is available and to place an order, head over to the Baru website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

Sponsored by:
Get $5 to protect your credit card information online with Privacy.
Amazon Prime gives you more than just free shipping. Get free music, TV shows, movies, videogames and more.
The most flexible tools for podcasting. Get a 30 day free trial of storage and statistics.


Mercku M6 Mesh is an attractive, powerful Wi-Fi system @ CES 2021



Mercku M6 Mesh Wi-Fi systemWi-Fi is an essential part of our daily lives, made even more important with the global lockdowns. But, many home wireless networks are questionable, which can cause a lot of problems working from home or watching content on your phone, computer, or tablet. A strong, powerful Wi-Fi system running on the most modern publicly available standard, can help address this. The Mercku M6 Mesh is just such a system.

Mesh systems, like the Mercku M6 Mesh, allow you to use multiple access points around your home or office, which all identity as the same wireless network. This allows you to walk around your home while maintaining your Wi-Fi connection. This can be almost required for a two-story building, like our offices, where you lose almost all coverage when you change floors. But, by placing a second device, which connects to the first and acts as a repeater, you can keep your signal strength at peak performance.

The Mercku M6 Mesh also features Wi-Fi 6, which is the current standard coming into CES 2021. This standard provides the fastest speeds and strongest signal available. With a faster maximum bandwidth, it allows for better speeds even with degraded coverage (such as in outer corners). Wi-Fi 6 also allows the mesh to have the best possible connection between access points.

Another big focus for the product is appearance. Unlike Wi-Fi routers of the past, mesh routers are designed to be placed out in the open to maximize signal strength. As such, appearance is an important aspect of the product. Many mesh routers take a minimalistic approach, looking like boxes or air fresheners. The Mercku M6 Mesh, however, is designed to be seen and to be a point of aesthetic pride.

The Mercku M6 Mesh is coming soon and will have a suggested price of $349. To learn more about the product and to find out when it comes to market, check out the Mercku website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.

Sponsored by:
Get $5 to protect your credit card information online with Privacy.
Amazon Prime gives you more than just free shipping. Get free music, TV shows, movies, videogames and more.
The most flexible tools for podcasting. Get a 30 day free trial of storage and statistics.


The Beeing B-BOX makes beekeeping at home safe and easy @ CES 2021



Beeing B-BOX beekeeping boxUrban farming may be a concept that is foreign to many people, but it is quickly growing in popularity. From people turning their yards into full gardens that can produce food to full indoor hydroponics cabinets like our friends at Natufia, the idea has gained a lot of attention in recent years. But, one area that is gaining in popularity is beekeeping. The process can be rewarding but difficult, but Beeing is making it easier with the B-BOX.

Beeing produces a new style of bee box that is designed specifically for the urban farmer. Appropriately named the B-BOX, this box has a large focus on safety. It helps to maintain the simplest and safest interaction between humans and bees. This is because bees are not domesticated animals, meaning that they have no reason not to hurt someone, so always be careful (even with the safety precautions in place).

The B-BOX is also designed to make the experience exciting. The entrance point for the bees is just over 7 feet from the ground, making it perfect for watching without a heightened chance of getting stung. The side of the box also has a transparent side panel, so you can peek in and see what’s going on. Of course, since bees only feel safe and at home in the dark, the panel has a cover that should stay in place under normal circumstances. Honey collection is also made easy, with panels across the top that slide up and out.

In addition to the B-BOX, the company produces a number of connected devices to help manage your colony. Using sensors within the box, you can detect issues early, before they negatively impact the health of the bees.

The B-BOX is available internationally, while the connected devices are currently only available in Italy, with a wider rollout in the works. To learn more about the B-BOX, head to the Beeing website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

Sponsored by:
Get $5 to protect your credit card information online with Privacy.
Amazon Prime gives you more than just free shipping. Get free music, TV shows, movies, videogames and more.
The most flexible tools for podcasting. Get a 30 day free trial of storage and statistics.


Albi Home M makes the perfect wine pour every time @ CES 2021



Albi Home M wine systemThe popularity of wine has grown leaps and bounds in recent years. A recent survey showed that wine is preferred to beer for Millenials in everyday situations. With popularity comes a renewed focus on innovation in the space. One of the most interesting changes coming to the wine market is from Albicchiere – Albi Home M.

Albi Home M is designed to be the perfect wine companion. Depending on who you ask, the lifespan of wine, once opened, varies, but is usually very short. In Italy, they’ll tell you that it’s vinegar within 24 hours. General wisdom suggests that it should be used within a few days. With the Albi Home M, you can keep wine good for up to 6 months.

The extended life is accomplished through the combination of a couple of advancements. The most important is the transition of wine from a glass bottle to a bag. The company is working with brands to offer their wines in these bags, but you can also transfer your own wine into a bag at home. You then put the bag into the machine, which sits on your counter. The machine itself is then able to take all of the excess oxygen out, helping to preserve the wine.

From there, the machine takes over all of your needs. It keeps the wine chilled, with three cooling modes – allowing you to keep it quiet, keep it drink-ready, or optimize power consumption using an AI-powered energy saver. When you’re ready for a drink, the Albi Home M pours for you, resealing the bag and removing oxygen again. And, best of all, it’s always the perfect temperature.

The Albi Home M will be available starting at $349. To learn more about the product or to sign up to learn when the product becomes available, head over to the Albicchiere website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

Sponsored by:
Get $5 to protect your credit card information online with Privacy.
Amazon Prime gives you more than just free shipping. Get free music, TV shows, movies, videogames and more.
The most flexible tools for podcasting. Get a 30 day free trial of storage and statistics.


The applications of Chirp Microsystems’ ultrasonic range finder @ CES 2021



Chirp Microsystems ultrasonic range finderIf you are in the hardware design, robotics, automation, or home security industry, you are probably familiar with ultrasonic range finders. These are sensors that can offer a lot to a user. The best part is that many industries can make use of this technology.

Chirp Microsystems is right now the only manufacturer of ultrasonic range finders with MEMS technology. Here is everything you need to know about it.

The Uses Of A MEMS Ultrasonic Range Finder

Here is everything such a range finder can do:

  • Presence sensing
  • Position tracking
  • Range finding
  • Object detection
  • Object avoidance
  • Narrow and wide-field detection
  • And much more

However, the problem with these range finders has been that they are bulky. Chirp Microsystems has changed the game by introducing MEMS technology so that these range finders can become more compact and portable.

What Makes The MEMS Ultrasonic Range Finder By Chirp Microsystems Unique

Chirp Microsystems has introduced ultrasonic range finders within a compact package of 3.5 millimeters. Of course, this is not all. It also provides accurate range measurements regardless of the objects, colors, and sizes than previous technology did not detect.

Besides that, the range finder can work in all types of lighting conditions, heating conditions, and noise conditions. It also consumes incredibly low power because the technology is based around a silicon package. So, this ultrasonic range finder is set to change the game for many industries soon.

Final Words

If you are in automation, robotics, or any industry that requires a range finder, Chirp Microsystems should be your top choice. Their technology is one of the top ones out there that will provide you with much more flexibility. It is primarily a game-changer for all the hardware designers out there looking for more functionality and flexibility.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

Sponsored by:
Get $5 to protect your credit card information online with Privacy.
Amazon Prime gives you more than just free shipping. Get free music, TV shows, movies, videogames and more.
The most flexible tools for podcasting. Get a 30 day free trial of storage and statistics.


Energizer Connect is a perfect solution for your smarthome @ CES 2021



Energizer Connect affordable IoTSmart home devices are becoming nearly ubiquitous, but there can often be huge costs involved. The products themselves can be expensive, they can require additional devices, like hubs, or even subscription services. But, one brand that has been ubiquitous for decades itself has taken on the challenge of making connected devices that avoid all of these financial issues: Energizer Connect.

Energizer Connect has a wide variety of connected devices, ranging from indoor lightbulbs, outdoor light fixtures, switchable outlets, and security cameras. In addition, all of the devices are controllable through a single Energizer Connect app. You can set up schedules and smart scenes, make devices respond to one another, and more. This year, the company is expanding its line with some new products in its lineup, particularly in outdoor security.

First up is a smart 1080p HD indoor/outdoor battery camera. This camera features full HD video and is battery-powered, meaning you can install it in places where you might not be able to run a power cable. However, if you are able to power it, you can do that, as well, using the included weatherproof power cable. Inside is a long-lasting battery (this is Energizer after all), which is made to run longer because the camera is able to go into a low power mode when not being fully used. The camera attaches to the base using a strong magnet, so pulling it down to charge is easy.

Next up are the spotlight and dual floodlight offerings. These lights can be used for both home security and general daily usage and entertaining. The floodlight offers an integrated security camera with motion and people detection, as well as activity zones. It also features night vision for general night usage. It also has 2000 lumens of multi-white light available for all uses. There is also a smaller spotlight version, which offers 1000 lumens.

Some of the products are available now, while others are coming soon. To learn more about the product offerings or to make a purchase, head over to the Energizer Connect website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

Sponsored by:
Get $5 to protect your credit card information online with Privacy.
Amazon Prime gives you more than just free shipping. Get free music, TV shows, movies, videogames and more.
The most flexible tools for podcasting. Get a 30 day free trial of storage and statistics.


Why monitoring indoor air quality with Airthings is essential @ CES 2021



Airthings indoor air qualityWith so many diseases spreading these days, monitoring indoor air quality has become essential. That is because most of us spend our time at home now, and the air quality can impact our health and comfort. That is where Airthings comes in.

Airthings is among the leading manufacturers of indoor air quality monitors that ensure you have a safe workplace and home. Here is everything you need to know about it.

What Contributes To Poor Indoor Air Quality?

Here are some of the most significant contributors to poor indoor air quality:

  • Poor ventilation
  • Building materials
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Poor HVAC system
  • Smoke
  • And much more

If your property has high humidity and poor ventilation, these pollutants will have a high negative impact.

Why Do You Need To Monitor Indoor Air Quality?

Long-term exposure to contaminants such as Radon, CO2, and much more can lead to many diseases. If you want to protect your family’s health, you need to make sure the air is clean indoors. Airthings has a wide range of products to help you with this aim.

As of now, Airthings has introduced seven to eight products to help you analyze and monitor air quality inside your home. They can detect contaminants such as Radon, CO2, VOCs, humidity, mold, and much more. The best part is that you can use their products for your commercial or residential property.

Final Words

That was your brief guide to understanding indoor air quality and why you need to maintain it. If you are looking for the optimal solution, you can also invest in Airthings products. They are an all-in-one solution as they ensure that all harmful substances in the air are detected and monitored.

Once they are detected, you can come up with practical steps to maintain your home and family’s well-being.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

Sponsored by:
Get $5 to protect your credit card information online with Privacy.
Amazon Prime gives you more than just free shipping. Get free music, TV shows, movies, videogames and more.
The most flexible tools for podcasting. Get a 30 day free trial of storage and statistics.


Karamba Security is preventing hacking into the IoT @ CES 2021



Karamba Security IoT protectionSecuring the Internet of Things is a complicated task. We’ve seen small and large companies, as well as small and large devices, get hacked. Sometimes the hacks happen on the cloud side, but too often they come from the device side. Not too long ago we covered a scenario where DVRs, cameras, and more, were all being used as part of a botnet to create attacks against other networks. Karamba Security focuses on protecting those devices.

The hacker’s main objective is to gain control over the device. Once compromised, the intention of the device can be changed. The new intention could be as part of a botnet, like mentioned above, or even more sinister. Take, for example, a connected camera. The intended usage is for the camera to stream video directly to a cloud server, where you can then login and view the video. But, a hacker might have the intention of seeing your camera, either for anti-security or anti-privacy purposes. Being able to get in the middle and prevent that attack in the first place is where Karamba Security fits in.

Too many companies don’t think about security as an important aspect of the product design lifecycle. Either there are no experts within the company or no time resources dedicated to the project. That’s where security controls and systems from experts fit in. In the engineering world, we tend to want to let experts on a particular topic handle those complicated topics. Security is, by far, the most important and the most useful to let security experts handle.

Currently, Karamba Security is working with a number of clients to integrate their technology into over 12 million connected devices. To learn more about their technology, or to engage the company about integrating it into your own project, head over to the Karamba Security website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

Sponsored by:
Get $5 to protect your credit card information online with Privacy.
Amazon Prime gives you more than just free shipping. Get free music, TV shows, movies, videogames and more.
The most flexible tools for podcasting. Get a 30 day free trial of storage and statistics.


Direct Smarter All-in-Sensor protects your connected home @ CES 2021



Direct Smarter All-in-SensorIf you have followed our CES 2021 coverage, one of the major trends you have likely noticed is the growth of the connected home and smart home. With lighting, cameras, temperature sensors, and more, our homes are getting more and more connected. But, there is a problem inherent in those connections – privacy. The Direct Smarter All-in-Sensor is a new solution to maintain your privacy while getting the benefits of a connected home.

Over the past few years, we’ve discussed a number of scenarios where a connected home has been invaded or various levels. Ring doorbells can be accessed by law enforcement without a warrant in communities across the country. In some cases, indoor cameras and even baby monitors have been accessed by the outside world. In some cases, hackers have actually spoken to children through these breaches. While testing a new product in our office, we accidentally got paired with a local camera in someone’s home.

The Direct Smarter All-in-Sensor is a device looking to prevent just that scenario. The general problem with a connected home is that it relies on a connection to the internet for each device. That connection pushes all data to a cloud server somewhere, where hackers have a single point of entry to access hundreds, thousands, or millions of devices. This device allows you to keep all of your individual sensors behind your firewall, and connect directly to this instead of the cloud.

The device itself has a collection of sensors built-in, but it can be expanded using additional tabs. This can include alarm capabilities, smoke detection, and more. You can also add external modules, such as smart power, and more.

The Direct Smarter All-in-Sensor can be pre-ordered now for $198. To learn more about the product or to purchase one, head over to the Direct Smarter website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

Sponsored by:
Get $5 to protect your credit card information online with Privacy.
Amazon Prime gives you more than just free shipping. Get free music, TV shows, movies, videogames and more.
The most flexible tools for podcasting. Get a 30 day free trial of storage and statistics.