Tag Archives: connected home

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Joule is making your home energy consumption smarter @ CES 2021



Joule power managementIt seems like every year we use more and more electricity in our daily lives. Moving our work to our homes has not lessened that consumption – in fact, it has certainly increased it. No longer can we let our air conditioner hibernate a little during the day, because we’re always home. We’ve got extra computers and equipment for our jobs. And, we’re watching more streaming content than ever before. But, there are always ways to decrease our usage, but how can you determine what they are? That’s is where Joule comes in.

Joule is a cloud platform that is able to take data from any electric meter, old or new, and turn it into useful knowledge. It then combines it with data about other utilities, such as water and gas. The ultimate goal of the system is to help you optimize your energy consumption. The platform can work in residential, commercial, or industrial environments, meaning that it can help in any part of your life.

Users are able to interact with their collected data through a paired web and mobile application, as well as through an Alexa skill. Today, the company provides service for more than 12,000 users in Italy and has collected over 800,000 readings. The company has successfully helped these users minimize their ecological footprint.

In addition to the platform, the company offers a companion device – Scala. This device looks like a smart speaker, but has environmental sensors built in, allowing it to record indoor conditions to apply to the cloud platform’s algorithms. It has a screen on the front that can show information, such as indoor temperature, energy consumption, air quality, and humidity. You can also invoke the speaker with your voice and ask questions about past, present, and future consumption, among other factors.

To learn more about Joule, you can check out their website.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Wayzn turns your sliding door into an automatic pet door @ CES 2021



Wayzn automatic pet doorPets can require a lot of attention. In particular, they need to go outside to do their business fairly regularly. This can pose a challenge when you’re working, whether you’re working from home or going into an office. They may also need to go while you’re gone to the store, or out with friends. Wouldn’t it be great if they could let themselves out? That’s the goal of Wayzn.

Now, there have been options for pet doors for years. The most common is the traditional flap. They’re fairly inexpensive to purchase and uncomplicated to use. However, they require you, or more likely a contractor, to cut a hole in your exterior door. Plus, if you don’t lock the flap or put a board in front of it, you’re inviting wildlife into your home. A cool place with food left out is a raccoon’s dream scenario, and the flap would make that possible. There are also sliding door inserts, and, while they’re easy to install, they have the same issues as a regular flap, plus they limit the door’s usage.

With Wayzn, you get all of the benefits with none of the drawbacks. The system sits on the bottom part of the track of an existing sliding door. As long as the door is long enough and the fixed pane is outside, you’re likely good to go. Installation can be done by you with little trouble. Once installed, you can set the door to open on its own, by an app, or by voice control.

Wayzn devices are in limited production but are available to purchase now. They run only $399, which is less than the installation of a flap. To learn more about the Wayzn door opener or to take the survey to make sure it will work with your door and to purchase, head over to their website.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Swidget is future-proofing your smart home devices @ CES 2021



Swidget modular smart homeThere is no doubt that smart home devices are becoming a normal part of most homes. Whether it be a daily driver type device, like a connected thermostat, or a less complex product, like a lightbulb, connected devices are everywhere. One of the big problems, however, is the interconnectivity, or lack thereof, between different brands and technologies. Fortunately, Swidget has a way to keep your products working with one another.

Swidget has taken the concept of smart devices and broken it into components. Take, for example, a connected light switch. Let’s say you purchase a set of 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi bulbs and get a light switch that controls them. When the bulbs need to be replaced, the brand no longer exists, so you buy new bulbs. Unfortunately, these bulbs work on Z-Wave. This means that your light switch no longer controls the bulbs, so you have to purchase a new switch, too.

With the Swidget technology, the communication method is separate from the device. That means that you can pop out the communication module for Wi-Fi and swap it to one for Z-Wave. Now you’re up and running again without having to do electrical work – it’s literally as easy as a snap.

In addition to just communication modules, Swidget allows you to add functionality. The modules can have USB ports, video cameras, thermometers, guide lights, and more. The idea, of course, is that your devices can carry forward with you as the technologies change. But, for those who like to be in full control of their devices, which is the target demographic for smart homeowners, you can truly decide exactly what features you want, and where you want them.

Swidget switches, outlets, and inserts are available now in Wi-Fi configuration, with Z-Wave modules coming soon. To learn more about the technology or find where to buy, check out the company’s website.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Pleco water monitor provides real-time data for real impact @ CES 2021



Pleco water monitorMarcelo DeCarmagc, the co-founder of Nudge Systems and the Pleco water monitor, hails from a background of instrumentation and measurement. His partner and co-founder works in the water utility industry. In 2014 they experienced one of the severe droughts common in California. In the process of discussing how difficult it is to get compliance when governments and utilities ask people to conserve water, Nudge Systems was born. The company’s goal is to save and conserve as much water as possible while giving people the tools and information they need to make good conservation decisions.

Nudge Systems believes the gap in the residential market related to water conservation, exists because residents don’t have an intimate relationship with water, and therefore don’t understand exactly what they need to do to make an impact. Their solution, Pleco – named after the common aquarium suckerfish that keeps tanks clean – is based on the premise that people would be more willing to conserve water if they were given more actionable information. Nudge Systems nudges people to take the steps to do what they wanted to do but didn’t previously have the information to inspire them to do it.

Most water conservation systems for homeowners are complex, says DeCarmagc, and require professional installation. The Pleco system consists of three main elements and an app, all of which can be installed and deployed easily, without tools. The sensor is a “water watch” that’s wrapped around the existing water meter and measures water flow into the home. The sensor data transmits the water usage data to the homeowner via a customized radio system. The data appears on the Pleco touch screen display in real-time. The display also acts as a hub connecting to the internet and a companion smartphone app. The entire system can be set up in minutes by the homeowner.

By measuring water flow in real-time, the homeowner can not only see the information, but via an algorithm that recognizes patterns of usage, can actually identify where the water is going – to showers, faucets, toilets, irrigation, or being lost through leaks. By seeing more clearly in real-time where their water goes, Nudge Systems believes that homeowners can and will change the way they relate with and use water in their home.

The device retails for $249. You can learn more about Nudge Systems by visiting their website.

Interview by Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.

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Smart Home Need helps you identify needs and solutions @ CES 2021



Smart Home NeedThe concept of the smart home is getting pretty popular. A recent study shows that 13% of homes have a smart bulb and 9% of homes have a smart outlet. With acceptance like that, it is no surprise that some concern over the way these devices work together is beginning to creep into the public consciousness. Unless you buy into a multi-brand system, the chances of two brands working together are pretty small. Even Todd Cochrane says that few of the items in his own home are compatible. This is one of the ways in which Smart Home Need is helping consumers on their smart home journeys.

The Smart Home Need system is designed to help you identify your needs by asking questions. Once your needs are identified, it helps you understand what those needs are why any they are important. Not all of these needs are easily solvable via technology, so an assessment is made as to which make sense to apply tech to solve. Then, you have the ability to act with meaningful habits and smart home technology to help address those needs.

Clearly, the intention is to improve your overall well-being without adding additional stress to your life. By designing and implementing a technology solution that can address your needs without adding a large collection of unrelated devices into your life, they can help with that goal. Even with all of these benefits, the service is offered to customers to try without charge. This is because of relationships with manufacturers and donations.

Smart Home Need is available now to the public. To learn more about the service, to learn what products are currently in the system, or to give it a try for free, you can head to the company’s website. Try tier is offered for free. Learn and Flourish tiers are charged yearly.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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Essence USA introduces healthcare and security products @ CES 2021



Essence MDSenseIsrael-based security manufacturer Essence introduced various new 5G forward-compatible security products at CES 2021.

In our interview, Todd Cochrane talks to Josh Locke, Director of Sales for Essence USA. Essence provides smart connected-living solutions for security, communication, and healthcare service providers. Backed by 20 years of experience and over 15 million devices installed worldwide, Essence takes pride in the full ownership of our end-to-end solutions; from concept development and design, through the manufacturing of hardware and software to the day to day operations.

Essence’s PERS 5G, introduced at CES, is, according to a press release, “a highly advanced gateway that provides activity monitoring, fall detection, and voice capabilities anywhere in the home. The 5G technology enables service providers and users to enjoy the highest levels of dependability and accuracy.”

As for a non-5G wellness application, Essence also touted its MDSense fall detection system, which leverages another cutting-edge technology – radar – to cover a full room using a wireless device that looks much like a traditional PIR motion detector. The product is ideal for people who might not be wearing an emergency pendant and/or cannot reach a panic button.

Beyond the wellness monitoring area, Essence also introduced an intrusion detection system aimed at homes and small businesses. The company calls its Integrated FogShield product “the world’s first 5G standalone solution for intruder prevention.” Connected via 5G CAT-M networks, it includes motion detection, video recording, two-way voice capabilities, and a smoke diffuser that fills a room with a harmless but disorienting smoke that forces intruders out of the premises. Suitable for both residential and commercial buildings, the company says the system can be integrated with existing security systems or used as a standalone solution.
Essence believes in building a future where technology is a seamless extension of people’s lives. Enriching, enabling, and shaping life’s possibilities.

Learn more about these and all of Essence’s products on their blog.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.

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