The Rise of the Personal Cloud

From the starting point of data backup and synchronization, personal cloud services over the next few years will increasingly focus on media access and storage.

Merging Thermal Storage with Load Shifting for Efficient Cooling

Reprinted with permission from The theory behind load shifting is to use more power when it's cheap and less power when it's expensive. The overall system costs are quite low. The insulated holding tank is just a re-used water heater tank, and the thermal battery tank is a store-bought cooler priced at $80. The off-the-shelf copper coils were priced at $20 apiece, and the small circulating pumps each cost around $50. The total cost of the sensors, the Barionet, and the MBus_Io10_LCD is under $350. The WattNode demand meter and the water meter are optional components and economically priced.

Discovering Your Process

One of my most recent adventures was just doing this rediscovering. First off we organized a Team having expertise in the various Departments - Sales, Project Management, Procurement, System Engineer, and Operations. They provide a great detail look into their day-to-day operations regarding how changes should occur. Things we first identified…too many E-Mails going around, Items not getting ordered correctly based on changes, things falling through the cracks, Changes not truly being managed, and Multiple Change Request currently.

Here a Tablet, Everywhere a Tablet

Consumers are using tablets for emails, checking on the news, social networking, gaming, reading books and watching videos. But, how are businesses using tablets? Just as the notebooks have replaced the PC, we can expect the tablet to replace the notebook, as they are smaller and lighter. The usage of tablets in business is multifaceted; and we will see more creative uses in the future, but the future of tablets in business will depend on software development, which is in a growth stage right now.

Trends of 2011 and the Storylines for 2012

Many thanks to our friends at Parks Associates for this great summary of what happened last year and what to expect over the next.

A 3D Printing Primer

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship "Enterprise". Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. Do these words sound familiar? Well, today man has gone where no man has gone before. On the star ship Enterprise, there is a device known as a "replicator." The concept was to have a 23rd century technology that could replicate anything by reconstituting raw material into the object desired.

What Are the Characteristics of a Good-Sounding Room?

No matter how well treated, there is no such thing as a perfect-sounding room. Second, no matter how good a room might sound on its own, every room can be improved with intelligently-applied acoustic treatment.

A Year Without Cable TV

A little over a year ago, I went cold turkey with Cable. I had literally everything that one of the big providers could offer (as my sister-in-law worked there, and we owned a two-flat with her). In this article, I'll share my experiences and the current state of play with TV in my house. Mark Anderson is a long-time home theater enthusiast and lives on the bleeding edge of Home Automation. He will be covering everything related to Home Automation and AV. He is also a regular contributor to, where he covers commercial AV and automation.Please welcome Mark to the HomeToys team.

NFC coming to a smart phone near you

NFC stands for Near Field Communication. So, what does this mean? If you attend a trade show and meet someone, whom you would like to exchange business cards, you both can touch your NFC smart phones to the other's show badge and the information is exchanged. You no longer have to carry a pocket full of business cards, or have to sort cards after the show.

Z-Wave Announces 600th Certified Product

The Z-Wave Alliance, the consortium behind the world's largest ecosystem of interoperable wireless control solutions, today announced that it has certified its 600th product. This major milestone solidifies its position as the leading consortium dedicated to Home Control and Smart Energy development. The 600th Z-Wave product is a Whole House Energy Meter designed to provide timely and accurate consumption data.

Six months ago, saw the 500th certified Z-Wave product: a goal that took almost 6 years to reach. Today, the announcement of a 600th product indicates rapid growth in Z-Wave. What are the primary factors for the growth? Read Mark's take on this here.

Z-Wave Announces 600th Certified Product -- RCS Technology EM52 Whole House Energy Meter

Major Milestone Reaffirms Z-Wave as the Largest Interoperable Ecosystem for Wireless Home Control and Smart Energy

SurgeX Announces Exclusive Distribution Rights of Certified Cyber Solutions

The agreement positions SurgeX to provide greater security integration with advanced power management, smart energy management, secure remote diagnostics, and monitoring.

proAV recognised as Cisco Authorised Digital Media System (DMS) Partner

proAV, one of the UK's leading audio visual systems integrators has been officially recognised as a Cisco Authorised Digital Media System (DMS) Partner, having demonstrated a proven sales and support capability to clients with integrated digital media solutions.

Digital View Extends LCD Controller Range to Offer Wide Temperature Support

Harsh environment LCD controllers support display systems from -40° to +80°C operating temperatures

Scala Presents Digital Signage Checklist for DSE 2012 Attendees

Checklist Reviews Essential Criteria to Use When Evaluating Digital Signage Systems

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Automation & Control - Featured Product

Light sockets; Not just for lights anymore

Light sockets; Not just for lights anymore

Smart Bulbs are out there and they can do far more then just provide light. Speakers, projectors, wi-fi extenders and more. The standard light socket that is wired up and ready to go in nearly every home in North America is now providing an easy and affordable option for home owners and renters alike to enter into the world of the "Smart Home". Here is a look at some of the Smart Bulbs and Smart Lighting options out there, and this list is just the beginning. In this ongoing article we hope to continue to add to and grow this list, so stay tuned!