Z-Wave Snowballs to 600th Certified Product

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?

HTML 5 and Digital Signage

One of the most significant aspects of HTML 5 for digital signage is dynamic content. HTML 5 makes it very easy to display real time information such as stock prices, weather, news headlines, sports scores, etc. Much of this can be accomplished with technologies such as JQuery, and there are companies such as GeckoBoard who specialize in delivering business intelligence via the web. 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 avystemsmag.com, where he covers commercial AV and automation.Please welcome Mark to the HomeToys team.

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 AutomatedBuildings.com 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 avystemsmag.com, 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.

Spotlight on Ultraviolet

Spotlight on Ultraviolet Ultraviolet promises to be the digital movie locker in the cloud. Momentum seems to be gathering with a few major players (Samsung, Amazon and Paramount) signing up recently. I decided to take it for a spin and see if the reality matched the PR hype.

2012 will be the year of Home Automation

I know what you're thinking: another "year of X" prediction that has as much chance of coming to fruition as I have of winning the lottery. (I'm still waiting for smell-o-vision.) So, why am I so keen to stake my reputation on this? One reason: the number of entry level systems appearing on the market. We'll be reviewing some of these over coming months, but for now we'll just list some of the major contenders. 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 avystemsmag.com, where he covers commercial AV and automation.Please welcome Mark to the HomeToys team.

Is Windows Media Center Alive?

Windows Media Center is one of the best and most underrated products produced by Microsoft. As a cord-cutter, I use it as my TV guide, DVR and a whole lot more. In the last few months, I've attempted to find three key plug-ins. Not one exists. It seems developers interests lie elsewhere these days. So is this a nail in WMC's coffin. I hope not.

Speaker Impedance, Your Amplifier And You.

In the audio world, simple spec numbers rarely adequately describe real-world performance. When a speaker is specified as being "8-Ohms," that is really an oversimplification of a complex issue. A speaker's impedance is different at different frequencies!

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