Baby Boomers Embracing Consumer Technology

For the past two years, Accenture has been conducting in-depth research about the usage patterns of various types of consumer technology products and services among U.S. consumers. The data below represents research completed in the winter of 2008/2009 and provides direct comparisons with last winter's 2007/2008 research data. The goal was to determine if there had been any changes in usage between Baby Boomers + (age 45 and older) and Generation Y (ages 18 to 24). The research uncovered several interesting trends:

Content Insider #117 - Mobile Contact Options

"Victory? Victory you say? Master Obi-Wan, not victory. The shroud of the dark side has fallen." - Yoda, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) You can forgive the news reporter who mistook President Obama's Shaka wave for a sign to call him during the inauguration. The connected candidate -- who took communications to a whole new level -- would have expected a text message or email…not a call. Doubt if his new phone number is in the phone book anyway!

Content Insider #118 - Game Entrapment Hard Core Gamers Taking a Back Seat

"Believe me, I was prepared for everything - except you." - Mac (Sean Connery), Entrapment (1999), 20th Century-Fox It came as a rude shock to our son…he was no longer one of the most sought after people on the planet - the hardcore gamer. It dawned on him after watching his sister and Mom play their Wii musical instruments, exercise with the system and do a little Dancing With the Stars. While he and his comrades were busy shootin 'em up, bustin 'em up; the gaming industry had discovered there was a brave new market existed beyond teens…beyond boys! Figure 1 - Surprise - Hard core gamers have lost their "most sought after" position for video game system and software producers. Without a lot of fanfare the developers/manufacturers have found that there is a huge general and casual gamer market out there…young/old, male/female.

Don't Panic - There's A Room For You!

Where do you go when there's nowhere else to go? To your very own panic room of course! AVD Australia, Sydney-based advanced home automation specialists recently undertook the design and engineering of a highly secure "panic room" in a large residential home in NSW.

Flat Panel Television Trend Breathes New Life into the 'Lift' Industry

Motorized lifts are "hot"again as innovative designs bring sophistication and convenience to homes and corporate offices. The flat panel profile, now down to 4-5 inches, means that building the television into walls, embedding the item into a piece of antique furniture, heirloom trunks and even ceilings is also more easily accomplished.

From Boob Tube to YouTube

For about 70 years, the television has established a firm role as the "entertainment hearth." Although the distribution and consumption of TV has changed - first with the addition of more broadcast and then cable and satellite channels, and then with the introduction of features such as video-on-demand - the TV was reserved for … well, TV! Television shows were television shows, and movies were movies, and that was about all the TV had to worry about. However, TV will not be the only type of media for which the television will be expected to play a more direct role in accessing. The television's role as the centerpiece for entertainment is changing significantly, thanks to at least two major catalysts: Growing collections of all types of digital media content - including linear and on-demand television programming, optical and digital movies, user-generated content, and music - that consumers will want to access from multiple sources; and the desire by both television service providers and consumer electronics manufacturers to create value out of their services and products by building in connectivity and the ability by devices to easily find and display content.

HomePlug AV solution Frederic Onado - SPiDCOM

Frederic Onado is Chief Operating Officer of SPiDCOM Technologies, and he is also in charge of Business Development. Frederic holds leadership roles in the PLC industry. He is Vice President EMEA of HomePlug Powerline Alliance, and chairs the HomePlug European Working Group. He has also been Chairman of the PLC Forum. SPiDCOM Technologies is a fabless semiconductor company. It specializes in integrated circuits and Linux-based software bundles for Multimedia Home Networking, EoC (Ethernet over Coax), BPL Access, Smart Grid and other any wire based applications (powerline, coax, phoneline). SPiDCOM provides both proprietary & HomePlug AV standard based open solutions to its partners for "no-limits" product developments.

Honeywell Prestige Comfort System Thermostat

I recently received the Honeywell Prestige™ Comfort Systems thermostat, with the Portable Comfort Control and Outdoor Sensor from Honeywell for review. Prestige™ is the world's first high definition, full-color, touch screen, programmable thermostat. The Portable Comfort Control is a hand-held device that not only senses and allows homeowners to adjust for the room temperature they are in, but the Outdoor Sensor provides information on outdoor conditions to help you make informed decisions that could positively impact overall energy use. Honeywell indicates that proper use leading to more efficient home heating and cooling could lead to a significant energy savings-up to 33 percent or $200 a year depending on your geographic location.

Job Site TIPS

I've seen so many installation crews waste so much time on the job over the years, that I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of time and frustration elimination suggestions for this month's TIP. Since I'm so disorganized, I've made most of these mistakes myself, even the safety related ones, so I speak from some experience. Hopefully you can pick up a few tips and save yourself some grief. The most important tips I can pass along about the job site concerns safety. The job site is definitely dangerous and almost everyone I know, me included, has had some injury while working on the job, especially during the prewire construction phase. I have had a co-worker seriously injured and many of my friends in the industry have related stories of serious accidents, including deaths. It's a common problem and I hate to say I don't see much being done about it. So my number one TIP: BE PREPARED.

Marketing vs Tech…Consumers Need Voice

On any given day you will find a group of engineers or programmers huddling in the back room, sitting in the corner of the coffee shop, or gathering around the most recently divorced individual's kitchen table to plan the next major new company built on breathtaking technology. The hard fact is…we really don't need more technology. What we do need is better application of the technology we have. In fact, it would be fair to say that we probably have enough sound technology available to last us for the next five to ten years. What we need are people to make the technology usable for the rest of us. Technology is important, but what is needed even more is sound marketing/market understanding, ability and practice. We rush insanely great technology/products to market, we get them reviewed/talked about by bleeding edge media techno-writers and the din of noise fills the media. Print, web, blog, radio, TV all cover the insanely great solution and we forecast fantastic hockey stick sales and insane profits.

Palme Middle East Set For Product Premieres

PALME 2009 will be the most comprehensive to date, with more stunning features, industry innovations showcased by hundreds of exhibitors from more than 25 countries worldwide. PALME 2009 is covering 15,000 sqm of the Halls 5,6,7 & 8 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. This year again, the event provides a unique business environment as well as an education platform for the industry specialists with 20 seminars and conferences scheduled. On display will be some the most cutting edge AV, lighting and audio technologies yet to be seen in the Middle East, with a host of regional premieres and several exciting world unveilings from key exhibitors.

Playstation 3 Remote Solution Round-up

The Sony Playstation 3 is not only one of the top gaming systems available, it is also widely used as a high-definition Blu-ray Disc player in home theater systems. Unfortunately, one problem with the PS3 is that the unit may not be controlled with the same universal remote you use for the rest of your AV components. The Sony Playstation 3 does not have an InfraRed (IR) receiver which means it cannot understand the commands sent from most universal remote controls. Instead, Sony chose the new Bluetooth protocol exclusively for wireless control. That raises the question… How do you control movie playback on your Sony Playstation 3? This complete guide has all the answers:

Software Defined Radio

This article presents a new approach called Software Defined Radio (SDR) for implementing communication systems. Various issues and challenges faced by the present communication systems design and how the Software defined Radio approach addresses these issues and how it benefits the communication industry and users are discussed in detail. The Technologies, Market, Industry support factors that are driving the SDR approach are narrated. The architecture and the components that make up the SDR are explained and illustrated for the purpose of understanding the technology. And also, the hardware and software components required to build a practical SDR are investigated. The recent availability of multi processors, FPGA, software reference models, and developmental tools that are accelerating the penetration of SDR into the cellular market are explained and reviewed. Currently available SDR reference systems and their modular and extensible architecture are also presented for sake of designers. The market trends and predictions for the SDR are discussed. The paper concludes by defining the future SDR capabilities and identifying the opportunities that exist for IP, Design services business

Sweep-Away Cabinet Vac by Galaxie

The Sweep-Away is a self-contained vacuum cleaner that functions both as an automatic dustpan and powerful central vacuum. It stows away neatly inside a standard kitchen or bathroom cabinet and plugs into a standard wall outlet. The home I installed this in was built in the 1960's and is 1600 square feet; all flooring in the home is hardwood or tile. The house was built prior to central vacuum systems so this cabinet vacuum is an affordable and effective alternative.

The First Watt B1 Buffer Preamp

So here we are in the New Millennium, and thanks to Tom Holman and THX we've got lots of gain in our electronics. More gain than some of us need or want. At least 10 db more. Think of it this way: If you are running your volume control down around 9 o'clock, you are actually throwing away signal level so that a subsequent gain stage can make it back up. Routinely DIYers opt to make themselves a "passive preamp" - just an input selector and a volume control. What could be better? Hardly any noise or distortion added by these simple passive parts. No feedback, no worrying about what type of capacitors - just musical perfection. And yet there are guys out there who don't care for the result. "It sucks the life out of the music", is a commonly heard refrain (really - I'm being serious here!). Maybe they are reacting psychologically to the need to turn the volume control up compared to an active preamp. I suppose if I had to floor the accelerator to drive 55 mph, maybe I'd think the life was being sucked out of my driving. Then again, maybe I like 55. Nice and safe, good gas mileage…

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