The New State of Whole-Home Entertainment

I'm a fairly typical home-entertainment geek with 2 TiVos with Cable boxes attached (these are the primary reason for my desire for whole-home entertainment - I want to watch my recorded shows from anywhere in the home)

Touchscreen Button Dimensions and Spacing

When it comes to touchscreen buttons, size plays an important part in usability.

An Experiment In Home Automation Creative Use of Home Automation Resources and the Creation of an In

The real estate market in a megacity like SĂ£o Paulo, Brazil, has a strong competitive trend. Consumers compare among the latest launched condos in their favorite locations, searching for the ideal new home. The final price of the apartment or house depends mainly of two factors: size (useful area) and location. But, one can say that the medium price by square feet tends to be the same, despite some differences in constructive details. In this competitive scenario, the inclusion of Home Automation as a new attribute to a real state product distinguishes it from others. So, builders and investors may gain in sales speedy, improve their margins and associate an innovative image to their venture. Assuming that hypothesis, the creators of a new condo located in an emergent area of the city decided to contract a System Integrator office to design a special project, including several technological solutions rarely finded in the neighborhood. And, more than this, determined to build a "model apartment" in order to show all this stuff working in a real situation. This temporary "showroom" would run next to the sales stand.

Choosing The Right Projector Mount

Home theaters are becoming commonplace. Everything from huge DLP Projection TV's to customized acoustic walls/ceilings built to augment the 8-speaker surround-sound is proffered to the home theater enthusiast. Cinema (or stadium)-style seating is even available for the home! But not every home theater is created equally. Perhaps the most important consideration for the ultimate home theater experience is the projector…specifically, the HOW, WHICH, WHERE and WHAT…

Classic Home Toys #22 - The Rebirth of 3-D: Part 2

The earliest confirmed 3-D movie ever screened for a paying audience was The Power of Love which premiered September 27, 1922 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. This was the first time that the red/green dual strip projection was used as well as the anaglyph glasses. The film despite the novelty of the 3-D effect failed to capture the interest of theatre owners and exhibitors and was shelved. Unfortunately, all copies of the film have been lost.

Content Insider # 120 - Cloud Work Netbooks…The Easy Way to Sell More Service

It sounds almost too good to be true -- a cheap computer you can use/carry everywhere, never have to upgrade the operating system or your apps, with a battery that lasts for ... well a long, long time. Sounds great except we end up leaving all of our work in the beautiful white clouds. The clouds move. We forget which cloud has our stuff and how we get in. Worse, there's a **** storm in the cloud just as we want to get in. Yeah...who knew what grandpa taught our little Miss Sunshine while we were out of the room?? Guess we may end up with yet another device to take along... convenience sure is getting heavy!!! "No one gets left behind! No one gets left behind! Outstanding soldier!" Frank (Steve Carell) - Little Miss Sunshine (20th Century Fox - 2006)

Content Insider #119 - New Markets Social Media…The Hunted Can Become the Hunter

Today's Web 2.0 social media environment offers a tremendous opportunities for companies to closely engage with customers, prospects and market segments in a positive, mutually beneficial manner. The problem arises when marketing and communications people view these new 1:1 outlets as a great marketing/sales and PR pitching opportunities. They forget that the individuals if not treated properly and with professional respect can turn and instead of being the ones who are being hunted can become the hunters. People -- regular folks -- can be mean and brutal if they are abused. Marketeers need to know the pros/cons, challenges/opportunities. Consumers need to know that they have a powerful platform to strike back and cause real damage. It requires a mutual understanding on both sides and a meaningful two way relationship otherwise...duck. "Nothing in those files makes their sacrifice worthwhile. You have to let go. We're professionals, when an operation goes bad, we tie it off. " - Ward Abbott (Brian Cox) - The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

Content Insider #121 - Content Contention Entertainment Flexibility…Big Iron Doesn't Matter

NAB -- National Association of Broadcasters -- how the industry has changed over the years (even with attendance that was down dramatically). We've gone from huge cameras that took two men and a boy to move around the floor. A room full of sliding levers and people everywhere. Slowly, almost without seeing it the shift began and schools, health care facilities, houses of worship and even businesses could afford the lighter, more automated capabilities. Then we moved to really light stuff -- an HD camcorder, notebook and some kid doing his/her show on the fly. This year the show had obviously made the shift. Mobile and personal video took center stage...all in highdef. Gawd that's gotta really tick off the big iron folks because they've gotta sell a lot of $10,000 "facilities" to make up for lost ground. Get a life folks because our kids are directing, producing, posting their own shows...and they're good !!!! "Why do you have to paint everything so black? Suppose you got hit by a truck. Suppose the stock market crashes. Suppose Mary Pickford divorces Douglas Fairbanks. Suppose the Dodgers leave Brooklyn!" -- Joe (Tony Curtis), Some Like It Hot (United Artists -1959) Television production used to be pretty straight forward. You had HUGE, HEAVY cameras three people pushed around. In the control room you had sliders And BAM!! magically the signal went over the air. At home you turned on the set. Had dinner (families ate together then) and a half-hour later the tube was lit and you watched the Sid Caesar or Lone Ranger show. It was so cool.

Content Insider #122 - Twitter World Trust Us…You Ain't That Interesting

Ah the power of 140 characters. It is proving dynamite for well just everyone. Even us. We've got Twitter sending us notes saying people are following our Tweets and we have yet to send one out. But we aren't really that interested in someone following our every mumble on the Internet. Some people think it's a great solution. We think its stalking. Lots of people sign up but their fall off rate is worse than the churn on some of the mobile service people. Oh it will last. Everything lasts on the Internet. 7Command Performances - Everyone it would seem loves to perform and be in the spotlight. That is certainly true with the noise that surrounds the "gotta be on" approach people have taken regarding Twitter. Problem is even though thousands join each month, only about 40 percent of them stick around after a few days. The thrill of talking to yourself in a crowd seems to get old real fast according to most studies. "Son derriere noir... c'est formidable!" - Hilary van Doren, Fame 1980, MGM Photo Source - MGM In today's budget stricken climate, it's important to recognize the prominent role that the Internet can play in a cost-effective marketing strategy. Not only is Web marketing very affordable, but it also offers you an effective vehicle for public exposure.

Content Insider #123 - App Stores Following the Leader Who Follows the Leaders

It started out -- as most things do in the PC/CE/communications industry -- as a "little" idea...an application store on a corner of the virtual cloud world. Apple's iPhone app store got a lot of attention, a lot of traction, heck a lot of sales. More than one company said, "hey we want/need one of those thingies! Make it so." Suddenly you can't make your way around the web without bumping into another one. No one at Apple will say but people speculate the company has racked up $45 million with their virtual store front. The shelves are stocked -- more than 30,000 "products." People bustle in and out the door -- the billionth download occurred a couple of months ago. Now new smartphones are coming out, every app store offers something, the new Palm is going to try to beat the beast and news will soon emerge from WWDC (Apple's worldwide developer's conference). Is this a beautiful, fun, exciting, occasionally profitable industry or not? It is!!! 1Open for Business - Apple wasn't the first to build a smartphone or the first to offer apps. They were just the first to make them real, real fun/interesting. Offer the right merchandise, the right mood and most people will take the bait. Source - Screen Gems Guess when you have $56 billion and change in the vault in today's economic environment you must be doing something right. "I knew it would come to this." - Beth Charles, Obsession (2009) Just wish our kids would quit contributing to the stash Apple is using to buy GPU (graphics processor unit) technology and game designer talent. A few years ago Apple decided all smartphones sucked (they're not too hot on netbooks either). So they announced the step up from the iPod (they didn't like those other MP3 players!)…the iPhone.

Forget Your Title. Focus on the Job

Some people tend to get all wrapped up in titles don't they? You know VP of HR, CFO, CIO, CMO, IT director, VP of communications, PR whatever...yes even EiC, webmaster and chief blogger. But even when you focus on journalistic integrity at the end of the day you're selling...an idea, a concept, a service, a product. Don't get us wrong we don't want you to change....we like you just the way you are! But at the end of the day we all have to put money in the cash register so we can come back and have fun all over again! Want to use the piece? Have at it, no byline, no added approvals necessary. Don't like it? Aim your cursor for the trashbucket and...BAM!!!

Give Your Home Office a Wireless Makeover

For business professionals working from a home office, the benefits of wireless technology are dramatic. First off, it's less expensive to install wireless access points than wiring your office with Ethernet capabilities. Plus, you won't have to knock holes in walls to set up your network. In addition, a wireless infrastructure is flexible and can accommodate your company's need to share devices, programs and technology. Lastly, wireless delivers information access to anyone on your staff, from anywhere in your office. Most offices that have made the transition from wired networks to wireless systems have experienced remarkable increases in productivity.

Home Toys Q&A with David Rodarte of NuVo Technologies Multi Room Audio

David Rodarte is President and Chief Operating Officer of NuVo Technologies LLC, a leading designer and manufacturer of whole home audio systems. Rodarte possesses a well-earned reputation for rapidly accelerating businesses through market analysis, sales, organizational effectiveness and strategic planning. Under Rodarte's leadership, NuVo has grown close to tenfold. David's firm, reassuring presence is reinforced by his excellent ability to build relationships that unify rather than divide groups of people. At NuVo, Rodarte has led the growth, branding and positioning of the emerging whole home audio player. Today, NuVo is widely recognized as the fastest-growing brand within its market niche. From the beginning of his tenure, Rodarte has intuitively steered NuVo to its high-value/high-quality philosophy and closed-distribution structure, a strategy that has served NuVo extremely well in the marketplace, and has given NuVo employees a common mission. Rodarte's enthusiasm and evangelism for the multi-room audio category has greatly expanded the appeal and market penetration of NuVo's products, as well as those of its competitors. Rodarte serves on the board of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) TechHome Division, is an immediate past board member of CEA's Multi Room Audio Council, and is the current Vice Chairperson for the CEA Homebuilder Initiative. Prior to joining NuVo in August 2002, Rodarte served for four years as president of Dynamic Control, makers of Dynamat brand acoustic solutions for the mobile electronics and automotive restoration industry.

HomeToys Interview - Brandon Purdie - Open Air Cinema

Open Air Cinema, is the world's largest outdoor cinema equipment supplier and event producer focusing on inflatable movie screens and complete outdoor cinema systems engineered for private, commercial, and government use. Clientele include the Disney Orlando resorts, the Tribeca Film Festival, and FilmAid. However, thousands of homeowners around the world have added a Cinebox system and inflatable screen to their home theater. Open Air Cinema's outdoor cinema systems are unrivaled in affordability, ease of use, and high quality for backyard theaters.

Hometoys Interview - Guy Dewsbury Smart Homes for Disabled People in the UK

Guy Dewsbury worked as a Researcher Associate for Lancaster University in England and is currently studying there for his doctorate. As a researcher his field of expertise is smart homes and designing technology for older and disabled people. He co-designed the first smart house in Scotland for a person with an acquired brain injury in Dundee Scotland ten years ago and then co-designed over fifty technology assisted homes for adults with severe autism in Grampian in Scotland. Most recently Guy has been writing his PhD on assistive technology and person centred-design whilst specialising in the field Telecare and Telehealth. Guy currently has a website www.smartthinking.ukideas.com and a blog http://thetelecareblog.blogspot.com.

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