Jon Sienkiewicz

Jon Sienkiewicz
6 Things Your Customers Need to Know About Lithium-ion Batteries

Wheels are pretty cool, and a lot can be said in favor of steam engines. Refrigeration may have changed the world, but to me, the single most important invention ever is the rechargeable battery. Can you imagine using a smartphone, digital camera, iPod or notebook computer without high-capacity, long-lasting batteries? How would teenagers text for hours and hours ad nauseam? 

The Real History of Remote Controls

Remote control devices began appearing on the earth shortly after the end of the Great Ice Age, about 10,000 years B.C. (Before Cable). Scholars speculate that they did not appear earlier because coffee tables had not been invented yet. Besides, there wasn’t much on satellite, anyway. Cave drawings throughout Europe depict early humanoids dragging large remotes behind them. At first, archeologists thought the objects were clubs or some sort of prehistoric weapon, but careful analysis of the paintings clearly revealed FCC Approval tickers. Early models were single button because Paleolithic men and women could not use their thumbs the way we do today—which probably explains why no Blackberry messages from that epoch have survived.

Show Your Customers What They Need

Do you remember the first time you saw a light dimmer? I do. It controlled the chandelier that hovered over my aunt’s dining room table. She also had an outside light that automatically came on at dusk and turned off at dawn. She wasn’t affluent by any means, and certainly not a techie or a geek. In fact, she could not explain the technology behind either device. All sheknew was that they worked as intended, and made her life a little easier and more enjoyable.

Behind Every “Buy” There’s a “Why”

It’s too bad that customers don’t wear a patch of litmus paper on their foreheads. If they did it would be much easier to know their intentions without even having to talk to them. A fiery red patch could warn us that the customer has a problem or wants to return something. Run away! Run away! Yellow is for tire kickers. Caution! Don’t waste any time with this cat! Green—good old U.S. currency green—could mean that the customer is ripe—I mean ready—to be closed. Get out the order pad!

Show Don’t Tell When You Want to Sell

In the mid 1990s, Compaq introduced the Aero 4/25, a diminutive notebook computer with a monochrome screen and a then-revolutionary nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery that kept it purring for up to eight hours. It was small. In fact, it was so small that it was difficult for Compaq to convey its compactness (no pun intended).

A Remote-Control Primer

At one time, "changing the channel" meant walking over to the television and turning a knob. Now it means pressing a button or tapping a graphical icon on a touch-screen remote control.

Five Reasons For Selling Remotes

Some electronics retailers think the only time folks buy a new universal remote control is when their dog decides he wants a snack with buttons on it. Wrong. Consumers buy new remotes to consolidate, not replace, old remotes. And they're doing so for good reasons.

The word "universal" suggests that a universal remote works with any TV brand. That's true, but it's just the beginning. Most remotes contain the codes required to handle virtually every A/V device that can be controlled by IR. And many remotes have the ability to learn commands from other remotes, thereby expanding their versatility. In the world of electronics, where there's no such thing as non-obsolescence, remotes that can learn commands from other remotes come pretty darn close.

More sophisticated RF remotes eliminate the necessity of line-of-sight operation; they extend control through walls, doors and floors, allowing your customers to hide their components inside cabinets or otherwise out of sight. An RF remote requires a base station that receives its RF signals and converts them into the IR signals that the components can understand.

RF controls also offer single button "Macro" automation that makes several devices work together with one simple button press. That's huge. To watch a movie the old-fashioned way, the user may have to dig through the couch cushions to find the right remote, turn on the TV, use a different remote to turn on the DVD player, figure out which button to press to change the input on the TV, turn on the sound system, curse quietly under their breath and finally press play.