Internet of Things

A Remote You Don’t Need to Point
October 25, 2006

Universal Remote Control, Inc. (URC) has introduced the new RF+Pak, which combines the MasterControl RF10 Remote with the PowerBlaster Base Station. The upshot of all this is a remote that can be pointing in any direction and still operate the component you choose. The remote emits a multidirectional RF signal through air and solid objects alike up to 100 feet. So, if you’re in the living room and realize you forgot to turn off the TV in the kitchen, just press a button. And then wonder if you really need a TV in the kitchen. MacroPower and SimpleSound features on

ELAN on Hawaiian Honeymoon with NOW
October 23, 2006

ELAN announced a deal with NOW Marketing last week appointing the firm as ELAN’s sales reps for the Hawaiian Islands. NOW has represented and distributed in the area since 1981, expanding from high end home products and 12 volt audio to wireless and broadband. Paul Starkey, ELAN executive vice president of sales and marketing, said, “With the addition of NOW Marketing to the ELAN family of rep firms we have added yet another prestigious and results-oriented company with a fabulous track record.”

From Custom Retailer: RTI Unveils New Website
October 9, 2006

System control vendor Remote Technologies Incorporated (RTI) revealed its new site, which highlights a variety of custom applications. The site also has been enhanced with improved navigation and more dealer tools, including a private area for dealers. “The goal was to show RTI and its award-winning products in new applications which installers may not have thought of before,” said Brett Stokke, RTI’s director of technical support. “We also wanted to increase usability for our current and prospective dealers and installers.” The private dealer section includes firmware downloads, downloadable training videos and information about RTI’s Advanced Control University live and online training

Shop Talk: Craig Gulley, Crestron Midwest Regional Sales Manager
October 4, 2006

“The only thing that hasn’t been improved in the home over the last thirty years is the light switch. That’ll change in the next five years. The part of home automation that will turn the tide for the average person is lighting control. Not just in closets or around garages, but throughout the house. Lighting control will sell like granite countertops.” -Craig Gulley, Crestron Midwest Regional Sales Manager

Contacts: Retailers Selling CE with a Twist of Innovation
September 28, 2006

Robert Walters, Blueroof Solutions, McKeesport, PA Allegheny County, a part of Western Pennsylavnia once known for it’s booming steel mills, has the second largest population of senior citizens in the nation, second only to Dade County, Florida. Though not typically investing in high-end home entertainment systems, this population is increasingly interested in a new group of tech products that could help older adults live independently longer, an option much less expensive than the rent at assisted living facilities. Bob Walters, an electrical engineering professor turned entrepreneur, is hoping to cater to that market through a new business called Blueroof Solutions. “I’m a professor at Penn

Passwords: Frank Talk From the Front Lines of CE Retail
September 27, 2006

“We’ve been telling dealers that the elder market is something they can tackle. A few thousand dollars for an automation control in the home, something as simple as motion sensors so that if it’s 10 am and no activity has been sensed in the home, a care giver will be sent an e-mail notification...that can keep an older person living in their home independently for another year. It’s much cheaper than assisted living facilities. I think this is a very big marketing opportunity.” -Eric Smith, CTO Control 4, a home automation company

Two New Digital Entertainment Centers from HP
September 20, 2006

HP has launched two new digital entertainment centers which serve as high-definition digital video recorders, progressive scan DVD players and management systems for digital music and photo collections. The HP z565 and HP z560 feature HDMI connectivity, fixed-line audio out and a 9-in-1 card reader. They can store up to 800GB of content and run dual-core Intel processors which are Intel Viiv-compliant. These are also the first digital entertainment centers to come Life|ware ready. At the same time, HP has launched a custom integrator support initiative, consisting of a dedicated call center for help with installation of HP digital

The Home of the Future -- in a Parking Lot
September 14, 2006

Wednesday was CEDIA’s press preview day in which the handful of companies who held early press conferences showed off their new products and services to the media. The clear highlight of the day was the tour of a new exhibit, the Home of the Electronics Lifestyles. The HEL is a 2,000 square foot home built in a parking lot across the street from the Colorado Convention Center. Inside the house are the latest audio/video and home automation technologies on display to demonstrate how a truly integrated house can work. The chief sponsors behind the HEL are HP, who supplied numerous Digital Entertainment Centers and

From Custom Retailer: Legrand Acquires Vantage Controls
September 14, 2006

Legrand North America last week acquired Vantage Controls, the latest move in its effort to become a “leading provider of control and automation systems.” Vantage, renamed Vantage/Legrand, becomes the sixth Legrand business group in North America. It offers a system for controlling lighting, A/V, window treatments, heating, cooling, security and other functions. “Lighting control and automation are seeing significant double-digit growth, and this acquisition ensures we have the increased capacity, expanded product lines and sales channels to meet the growing demand,” said John Selldorff, president and CEO of Legrand North America. “This acquisition is a strategic move on Legrand’s part to further our leadership

Passwords: Frank Talk From the Front Lines of CE Retail
September 13, 2006

“Retailers need to find an upward path. They need to be selling ‘smart home’ products. Now that control is becoming easier to operate, IP-based appliances will become more popular. It’s the internet, not TV, that you want on your fridge. E-mail is not just work-related anymore. It tells me my son’s baseball game is going to be rescheduled because of rain. So we need internet in the kitchen. Appliance dealers are going to have to install or partner with intallers to deliver these IP-based products.” - Jeanette Howe, Executive Director of Specialty Electronics Nationwide