01 Feb The Cavalcade Of Cool Smart Home Technologies Marches On

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With the Consumer Electronics Show now (finally!) in my rearview mirror, it’s time to provide some commentary on another group of interesting smart home products that have caught my eye. From digital exercise to a new smart speaker to a cool new e-bike startup, there’s something in this column for all consumers. Activ5: a different […]

17 Jan CES 2019 Wrap Up #1: 4 Eye-Catching Solutions From The Conference Floor

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People who attend the annual Consumer Electronics Show, or CES for short, generally use the word “survive” to characterize their visit. With 4,500 exhibiting companies, more than 180,000 in attendance (exceeding last year), and more 6,500 media and analysts, the show did not disappoint. A trip to CES is not for individuals who do not […]

09 Jan Consumer ‘Smart Home’ Technology Predictions For 2019

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The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is the premier consumer electronics event, where companies big and small get a chance to showcase their new technologies. It always provides a strong glimpse of where the industry is going, and as such, is a must-attend for analysts like myself. On the eve of the show, […]

04 Jan Ringing In The New Year With More Great Smart Home Products

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There was an impressive cavalcade of smart home products in 2018, and I suspect 2019 will be no different. On the eve of CES 2019, here’s another group of unique, useful smart home products that caught my eye. Motiv—not your typical smart fitness tracker One very cool digital fitness solution that I believe will appeal […]

19 Dec Plume And OpenSync Initiative Swing For The Fences

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You can’t say that Plume is resting on its laurels. The Palo Alto-based company jumped onto the scene last year with its innovative Adaptive Home Wi-Fi platform, which provides “smart” mesh networking capability in domiciles of all sizes, using “pods” that can be conveniently plugged into AC outlets throughout the home. In a nutshell, Plume’s solution […]

07 Dec Even More Smart Home Products For The Holiday Season

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With about a month left before Christmas, I’d like to provide another round of great tech products worth consideration when doing your holiday shopping. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with any of these unique, affordable products. TCL 6 Series 65” Smart TV (Model 65R617) stands out in a crowded market Over the past […]

07 Dec 3 Offerings That Prove HP’s Printer Business Gets The Smart Home

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The tech space never ceases to amaze me. The fact that a 79-year-old company like HP  Inc. can reinvent itself and successfully navigate through the complexity and challenges of the smart home is impressive, to say the least. It has done this not by launching whiz-bang gadgets, but by smartly applying its innovation chops and […]

14 Nov More Smart Home Products For The Holiday Season

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Many consumers don’t consider themselves to be tech-savvy, and it can be particularly challenging to find a great tech gift for a family member in this rapidly changing product landscape. It is my ongoing mission to shed light on some of the best smart solutions on the market. A few weeks ago, I detailed five […]

09 Nov 5 Great Technology Gifts For The Family

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Christmas is still over two months away, but it’s never too early to keep an eye out for cool smart home gifts. Between now and the end of October, I’d like to call attention to some of the more innovative products that come across my radar screen—here’s round 1 of these unique and useful solutions. […]

08 Nov Why The Smart Home Needs The Retail Channel

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For all the promise and potential of the smart home, the category has always been a little like Jello—difficult to nail down and challenging to define. If you ask 10 consumers what it is, you’ll likely get 10 different answers. Some define a smart home as the simple possession and use of a digital assistant […]

26 Oct All Rise, John Medica

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John Medica, who passed away October 13th of last year.     MARK VENA Saturday, October 13th marks the one year anniversary of the passing of John Medica and I wrote this tribute to him a year ago.  I’m sure many in the Forbes audience knew John and will appreciate the sentiments I’ve tried to convey […]

05 Oct pHin Reinvents Residential Pool Chemical Treatment

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There’s something in the water.   CONNECTEDYARD Some of my fondest memories from growing up in northern New Jersey center around the in-ground pool my father installed at our home when I was in my teens. For my dad, the pool was a labor of love and a not too subtle device for getting my mom, […]

03 Oct FlexVU’s Mission: Clear Up The Cord Cutter Confusion

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Over the past year, I’ve written extensively about cord cutting, covering the advantages, disadvantages, and challenges that consumers should consider before making the fateful decision to sever their relationship with their cable or satellite company. There’s always been a risk/reward element associated with the decision to cut the cord, so I was pleased to see […]

27 Sep Apple Watch Series 4 May Be a Life-Saver

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While the new Apple iPhone X models were certainly the big news at the Apple Special Event yesterday, the new Apple Watch Series 4 was also particularly noteworthy. Essentially an overhaul of the Apple Watch, the new series offers a number of disruptive technologies that I believe will expand the appeal of wearable devices far […]

21 Sep IFA 2018: 5 Big Consumer Technology Reveals

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The IFA technology showcase in Berlin last week was a sprawling affair, attracting over 230,000 consumers, journalists, and industry pundits from all over the world. Historically it has been geared towards European consumers, but due to the conference’s late August timing, more and more companies are using it as a platform to announce new products […]

06 Sep How Crestron Paved The Way For The Smart Home, And More

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If you’ve worked in an office or a university campus in the past 40 years or so, the name “Crestron” is probably not unfamiliar. Founded in 1971 and based in a cozy corner of Northern New Jersey, Crestron Electronics is a ubiquitous technology presence in corporate conference rooms, theaters, Las Vegas sports books, university lecture […]

31 Aug Why Today’s Security Cameras Are Already Obsolete

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Table of security cameras at Qualcomm’s IoT Analyst Day in San Diego.      MARK VENA Not surprisingly, the smart home category continues to enjoy enviable growth. According to Statista.com, worldwide revenue for smart home-related products is expected to exceed $48.5 billion dollars in 2018—a 38.3% increase over 2017. Part of this is due to […]

27 Aug IFA 2018 Preview: More Connected Products Than Ever Before

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The IFA exhibition.    IFA EVENT ORGANIZATION. IFA, one of the world’s chief assemblies of industry titans in the consumer electronics and home appliance space, will be kicking off shortly in Berlin. Like CES, IFA is a critical international technology event in which the biggest industry players show off their wares and share their respective […]

09 Aug Summertime Brings New Consumer Tech Products

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Summer is here. While many folks are enjoying vacations, that doesn’t mean there aren’t interesting new consumer products appearing on the scene. In this week’s column, I look at 2 products: one in the security space, and one in the hearing enhancement category. Both of them are easy to use, and most importantly, address real […]

19 Jul First Impressions: Skydio R1 Raises The Bar For Drone Technology But It Will Cost You

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The new Skydio R1 drone.  SKYDIO Drones have become a mainstream product for businesses and consumers over the past five years, as functionality has expanded and pricing has dropped below $999. Companies like DJI, Yuneec, and Parrot have achieved significant market growth in the space, with affordable, relatively easy-to-use drones capable of capturing high-resolution (even 4K-class) […]