This year during CES 2017 I had the opportunity to work with Panasonic in their booth as part of another influencer campaign, similar to last year. In 2016, I focused mostly on the Technics audio hardware--but this year it was all about the Future Tech Lab. Get a preview of the best tech that we found in the Panasonic booth in the video embedded above, and then hit the jump to check out all the products that I was able to learn about during this CES, like the bendable battery, the sports arena of the future, on the fly multilingual language translation, the incredible Lumix GH5, and more!
With the holiday season in full swing, it’s easy to forget about the importance of privacy and security in this world of endless digital devices. More and more of our electronics are constantly connected to the Internet through cloud services, providing more and more entry points into our homes for those with nefarious intentions. McAfee reached out to me with some tips on staying secure when using different devices, and they’re good enough to be shared, as they just might help you avoid a privacy-related disaster. Additionally, McAfee is running a sweepstakes where the grand prize winner will receive a trip for two to Iceland. More details on that at the end of this article.
The ecobee3 is a smart thermostat that can be controlled by the sound of your voice by way of Siri or Amazon Alexa. With Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa services built-in, you can simply ask one of the digital assistants to set your temperature, and it's done. With Siri, you can do it from anywhere you have an Internet connection, using any iOS device or Apple Watch!
Of course, you can use it the old-fashioned way, but instead of clunky dials and knobs, the #ecobee3 has a modern touch display built in. It can also monitor the temperature in multiple rooms of your home, making sure the rooms that are occupied stay comfortable! Check out the video for my full review - I also show you how to install the ecobee3!
You can pick up the ecobee3 Smart Thermostat now.
The ConnectSense Smart Outlet is an Apple HomeKit compatible device that plugs into any outlet in your home, allowing you to turn just about any device into a smart device. The Smart Outlet gives you two outlets, which can be powered on and off by using the ConnectSense app, Siri voice control, or even pressing a button on the side of the device. Plug in a lamp, and you can now control that lamp from anywhere, using your smartphone or tablet - even outside of your home if you own an Apple TV. I bring you my full rundown of the ConnectSense Smart Outlet in this episode!
You can pick up the ConnectSense Smart Outlet now.
Sonos has introduced the second-generation Play:5 wireless HiFi speaker, and we bring you our full Sonos Play:5 review in this episode.
A lot has gone into the redesign of the new Play:5, which you'll notice sports a curvier look and does away with the awkward handle that was found on the original model. On the inside, you've got a collection of six drivers with dedicated amplifiers behind the grille.
Being a smart speaker, the Sonos Play:5 integrates with the rest of the Sonos HiFi wireless audio system. It connects to your home network by way of the Sonos app, and from there, can stream music from just about any source you can think of--whether it's a streaming music service, podcasts, or files stored on your local network.
The new TruePlay feature allows you to accurately and automatically tune the sound of the Play:5 to be optimized for its placement in the room that you're in using an iOS device, and it really works.
Check the video for the full Sonos Play:5 review - if you're looking for a smart speaker that packs a serious punch when it comes to sound and features, this is the one to get.
You can pick up the Sonos Play:5 now.
The Philips Hue Beyond LED line includes a table lamp, ceiling lamp, and hanging pendant that allows you to set the scene with mood lighting and warm white task lighting. The Hue Beyond connects to your home network by way of the Hue Bridge, which lets you control it from iOS, Android, and Kindle devices from anywhere in your home (or even when you're away from home!) The unique thing about the Hue Beyond is that it has two independent light sources - an uplight and a downlight - which allows you to create a near endless mix of colors to match your mood, event, paint on the walls, or functional lighting for work or a task at hand.
You can also set timers, alarms, and even connect the lamp to a variety of apps and services by authenticating it to your IFTTT account.
I bring you a look at the Hue Beyond table lamp, and the Hue Beyond hanging pendant in this episode, showing you how to put it together, how to set up the Hue Beyond, and how to control it with the Hue app.
You can pick up the Hue Beyond now.
If you've been an early adopter of smart home technology, you've probably recognized just how cumbersome it all can be. As cool and futuristic as the devices themselves are, it gets old having to jump in and out of multiple apps in order to turn on your smart lights, lock your smart lock-equipped door, set your security system, manage your thermostat, etc. In fact, the average home has over 100 devices that can potentially connect to the Internet, as I learned when Panasonic told me about its Ora technology that looks to power the smart home of the future.
The Philips Hue Go personal wireless light might be the coolest lighting accessory I've ever used. As you can see in the video, it looks like a cereal bowl that's been filled with light that you can carry around with you. You can turn on the natural dynamic effects feature for a living light color show, or set it to one of 16 million different colors of light with a 300 lumen light output. It's controllable with the Hue Light app for iOS and Android, but also has a button on the back that allows you to cycle through a bunch of different colors without the need for a smartphone or tablet.
The only downside is that you do need to have a Philips Hue Starter Kit or Hue Bridge in order to use it to its full potential, so if you don't already have a Hue system set up, that will set you back an extra $50 or so. Still, it's a great lighting accessory.
You can pick up the Philips Hue Go now!
The Withings WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer reads your body's stats and also finds out how healthy your living environment is - perfect for the holidays as well as year round - and great for our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide. The scale automatically syncs your weight, fat composition, heart rate and environment data to your personalized online dashboard accessible on the free health mate app. The wireless connectivity of the scale makes setting up an effortless process. The scale interface is designed to help users center on the product to obtain accurate readings. Users who attempt to avoid accurate readings by rocking on their heels or toes will see values fluctuate. It's $149 and is available in either black or blue.
Where I live, it’s a typical safe neighborhood. Nothing too crazy happens all that often (stolen UPS packages that are left on doorsteps not withstanding.) I do subscribe to Vivint though, a home security service that ties in home automation. Of course, that required a team to come out and install things all over the house—but what if that’s overkill for you? Maybe you live in an apartment or condo, or maybe you just don’t want the monthly bill.
That’s where Best Buy comes in. Rather than shelling out monthly for a monitored home security system, you can now take those matters into your own hands for what I’d consider to be a fair price. Best Buy sent over the Canary Home Security System for me to check out. If you’re unfamiliar, the Canary is an all-in-one unit that you put in a high-traffic area in your home. It’s a small package, but packs in the features.
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