Installing a House Automation System

Plan ahead

This is the most important thing to do if you are building a house automation system for your home or apartment. Do you need just light and air conditioning to be controlled from your smartphone or tablet, would you like to incorporate a safety system, or would you like to go the whole hog and include your house theatre or living room TV installation?

When you speak to the commercial electrician, going in with a plan of what devices you have, or that you need, means you are both on the same page when it comes to mapping out a diagram of your future smart home and discussing the possible costs.

A good Wi-Fi router is the heart of your home

Purchasing a good Wi-Fi router will solve nearly any of the issues which may pop up with a wireless, iPad- or tablet-controlled smart house system.

In you’ve got a sound, high-quality Wi-Fi signal throughout your home, all of your smart home devices will have the ability to communicate with each other with no prospect of drop-out, which means tapping to flip on a light or swiping to change its brightness works every time and occurs instantly.

Building from scratch? Do that little bit extra

To get a new house build, decking out it with fixtures and fittings that will stand the test of time only makes sense, and it will help any home automation installer immeasurably.

Brand consistency may be beneficial, but is not a necessity

You do not necessarily need to keep all of your entertainment devices in the same brand — it is not required to have a Samsung TV and a Samsung Blu-ray participant, for example — even though it may be worthwhile for the aesthetic benefit and for all those devices talking to each other via their proprietary media standards.

Speak to An Expert

When it comes to technology, we all like to think of ourselves as fairly clued-up, but in regard to the intricate world of home automation, it can be better to leave the heavy lifting to individuals that have done it several times before.

Particularly if you’re going all-out with a fresh construct and incorporating serious smart house technology like irrigation, lighting, pool pumps or a solar power system, you will need to get expert advice and guidance at least for two or one of the measures in the whole procedure.

Leave Wiring Jobs to The Professionals

Needless to say, if you’re considering doing any work that involves touching 240-volt power wiring or your in-home telephone line, that should be left up to a professional.

In Australia, testing and installation of mains-connected electric devices must be performed by a licenced electrician, and penalties apply if you are caught — not to mention the threat of potentially coming in contact with live power and electrocuting yourself. It is not worth it — speak to an expert.

Updates can be done remotely or in person

If you switch from a Samsung TV to a Sony it’s likely that you will have to re-program your smart house system to accommodate the various infrared or IP control codes. This isn’t a tricky job, however, purely because it will be handled by the installer you used to incorporate your house automation system in the first location.

Get in contact with your installer, and there is a really good probability that he or she’ll have the ability to upgrade your smart home controller remotely (for systems that support that feature). Otherwise, a fast home visit will get everything sorted.

Shoe Retailers Embracing the Internet

Whether they are hunting down LeBron’s new Nike kicks or pricing the fluffy heels they see on a co-worker, shoe shoppers are having micro-moments everywhere, all of the time. Here are four tips for savvy retailers so that they may be there, be relevant, and benefit from these I-want-to-buy moments.

Perhaps we should stop referring to sneakers as fashion accessories, because they continue to grow their share of our cupboard space and our clothes budgets. Sneakers alone are a $34 billion industry in the U.S., and that figure is growing.

Internet shopping is playing a major part in that growth by placing the capability to test out new shoes or to buy at the moment into the hands of shoppers. “Sneaker heads” obsessively scour websites, message boards, as well as apps to discover the latest shoe models. Whilst a large share of shoppers will buy on a whim from the shop they get to first, others will buy shoes online and expect speedy shipping and free returns. Mobile has changed the way people shop–both online and in-store–into a set of crucial micro-moments that may influence a purchase decision more quickly than previously.

Here are four tips for retailers so they are can be present and relevant and win the I-want-to-buy moments.

Winning with group terms: shoes vs. sneakers

Shoppers say a whole lot with all the words they use. They may call a product one thing when searching for information, and another when they’re ready to buy.

Case in point: Considering Google data, we discovered that searches for “women’s shoes” are most closely connected with searches associated with sneaker culture: sneaker brands, release dates, custom kicks, and sneaker communities. Searches for “women’s sneakers“, we found, had a greater association with footwear retailers.

How people search in these I-want-to-know and I-want-to-buy minutes may also be influenced by where they are. We discovered that searches for “shoes” were highly concentrated at the Tri-State Area around New York, while searches for “sneakers,” were more evenly spread across the U.S. and had a higher-than-average concentration in the South.

Shoe shopping is moving to mobile

In their intent-driven micro-moments, people are increasingly turning to their smartphones to immediately take action. When they are curious about the launch date for the most current Nike Huaraches, for example, prospective buyers are pulling out their phones to get the info. In actuality, in September 2015, there were more than 3X more mobile searches compared to tablet and computer searches for “Nike Huaraches”

Online video plays a major role in a shoe’s ‘cool factor’

People today want to see the item before they see it in stores. Whether its unboxing videos on of hot new products, or sports highlights with celebrity athletes sporting custom kicks to producer hype reels, shoe videos are driving interest for countless shoppers and enthusiasts. On YouTube, there are over 80,000 “sneaker pickup” movies where sneaker heads discuss the killer kicks they have scored. The popularity of the genre of movies is up 72 percent YoY, and perspectives of product-review videos overall have increased by 50 percent.

Even less-than-legit shoes can induce category curiosity, albeit in a snarky way. This summer’s wildly popular “What are those?” meme began as a joke: Someone posted a brief video questioning the coolness of somebody else’s shoes, finishing with a fast pan down to the subject’s footwear as the jokester shouted his now-infamous question. The video quickly turned into a pop-culture phenomenon, garnering countless views on YouTube and then going viral across a number of different online platforms. As well as many knock-off videos which have gotten countless views themselves.

The path can extend past a buy

Call them what you will, there is a certain pride in the possession of shoes or sneakers. We see this in the after-purchase search history of buyers that hope to maintain their footwear appearing deadstock–that is, never worn.

Based on Google data, search curiosity about cleaning shoes was up 1.5x this August (YoY), and six of the top ten concerns people had about sneakers were associated with cleaning. While branded material addressing this question remains scarce (hint hint), dozens of user-generated videos posted by people are filling the gaps. Several have topped 100K views on YouTube, and a handful are nearing 1M.

Such after-purchase video micro-moments are often-untapped chances for shoe brands and merchants. Searches related to “how to” on YouTube are growing 70 percent YoY.

New opportunities in the purchasing procedure

Retailers who know these micro-moments can better connect with shoppers and drive sales. Below are a few ways you can be there and be relevant in their I-want-to-buy minutes.

How do people look for your product? As we saw with “shoes” vs. “sneakers,” it is dependent upon their intent. On your search campaigns, bid on the conditions most relevant to your offering and goals.

What are people shopping for right now? Keep up with regional and real-time trends. With this intel, a shoe marketer could see that hunts for strappy heels are spiking from the northeast, research on what’s causing the spike, and do it to boost inventory, start promotions, or craft smart creative during a trend.

What videos are people watching about your product? When it comes to shoes, unboxing videos, sports highlights, product-hype reels, as well as memes are effective way of connecting consumer to brand, so be sure to be there with articles and advertisements when those views happen.

What questions are people asking about your products? Before, during, and after the purchase, questions come up. Produce and promote content that could provide answers and win the respect of present and future clients.

The Future of Shoes

The past few years have delivered a technological renaissance in footwear. Nike’s Hyperadapt 1.0 made Back II The Future’s self-lacing sneakers a reality. Adidas’ Futurecraft 4D crafted the most comfortable shoe we have ever seen using 3D printing and. Not being outdone, Reebok’s very own Liquid Factory used 3D printing as well to create its own intricate and visually stunning designs prior to the company debuted a totally recyclable — and entirely unique — apparel line dubbed Cotton + Corn.

So where do you get a pair? Well, that is the tricky part.

Technology might be making men and women’s shoes smarter and trendier but it is also, ironically, keeping them off your toes. However fashionable or modern you believe that your shoes are, it’s unlikely you have worn anything like them. The “Future of Sneakers” has largely yielded overpriced, under produced notion shoes that the ordinary person won’t ever have a chance to lace up – many are just sitting in glass showcases rather than actually being worn. Here is what’s holding them back, and why we may not have to put up with it indefinitely.

Where are those?

Reebok released just 300 pairs of the Liquid Factory shoes in 2016, and has yet to formally announce plans for a re-release. At this time, its position as a one-and-done seems necessarily set in stone.

Nike followed a similar route with the Hyperadapt 1.0, first placing them available in December of 2016 and supplying an unspecified quantity. The footwear giant then placed them back out there in September of the year — yet again in large quantities — and capped off the re-release with no voiced plan of making them widely accessible.

Reebok’s Cotton and Corn shoes are the rarest of the bunch — those do not even have a whiff of a release date to their title. So, what gives?

Sneaker companies know these theories generate hype, but they have not put quite as much thought into how to really produce them. The battles of Adidas’ 3D-printed shoe — the 3D Runner — reveal the issue precisely. Adidas 3D-printed and sold several hundred pairs of these shoes in December of 2016, a complete year after unveiling the Futurecraft 3D, the business’s first 3D-printed shoe.

This limited number of shoes were mostly due to the 3D printing technologies Adidas utilised, which only allowed the manufacturer to construct six midsoles in a time — and took a staggering eight to ten hours merely to 3D print those six midsoles. That translates to a few dozen produced daily; it doesn’t require a business major to know that is not exactly conducive to mass production.

3D printing and other new small manufacturing techniques can make it easier for these organisations to crank out a couple of components for collectors, but they do not translate at all to the factories where the actual work gets done. Until all these brands devise a way to create a pair of next-gen shoes as fast and as cheap as, say, a pair of Jordan’s, you won’t find lots of people donning this sort of footwear in the streets.

Mo’ money, fewer sneakers

Costs for these shoes reflect their rarity. While shoemakers do have a history of jacking up costs however small its manufacturing costs are — let’s not forget the often-expensive resale market, either — this current run of tech-forward footwear is in a league of its own. Therefore, while Nike’s intended price of $720 for your Hyperadapt 1.0 is almost laughable, it is logical. After all, new technologies are rarely cheap.

Adidas has not priced its Futurecraft 4D shoes yet, but a recent Reuters report warns of a looming “unspecified premium cost” on the horizon.

As frustrating as these high costs are, they reflect actual costs of adding technologies. Nike’s Hyperadapt features built-in detectors to detect foot pressure, an integrated engine, and also needs a two-amp mobile battery charger — all so that you won’t need to bend down to physically lace up them. Add to that the regular rubber, leather, vinyl, and foam, and no wonder that the cost is exorbitantly high.

Future hopes

The path forward for shoes is not entirely bleak — there is still plenty of hope for a future that fits in your toes. Like OLED televisions, the technology in these shoes begins expensive, but it is getting cheaper all the time.

In May 2016, Hewlett-Packard introduced the HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Option, which HP currently uses to assist Nike create 3D-printed men and women’s sneakers. HP promises its new 3D printing machines may print shoe parts almost ten times faster, and at half the cost than traditional 3D printing procedures.

Adidas is also refining production practices such as the Futurecraft 4D, intent on making it cheaper. The business hopes to sell 5,000 pairs this season, but plans to launch a whopping 100,000 pairs next year. The catalyst for its 20-fold growth in manufacturing rests with Carbon, the firm pioneering an innovative 3D-printing process called “digital lighting synthesis” to fabricate components of the shoe. Though Carbon currently prints a midsole within an hour and a half, the company hopes to decrease that time to as low as 20 minutes.

Be patient. These improvements will eventually trickle down to futuristic footwear you are able to afford. Like flat-screen TVs and smartphones, some day we will all be able to manage shoe technology that most of us can only dream about now. So, while some currently have limited release, are wildly overpriced or simply sitting in a glass showcase on display – in time they will be accessible for the average individual.

Smartwatch Review: Samsung Gear Sport

Whether you are an active individual needing a fitness companion or a tech-savvy individual who finds classic watches lacking in function, odds are the business’s gear lineup has something that just might suit you. It’s the newest member in the show, and I spent a few weeks in its business to find out whether it’s worth the $300 asking price.

The Samsung Gear Sport stocks plenty of layout DNA with the Gear S3 and the Gear S2. Said briefly, it’s a trendy piece. The black version is minimalist in nature and does not draw attention, but there is also a flashier blue version made to stand out. Constructed of glass and metal, with a plastic bottom, the watch is big enough to be comfortable to use and also to accommodate a reasonably sized battery, but lacks the chunkiness and the rugged look of this Gear S3 Frontier. And I would say it suits me well, whether I am exercising in my sporty reversible singlet or just going about my day in basketball shirts, the watch is very trendy look for anyone.

From the box, the Gear Sport includes a stretchy rubber strap that’s comfy and grippy, held with a classic and dependable metal clasp at the end. The strap is removable, and a conventional 20mm ring can fit in its place. You could wind up replacing yours sooner or later because the stock one on mine is already showing signs of wear around the edges. Water resistance is present on the Gear Sport device. The device is resistant down to 50 meters and can be worn during swimming exercises. Even salt water should not do it any harm, although rinsing it with fresh water after going for a dip in the sea is pretty much mandatory. The Samsung Gear Sport has a 1.2-inch round touchscreen display, which is bigger than the one on a 38mm Apple Watch, yet somewhat smaller than the one on a Gear S3 Frontier. It has a resolution of 360 by 360 pixels and is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 scratch-resistant glass.

Technicalities aside, the display on the Gear Sport is fairly excellent. It’s bright enough to be perfectly legible on a sunny day, but it won’t burn your retinas at night as it becomes dimmer automatically when appropriate. It’s colours are vibrant, graphics are sharp, and text is easy to read, and full-colour is always-on as a display option, permitting you to leave the screen lit constantly. Whilst testing the device, I used the Samsung Gear Sport together with a Galaxy Note 8. Pairing was straightforward and simple; as soon as I powered the smartwatch, the telephone automatically detected its presence, and a tap after the procedure was underway. The Gear Sport is also compatible with non-Samsung Android devices, as well as with newer iPhones, though as expected, you will have the smoothest experience if you are a Galaxy user.

So far as navigation and design go, the applications on the Gear Sport is not much different than what you’d find on a Gear S3 or a Gear S2. The watch wakes up automatically once you consider it, displaying the watch face of your choice. Admittedly, this gesture isn’t guaranteed to work every time, but failures are infrequent. Something that’s new is the extra support for Spotify listening and the choice to store monitors offline on the watch itself. Basically, this permits you to leave your phone behind and set a Bluetooth headset directly to the Gear Sport whenever you need to listen to music while exercising. So that is exactly what we did, and it worked like a charm, with no connection interruptions occurring during our testing. The 40 songs that I stored took up about 150MB, meaning that approximately 500 tracks could fit on the watch’s internal memory.

By default, the Gear Sport is set to monitor activity automatically, so when it finds that you have been walking intensely for a while, this will be recorded and saved as exercise. But of course, you can begin a workout manually by selecting an exercise preset: Running, biking, swimming, crunches, jumping jacks, to name a few. In these situations, the Gear Sport performs well, presenting a comprehensive log of your exercise as soon as you’re done. While the Samsung Gear Sport connects to a smartphone Via Bluetooth, in addition, this new technology also includes its own Wi-Fi radio, and if it gets outdoors of your phone’s range, it is going to try connecting to a Wi-Fi system so that you still get your notifications. Samsung Pay is also enabled on the wearable, but while it works on contactless Payment terminals, there is no support for ones with all the old-school magnetic strip technology.

There are many things to like about the Samsung Gear Sport. It is good looking, fast, responsive, and has an excellent display. It lasts between charges, and it is durable enough to withstand some seriously harsh exercises. On top of this, the addition of Spotify with offline listening support is more than welcome.

 

Technology for the Elderly

Since the baby boomers rolled into retirement in droves, an individual cannot help wondering why we are not yet living in the world of “The Jetsons.” While we might not see a flying car that may fold into a briefcase in our life, there are a number of substantial technological improvements ahead that will make aging simpler for the generation that grew up watching the futuristic cartoon.

Front Porch, a not-for-profit group which provides support services for senior communities, Kari Olson, keeps her finger on the pulse of new technologies in a bid to identify products that can assist seniors in the business’ communities. Her organization has partnered with Intel-GE Care innovations, a partnership formed to provide remote Medical Care Options, to test a system, which enables residents to take monitor their health and send them to doctors for remote medical monitoring if unable to travel. One of the business’s communities is using sensor systems that detect whether taxpayers are busy and notify someone to check on them if they are not.

Where as, remote observation of the elderly health and action is likely to be more sophisticated as technology advances, seniors can remain home alone with the aid of what’s been dubbed “nana technology” by Carle, founding director of the Program in Senior Housing Administration at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Carle originally worked on the development of shoe insoles, which used GPS to monitor elderly patients with Alzheimer’s, can witness a whole lot of potential in smart clothes, now worn mostly by athletes. The detectors that now monitor heart rate, respiration and application of muscles for athletes these days will probably be put to use monitoring the health of the elderly in the long run.

Here are some technological improvements that could assist the aged care:

Self-driving cars
Needing to quit driving is something all seniors fear, because being behind the wheel is vital to maintaining independence. Google is currently testing self-driving automobiles, which use sensors to value the environment around them and applications to deal with the actual driving. The cars are still in the experimental phase, but Carle predicts they will be broadly available within a decade.

Edema socks
These socks, according to technology by The Danish firm Ohmatex, can detect and inform wearers of swollen feet and edema, which is frequently an indication of health disorders or other health issues in aged care.

Shoes which deter falls
Researchers have determined that vibrating shoe insoles can improve the wearers’ equilibrium and stability and can create fall prevention, creating a drop 70 percent less likely. Even though a study determined the item was useful, no business is producing this wearable tech yet.

Shirts that administer CPR
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is working on developing a shirt that would feel a heart attack and administer CPR, Carle says. While he quotes this type of top is 15 years away, shirts with detectors are already available on the market, used primarily by athletes.

Nurse robots
Researchers have been experimenting for years with robots, which would have sufficient artificial intelligence to function as medical care aides. The robots may issue medication reminders, in addition, to transmit information to family and medical care providers. Robot caregivers will be tested next year in England, Greece, and Poland.

Smart houses with voice controls
Smart home technology that uses sensors, computers or apps is already being used, but it has not been widely adopted. Researchers are working on enhancing voice-recognition systems so wise home applications can be operated by voice. This will be a help to elderly residents who do not use computers or have trouble seeing small screens.

 

IoT is the Future of Home Services Contracting

Ara Mahdessian and Vahe Kuzoyan are considering your own future. They have to. The future of pipes, HVAC and electrical contractors are their future too. The way contractors get work are shifting and if contractors do not adjust to that change, they’re in danger of being locked out of their marketplace.

Mahdessian is the co-founder and CEO of both ServiceTitan and Kuzoyan is the co-founder and president of ServiceTitan. Section of the Armenian community in Glendale, their dads were both builders and the two have known each other for several years. Their dads were subject to each of the slings and arrows which have always struck builders and the every day emergency plumber, and Mahdessian and Kuzoyan got into support management applications to help them.

Their product worked, and they began selling applications to other contractors. Ten decades ago were the olden days of software, so Mahdessian and Kuzoyan needed to go to a builder’s office and physically install the software on his host. Each of ServiceTitan’s applications is now on the cloud.

ServiceTitan functions 1,500 of “the most prosperous builders in the nation”. Mahdessian’s firm was successful because the clients told them exactly what they wanted to be able to operate a contracting company. Mahdessian explained that every company in the world has a process automation platform such as Salesforce.com, but contractors did not.

What’s ServiceTitan?

ServiceTitan is a portable, cloud-based field control solution designed specially for HVAC, plumbing, and electric home services companies. The machine flaunts a strong feature set which includes dispatch, scheduling, invoicing, revenue and much more. The ServiceTitan alternative gives users monitoring skills to help them track their advertising ROI and conversion. These capabilities permit them to connect each call they get and follow its procedure to find out whether it will become a completed sale or a missed chance.

ServiceTitan also acts as a portable option for technicians, allowing them to supply customers with visual sale demonstrations within the area and facilitate the processing of bills and credit cards without using newspaper. Other features include custom coverage, telephone recording, and dashboards which may be employed to trace and enable technicians in the area.

Review of ServiceTitan Benefits

ServiceTitan supplies both mobile and online solutions for companies, irrespective of size and kind within the service market. Mobile compatibility empowers users to have quick and immediate access to the machine remotely via a mobile-optimized website and on their own Android or iOS cellular program. ServiceTitan is created and designed to assist service businesses achieve three chief objectives, specifically: to enhance sales; deliver high class expertise for many of their clients, and to also streamline operations.

The machine is constructed with resources which were created to provide customers a strong visual sales expertise, that consequently, significantly enhances an organization’s conversion rates in addition to job averages. Tracking capabilities give users the visibility they have to realize how office employees approach their present customers and prospects and the way they turn every call in to appointments. ServiceTitan also provides powerful reporting programs and information evaluation of each advertising effort, permitting them to create more leads and efficiently identify opportunities.

Together with ServiceTitan, both office staff and field employees can see all customer info (service background, gear and more) whenever they predict. This operation permits, for example, an architectural timbers business to make smarter business decisions and devise workable strategies to provide top class support, resulting in very positive customer experience and client retention after each appointment.

ServiceTitan streamlines operations by just implementing business best practices in each service expertise to enhance results – for example, procedures involved in gas repair and installations must be precisely applicable to each household where ServiceTitan solves any possible information gap for. With all info available and available in real time, users have a very clear image of their enterprise and the best way to push their business towards achievement.

Review of ServiceTitan Features

  • Track sales performance
  • Measure advertising campaigns
  • Monitor call booking functionality
  • Remove paperwork
  • Training library
  • Pre-launch review
  • Data import
  • Certification app
  • Personalized Q&A
  • Best practices appointment

ServiceTitan Ranking

ServiceTitan is among the top 100 Undertaking Management Software Solutions. ServiceTitan can also be recorded in the subcategories: Field Service Management (FSM) Software.

Enterprises have unique needs and prerequisites and no software alternative can be just right in a situation like this. It’s useless to attempt to discover an excellent off-the-shelf software program that meets all of your company needs in the construction, glue laminated timber production and trades industry. The smart thing to do is to accommodate the machine for your particular needs, staff member ability levels, funding, and other components. For all these reasons, don’t hesitate to put money into well-publicized trendy systems. Although these might be widely utilized, they might not be the perfect match for your individual needs. Do your homework, explore each short-listed stage in detail, browse a few ServiceTitan testimonials, talk to the seller for clarifications, and eventually settle for the item that supplies what you require.

Is Your Testing Team Agile?

These days, every development team says that they are on board with agile testing methods. The agile methods have been proven to deliver great results with regard to worker productivity, development speed, team collaboration, and defect reduction. Developers want to highlight the fact that they use agile techniques, however, not all managers live up to their word of using agile automated testing and so on. The managers who would like do develop a better understanding of how well they are doing with their agile testing or would like to get ideas on different ways to improve, should ask themselves the following questions and be truly honest in their answers.

How does test management factor into agile?
Software project leaders will want to know how to become the manager of an agile development team. This is a very simple question, although it has quite a complicated answer. Ben Williams and Tom Roden had an interview with InfoQ, and they said how agile methods do not have a conventional management structure, instead, they are mostly driven and directed by the testers themselves. This means that the testing team is sharing the responsibility, which makes the individual testers communicate on a more regular basis between each other. In failing to do so, things will not be moving and the necessary milestones will not be met.

What is the true role of the agile testing manager?
Both Williams and Roden made it clear that software testing has changed in the age of agile. However, where does this leave the team leaders who are used to performing tasks as a manager and playing a leading role? There are still a number of things that these managers can aim for after making the transition to agile. “Our view is that this sort of role works across many teams, championing, curating and coaching testing as a function, whilst instilling a mindset and toolkit of practices and techniques.” This means that instead of being a taskmaster, you are more of a business coach and advisor. You turn into an educator and you must be very supportive. Some will think that this is a reduction of their responsibility, but that isn’t the case. The concept of agile techniques may be new to a lot of team members and so they will be in need of advice, one-on-one coaching, and support constantly.

How do managers prepare for a shift to agile software testing?
Knowledge is power. Before you start to transition to agile, the managers need to take the time to learn as much as they possibly can about it so they are more educated. To discover the weak spots, there needs to be a close analysis on the existing processes in the current approach of software testing which will allow a more targeted game plane to be created for the transition. “Finding the activities where teams still need support and specialist knowledge and enabling them to learn and develop those skills, including cloud computing security will be how the most successful test managers evolve into more useful organizational change agents and enablers.” When transitioning to agile, every team will be taking a different route, but if they keep these points in mind, they will all be prepared to take on the challenge that lies ahead and to develop and approach that really works.