Monday, October 14, 2019

Four Unique Ideas for Smart Home Upgrades

If you’re thinking about transitioning into a smart home, here are some unique ideas for smart phone upgrades that can optimize your home’s capabilities.

Smart locks

Smart locks are great additions to any smart home, allowing users to lock and unlock doors with a single click on a smartphone. Most are compatible with virtual assistants such as Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. When they’re paired with a smart doorbell or door camera, smart locks are also helpful for people who can’t always get to the door quickly. See who’s at the door, communicate through the doorbell device, and even unlock the door without the hassle of rushing to the door. You can also give out temporary “guest keys” for visitors. This feature is perfect for overnight visitors or for rental guests if you’re renting out your home or using room-sharing platforms.

Smart garage door

Smart garage doors add security. You’ll no longer need to press an opener multiple times to open the garage door, and you can open and close the door from anywhere with your smartphone. Most smart doors are also compatible with virtual assistants, which can notify you when the door is left open and swiftly close it. Pair the door with security cameras for a live feed of the garage and surrounding areas to remotely monitor it.

Smart window treatments

Smart window treatments are a relatively new smart home option. Investing in smart blinds can save energy and add convenience. Dog barking up a storm outside? Close the blinds to minimize the noise. You can also close your blinds at the hottest point of the day to protect your furniture and hardwood flooring from sun damage and to keep your house cooler naturally. Best of all, you can control your blinds from anywhere. Even when you’re at home, you can use your smartphone or virtual assistant to control your blinds so that you don’t have to get up and close all your shades.

Smart refrigerator

A smart refrigerator can make life a lot easier. Features differ greatly by model, but here are some of the most common features:
  • Looks up recipes. Your smart refrigerator can browse the Internet for recipes, add ingredients to your shopping list, and tell you how to make a dish. Say goodbye to throwing together last-minute meals.
  • Creates grocery lists. Some smart fridges can learn your eating habits and add items to your grocery list automatically. Drink a can of soda every day after work? Never worry about running out again—your fridge will plan for you.
  • Shows you what’s inside. Many models have interior and exterior cameras so that you can check what you need while you’re shopping for groceries. Not sure if you need more eggs? Peek inside your fridge remotely to check.
  • Tells you when food expires. Some models allow you to input expiration dates, and then they notify you when your food is about to or has already expired.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

How Robots Benefit Different Industries

The science fiction novels of decades past are coming true at last. Many industries utilize robots to improve efficiency, carry out precise tasks, or cut down on employment costs. Recent years have seen vast improvements in the world of robotics. In today’s article, we’ll explore a few different industries that use robots.

Health Care

Robots are sometimes used to perform intricate surgeries. A number of surgical applications require cuts so miniscule that doctors cannot make them. As a result, robotic arms are increasing in popularity for this task. Though doctors control the arms, the arms carry out the physical work. Robots can also package and distribute some medications as well as sanitize rooms.

Automotive

Several welding applications in the automotive industry require the use of robots, which can complete jobs in a more timely manner. Robots can also assemble small parts such as windshields and wheel bearings.

Agriculture

Robotics have greatly improved the agricultural industry during the last several years. Robotics can complete simple chores such as harvesting and spraying, and drones can monitor large fields and take detailed pictures that allow farmers to collect essential data. GPS, joined with other applications, can also be used to drive some farming equipment autonomously.

Manufacturing

Manufacturing often requires a large amount of monotonous movements, many of which are easily carried out by robotic devices. Robots are used for tasks such as material handling, removal, and assembly. They can also apply materials such as glue or paint to objects.

Food

Robots are being introduced to several areas of the food industry. They’re often programmed to clean, blend, and sort different types of food, such as meat or vegetables. Robots can also package food before it’s shipped out and stack boxes. Robots can also be used for different forms of food delivery.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Innovative Ways Technology is Used in Restaurants

Technology can be seen in almost every aspect of our daily lives. Though these influences may be subtle, they can still impact our lives greatly. The impact of technology on the restaurant industry, for instance, often goes unnoticed by diners. However, the ways technology is used in restaurants helps create a more relaxed dining experience for patrons and streamlines many of the processes restaurant employees use.

Online menus

For many diners, a restaurant’s menu is the most important factor in deciding where to eat. To entice diners, many restaurants have elected to update their menu and create an online version for easier viewing. This simple change encourages diners to stay on the restaurant’s website longer as they browse through the menu, and can lead to an increase in traffic and sales. When updating your restaurant’s menu for online viewing, be sure to organize it in a user-friendly way and choose colors that will appear well on a screen.

Digital payment options

In recent years, cash has become a thing of the past. Rather than carrying around bills and coins, diners now pay for their meals with credit cards or digital payment apps. Even with the added ease of credit and debit cards, the process of paying a bill can sometimes be lengthy. Digital POS systems expedite the process and move diners through the restaurant faster. Some restaurants also allow diners to pay for their meal using mobile apps such as Apple Pay.

Digital ordering

With the increased interest in food delivery services, digital ordering is now one of the most popular ways technology is used in restaurants. Many restaurants have introduced digital ordering options in which the user can order their meal directly from the restaurant’s website. These meals can then be picked up in the store or delivered directly to the user’s home; these are great options for busy individuals. Some restaurants have even introduced digital kiosks in their stores. These kiosks allow the user a bit more control when ordering and helps them ensure their order is placed according to their exact specifications.

Digital scheduling software

Not only does technology in restaurants make ordering easier for the diners, but it can also relieve stress and expedite processes for restaurant employees. Digital scheduling software enables restaurant employees to easily access and manage schedules from almost anywhere. This software makes the scheduling process easier for managers too, as they are now able to view time off requests and availability for all employees at once. The ease of access for digital scheduling software ensures that no shifts are ever forgotten, and the restaurant is always properly staffed.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Voice Over Recording Tips for a Successful Session

You just finished recording and editing your video. It’s perfect, worthy of an Oscar—or least a People’s Choice Award. All it needs now is some audio. With a polished script in hand, it’s time to lay down the dialogue and complete your production. To create a professional video, visual and audio elements must be excellent. To accomplish this, use these voice over recording tips.

Find a Good Spot

Even if you don’t have a huge budget, you can still create a professional home studio. You only need a few key components. Most people already have a computer and a microphone—that puts you halfway there. Purchase some headphones and recording and editing software to finish your set up. From here, you’ll want to choose a room in the house that has the best acoustics. Read the script in each room to ensure you pick the best one.

Get a Pop Filter

You’ll want to avoid plosive and sibilance—these are fancy words for the sounds associated with words starting with “P” or “S.” That extra pop or ess sound can make your recording sound unprofessional. As such, invest in a pop filter for your microphone to reduce or eliminate these sounds.

Do a Practice Read

The script might read amazing, however, when said aloud it might come across completely different. What sounds good in your head might not sound good to your ears. As such, read the entire script a few times and edit it as needed. Remove any words that you trip over and are hard to say—keep it concise and easy to pronounce.

Use a Stand

No matter how far away from the microphone you are, it will pick up the sound of paper rustling. To avoid this, don’t hold the script in hand while performing the read. Put the script on a stand so you don’t have to handle it.

Battle Dry Mouth

If you have a long script, prepare for the dreaded dry mouth. Talking a lot will quickly dry out your mouth. If you’re doing a long recording, keep water close by to sip throughout the session. However, be cautious about how much water you drink. Multiple bathroom trips will take away from recording time. Another good trick is to bring a Granny Smith apple with you. A quick bite will naturally get your mouth watering.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

What You Should Know About LCD Technology

LCD, or liquid crystal display, has changed the way we think about our everyday flat-panel devices—take, for example, our laptops, phones, and TVs. Over the years, LCD replaced the technology that powered older electronics, as it offers numerous benefits. Not only is it light and thin, but it also produces impressive images without consuming a ton of power. We want to emphasize its impact, so we created a brief guide that details what you should know about LCD technology.

When Did It Rise in Popularity?

Although liquid crystals seem like a recent development, they’ve been around since the late 1800s, and Austrian scientist Friedrich Reinitzer first discovered them. He made this discovery completely by accident, but it paved the way for future pioneers in the 20th century. The military found the technology useful, and it quickly took the world by storm.

How It Works

Liquid crystals are molecules in between a solid and liquid state. When electricity triggers the liquid crystals, they’ll open or close. Multiple liquid crystals form arrangements that turn into pixels. The pixels have two polarizing glass filters, one behind them and one in front of them. When they open and close, or twist and untwist, the crystals’ movement changes the angle at which light comes through the filters. As the liquid crystal structure rotates, it can block polarized light or reflect red, green, or blue light. This is how displays can turn their pixels “on” and “off”, thus creating a full color display between two glass panels.

 To ensure their products meet lighting requirements, companies should have their devices undergo display testing. Generally, this process entails using a spectroradiometer to measure a display’s color and luminance.

How LCDs Differ from LEDs and OLEDs

Today, LED and OLED products compete against LCD technology. LCD technologies can produce sharp images much like LED and OLED; however, LCDs surprisingly don’t emit light on their own. Instead, they can control how much light passes through them. In most cases, LCD devices will have a backlight or will reflect light from external sources. You may also notice a difference in response time between these different technologies. The pixels in LCD devices will change colors at different speeds than LED or OLED products. Finally, screen brightness will vary; brightness is measured in NITs or candelas, and the higher the device’s NITs, the brighter the screen. LCD products often have fewer NITs than LED and OLED displays.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Tech and The Future of Transportation

Transportation constantly evolves, which we’ve seen throughout time. There are many exciting prospects currently in the works that can change the way we commute and travel. Here’s how tech and the future of transportation may play a role in our lives.

Self-driving cars have been a popular topic as companies like Google, Tesla, and Uber continue to experiment with the technology. You may already see self-driving vehicles on the road because they’re being tested in various cities. The idea is that you will no longer have to operate your vehicle, which feels like something contrived out of a science fiction novel.

The trust in the vehicle’s safety will continue to concern passengers, but future car technology has benefits such as less time spent on the road. With these changes coming, common car problems that we’re concerned with now may go away.

The landscape of public transportation appears to be heading in a brand new direction, as well. Tesla’s Elon Musk says we should adopt bullet trains, like the ones in Japan, that can reach speeds of around 200 mph. Adding underground tunnels to cities with heavy traffic, like LA and Chicago, has also been proposed.

Another idea to combat traffic is to add gyroscopic vehicles to the roads. The futuristic vehicle would operate like a bus or train does in urban cities. The gyroscopic vehicle has two wheels and moves on tracks above regular car traffic.

Transportation services like Uber and Lyft continue to grow and expand their mediums. Recently, Uber and Lyft adopted electric scooters, which allows people to pick one up and take it anywhere within the scooter’s limits. Something to look forward to in the future is aerial ridesharing with helicopter-esque travel from Uber, as welql.

Tech and the future of transportation may also bring us commercial space flight. The opportunity for civilians to travel to space may become a viable option. Virgin Galactic has been at the forefront of this innovative way to travel, and testing is still underway. The SpaceShipTwo will act like a commercial airplane, but in space. You may see commercial space travel as a realistic form of transportation in the near future.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

5 of the Main Advantages of Repairing Electronics

Electronics are often expensive, and they’re composed of many fragile components that can break easily. If this happens, buying a new device is often the first solution people consider. However, there’s another option—repairing the device. Doing so may sound complicated and intimidating, but it has many benefits. The next time your electronic device starts malfunctioning, consider these advantages of repairing electronics.

Save money

The most obvious benefit of repairing your broken electronic instead of replacing it is that doing so can save you a lot of money. Purchasing a new electronic is often very costly—especially if it’s the latest model. By repairing your broken device yourself using computer, phone, or TV replacement parts, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars. Comparing prices first is always important, but repairing a broken or malfunctioning product is typically much cheaper, especially if it’s a larger, newer, or more complex device.

Preserve data

Many electronic devices store a lot of important data, and purchasing a new device may mean having to re-upload all this data. By repairing the device, you may get to keep your current settings and data and save yourself a lot of time and energy.

Protect the environment

By repairing your broken electronic instead of trashing it and buying a new one, you’ll help minimize your impact on the environment. Getting the most life out of your electronics is especially important because most electronic waste is toxic. Plus, the energy and resources required to produce new products further pollutes the planet. As such, if you’re interested in preserving our planet, repairing your electronics is the way to go.

Maintain resale value

Due to the decreased selling price, there’s a demand for used electronics. You can sell old electronics you no longer need at a yard sale, online, or simply by word of mouth. If your device is broken, however, you won’t be able to maintain its resale value and sell it later on.

Avoid frustration

Unless you’re able to purchase the exact same brand and model of your broken device, you’ll likely have to get used to using a new product. Learning the features of a new device can be frustrating and take up a lot of time. By repairing the product you’re already familiar with, you can avoid this tiring process.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

What Is V2V Technology and How Does It Make Driving Safer

When you are learning how to drive, most teachers will tell you that you have to drive for yourself and all the cars around you. Understanding that you are only as safe as the cars around you is a sobering thought. Couple that with the fact that there are more distracted drivers on the road due to mobile devices, getting in the car can feel daunting. Thankfully, technologists and automakers are finding ways to make driving safer with V2V technology.

What Is V2V Technology?

Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology allows cars to wirelessly exchange information. V2V-enabled vehicles can report factors such as speed and the positioning of nearby vehicles. V2V technology is the foundation of current autonomous vehicles and cars with predictive braking systems.

How Does V2V Work?

V2V technology works by sending and receiving data to the vehicle’s computer systems. The sensors in the car send and receive data up to 10 times per second. All that data creates a complete 360-degree field that informs you about what is around your vehicle. The data inform your car of suggested speed limits, other vehicle proximity, and potential crash hazardous. Advances in current V2V technology even allow sensors to read objects over 300 meters away.

How Can V2V Make Driving Safer?

Some agencies believe that V2V technology could prevent between 439,00 and 615,000 car crashes. To make V2V technology widespread, there is a push to add technology to all lightweight vehicles. The more vehicles on the road equipped with V2V technology, the more drivers there will be with a second set of eyes on the road. Allowing our vehicles to play a more active role in the driving process can help decrease collisions that result from distracted, sleepy, and maybe even intoxicated drivers. Imagine a commute where every vehicle could break before an accident takes place—this could lead to a decrease in multiple-car collisions on highways, for example.

As consumers better understand what V2V technology is, drivers can look forward to possibly experiencing safer highways and streets in the near future. On top of V2V, many networking companies are starting to work closely with government and car manufacturing agencies to implement vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I). These companies specialize in popular industrial wireless products that cities can use to create a network that shares information with road signage, traffic lights, and other systems. Their goal is to, at some point, have vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology. This network will decrease collisions more than ever before.