Aeotec reimagines the door and window sensor by predicting break-ins (PLuGHiTz Live Special Events)

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept that makes the smart home possible, but Z-Wave is the technology that makes it work together. What it means is, no matter what company you buy your products from, if it is part of the Z-Wave Alliance, you know that they will be compatible with one another.

One member of the Z-Wave Alliance is Aeotec, a brand that makes a wide variety of smart home accessories. In fact, the company offers a line of 44 different products. However, at CES this year, they are really featuring their Door/Window Sensor 7. We were surprised by this, as it seems like a door and window sensor is a technology that is so established that it is unlikely to be improved upon.

Aeotec, however, has a totally new approach to this technology. Traditionally, these sensors are designed to send an alert to a security system when the two magnets separate. The idea is to alert during the process of an entry event, either purposeful or forceful. That's useful, but not ideal. The ideal situation is to alert before someone breaks into the building. That is exactly what the Aeotec sensor does: alerts you before there is a problem.

Rather than just being a pair of magnets, the Door/Window Sensor 7 uses some additional sensors built into the device, as well as a proprietary algorithm, the sensor is able to detect behaviors that indicate the beginning of a break-in. For example, there is a certain amount of force required to break out a window or door, and the sensor is able to detect that force. It is then able to notify the central hub, and therefore additional Z-Wave devices, that a break-in is being attempted. The system could then turn on lights, sound an alarm, and more, to notify the intruder that you're aware of them.

The Door/Window Sensor 7 is expected to hit the market in the near future and will be available from Aeotec and more.

Interview by [livescottertz" class="UpStreamLink">.

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The iota security hub makes protecting your home incredibly easy (PLuGHiTz Live Special Events)

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept that makes the smart home possible, but Z-Wave is the technology that makes it work together. What it means is, no matter what company you buy your products from, if it is part of the Z-Wave Alliance, you know that they will be compatible with one another.

One member of the Z-Wave Alliance is Abode Systems, makers of the iota, a small, tabletop all-in-one security system. In the box, which is only about the size of a standard Wi-Fi router, is a full Z-Wave security hub, as well as a security camera, motion detector, two-way voice communication, and audible alarm. The package also ships with a standard door/window sensor and arm/disarm keyfob.

In addition to the included hardware, there are a variety of ways to connect the iota to both internal and external networks. The device includes Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and cellular data connections, allowing you to get notifications on your mobile device whether you are home or not. As a member of the Z-Wave Alliance, you can add to the system a variety of additional sensors and devices, both from Abode and other partners.

When it comes to monitoring, there are two distinct options. The fairly standard way with do-it-yourself home security systems is to self-monitor, which means that when something goes wrong, you get a notification and must act on it yourself. However, with the iota, you get the option for professional monitoring, as well. You can sign up for constant monitoring, allowing you to let someone else always be in charge of the process. You can also purchase service for short periods, such as a vacation or business trip.

The iota is available now, either the standalone device for $299 or with a year of service for $329.

Interview by [livescottertz" class="UpStreamLink">.

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Gerber Prime allows you to customize how you control your smarthome (PLuGHiTz Live Special Events)

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept that makes the smart home possible, but Z-Wave is the technology that makes it work together. What it means is, no matter what company you buy your products from, if it is part of the Z-Wave Alliance, you know that they will be compatible with one another.

One member of the Z-Wave Alliance is Gerber Prime, a company that has taken customization to a whole new level. Their PrimeSwitch products allow you to create a, not only a completely custom panel setup but a custom plate itself. Here's how it works: each plate has 9 buttons. Each one can be programmed to perform nearly any action. This is possible thanks to the nature of the switches themselves. Using control modules, you can add capabilities for a relay, curtains, and more.

In addition to the electronics, you can also completely customize the wall plate. Whether you want only a single touchable button, or want to expose all 9, you can purchase a plate in the configuration that you want. Just as importantly, however, is the ability to have the plates designed to your specification. You want to get a particular color, possibly to match your room decor? No problem. You want the lights on the buttons to be the color of your corporate logo? No problem. You want the buttons themselves to look like little dolphins? No problem.

The company has recently taken the idea of the modular system and brought it to a whole new controller. Rather than a wall plate, you can also use their modules to create a large, programmable control unit. The PrimeBox allows for modules for control, as well as different technologies, including Z-Wave, Zigbee, and more. This is a perfect solution for a large implementation, such as a television studio, or large office.

The PrimeSwitch is available now with prices dependent on configuration. The PrimeBox is coming soon. Both products can be found on the company's website.

Interview by [livescottertz" class="UpStreamLink">.

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Geeni has the products to give you the smart home you've been wanting (PLuGHiTz Live Special Events)

There are smart home products just about everywhere you look at CES. When walking around, you start to get the feeling that if you've seen one smart light bulb, you've seen them all. All of the platforms and apps can get really overwhelming. And if it even gets a bit confusing for us techie folks, we can only guess how the average consumer feels about it all.

That's why it was so refreshing to step into the Geeni booth and have a chat with Sol Hedaya, head of their Smart Home division. Sol explained how they, too, know that it can get exhausting trying to get the features that you want in an easy to use format. That's why they have really tried to take away the pain
 points of the smarthome. Nobody wants to go through so many different apps, hubs, and ecosystems. So they've worked really hard to make it all less complicated and at price points that are affordable. Their philosophy from day one has been to
 make Wi-Fi-based products that are really inexpensive and are easy 
to get connected and running off of one app so that all you need to do is buy
 one product and it connects directly to
 your home Wi-Fi network. They've rolled 
this philosophy out into a really wide range of
 smart lighting and power 
products, including smart plugs, surge protectors
 and power strips. In addition, they are now moving into
 switches and even a smart nightlight and
 smart block combinations.

We loved how their entire line works together. You can set your nightlight to come on at dusk and include a fan or appliance in the same plug. They have also
 expanded heavily into cameras and
 security. There are indoor and outdoor and doorbell cameras. Also, new for this year is their smart baby camera that comes in three different
 colors: blue, pink and white. But most impressive are its features. You are
 able to adjust where the camera view right 
from the app. It also has a 
humidity and temperature sensors 
built right in. It will even sing a lullaby

All of 
the products are compatible with Google 
Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Microsoft
 Cortana and they work really really
 closely with those teams to ensure superior compatibility. Pricing starts at around $15 and there is something for everyone. After you check out the interview, take a look at a couple of our favorites on Amazon, like this Surge 6-Outlet, and this 2 Pack 1080p Security Camera System. And for more information, visit the Geeni website.

Interview by [livedanielemendez" class="UpStreamLink">.

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Vuze makes creating VR and 360 videos and photos incredibly easy (PLuGHiTz Live Special Events)

Virtual reality headsets and environments are becoming more and more popular. Nintendo has even thrown its hat back into the ring over 20 years after the first attempt at the technology. The problem is, there is not nearly as much content available for the hardware as there should be. There are some still cameras that have made their way into the market, and most phones can take a panoramic-style 360 photo. Video content, however, is still not as popular as it could, and should, be. Vuze cameras might just change that.

The VUZE+ looks a lot like a small Wi-Fi router but has 8 lenses around the outside ring. Using those lenses, the camera is able to create video content in full 360 degrees, which is perfect for virtual reality headset. It also features spatial audio, meaning that, by moving your perspective, you can change the sound that you can hear. It is almost like being there. The camera has a standard camera mount on the bottom, allowing you to set it up somewhere, maybe at a concert or conference, and record.

The VUZE XR is the smaller version of the VUZE+ and features only 2 lenses facing forward. Rather than a full 360-degree video, the XR produces a 180-degree frame. This is perfect for portability, as holding the camera in your hand will put your body as half of the frame anyway. Luckily, the camera is designed exactly for portability, with a handle and collapsible lenses.

Both cameras produce video at 5.7K, which is far above the industry standard. In addition to still photos and video, both cameras are also able to be used for live streaming through YouTube Live using a paired mobile device. The VUZE+ is available for $999 and the VUZE XR is available for $439.

Interview by [livedanielemendez" class="UpStreamLink">.

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Be proud to tell your stories in amazing video quality with Canon (PLuGHiTz Live Special Events)

It seems that video recording is more important now than ever. And Canon stays on the cutting edge to bring us the best assortment of video cameras. Whether you are recording all of those special moments with your growing family, capturing your favorite vacation memories or starting your own podcast or vlog, Canon has a camera that will fit your needs.

Drew McCallum, Senior Technical Specialist, indulged our love of Canon Video and showed us their newest additions to the line. New for this year are the VIXIA HF W10 and VIXIA HF W11 camcorders
. There's also a new waterproof VIXIA 
camcorder. They also have their HF G50 and their
 brand new 4K camcorder for a little bit
higher end user. We were particularly mesmerized by the waterproof camcorder that was swimming behind us. It's capable of depths up to sixteen and a half feet. It's ready to go for all of your vacations and adventures. And it's not just waterproof, it's also freeze and drought proof. It offers a lot of versatility in a very small, compact design. The four-hour battery is internal and charges via USB

Another product that we at PLuGHiTz Live have a lot of interest in, is the 4K camcorders. As we look to upgrade to higher quality cameras for the crew, these really caught our attention. The VIXIA GX10 is Canon's first 4K UHD consumer camcorder. The compact and portable design offers a truly outstanding combination of features and functionality. It delivers refined video quality and delivers stunning detail to video enthusiasts and aspiring filmmakers alike. It's a twenty times
 optical zoom and a five-axis
 image stabilization system. You've also got a dual
 card slot so if you are doing long
 interviews like here at CES 
you are able to back them up.

We love our Canon video recorders. We use them in our studio and at all of our special events. And we look forward to expanding our own stock. We'd really like to hear what you think about them, too. After you watch the interview, drop us a line in the comments section. For more information, visit their website here.

Interview by [livedanielemendez" class="UpStreamLink">.

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Humanscale makes the laptop better with the M/Connect docking station (PLuGHiTz Live Special Events)

Many of us use a laptop for both portable and stationary computing. When we're at a desk, we tend to want more than a laptop offers naturally. For example, you may want extra monitors, or maybe just a larger screen. You may want a better keyboard, and almost certainly want a real mouse. All of that makes a laptop docking station appealing, but there is a problem with docks: all of the cables on the desk running in and out of the dock. Humanscale has a simple yet elegant solution to the problem with the M/Connect docking station.

While a traditional docking station sits on top of the desk and has all of your standard cables plugged into it, like HDMI, keyboard, mouse, printer, etc., the M/Connect is different. It actually mounts around the edge of the desk and uses a split design. This setup allows for the bottom piece to feature all of the permanent cables, meaning that they are hidden beneath the desk. The top piece features ports for your more transient hardware, like flash drives, portable hard drives, and biometric sensors. Now you have the convenience of a laptop dock without the clutter of cables taking up a large portion of your desk space.

In addition to the clever split design, the M/Connect is designed to be paired with one of the company's monitor stands. In fact, it can be used with any of the company's monitor arms, whether it be designed for a single screen or a full 6 screen array. The post of the monitor arm runs through the center of the M/Connect, keeping the dock snugly in place and adding extra stability to the arm's connection. It is a win-win situation.

The M/Connect is available now in a variety of configurations.

Interview by [livedanielemendez" class="UpStreamLink">.

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Formlabs brings accuracy and flexibility to the 3D printing market (PLuGHiTz Live Special Events)

3D printers have become a very popular device category, even becoming popular for in-home use. While these printers can accomplish a lot, there are some things that your standard, consumer-grade 3D printer just cannot pull off. There is another category of printers, however, that is far more capable than the ones you'll find in a retail store. Commercial 3D printers, like the ones from Formlabs can print in more detail, with different materials, and more.

If you've ever encountered something printed by one of the consumer printers, you know what it looks like. The surfaces are usually rough and often you can see and feel the individual layers where it was printed. That is because of the overall resolution of the printer. Think of a consumer printer more like a dot-matrix printer, but the commercial printers are like laser printers. In fact, if you look at the Formlabs printer, it actually uses a laser in its setup. This method allows for a smooth finish and an indistinguishable print layer. In fact, these printers print in 50-micron layers, making them essentially indistinguishable.

In addition to resolution, the Formlabs printers also allow for some incredibly unique printing materials. At the event, the company showed off some of these unusual materials. One of the most impressive was a dental grade polymer, which is being used to make dentures. This process allows a dentist to take a scan of your mouth and enter it into a computer, printing a new set of dentures in the office. This is faster, cheaper, and more convenient than taking a physical mold of the mouth and shipping it to a production facility, having to wait for the dentures to be produced and shipped back.

Truly, though, the most impressive material was called Elastic and was a completely flexible material. You can squeeze the printed item in your hand, bend it around, and the item will correct itself. Essentially, it is like being able to print with rubber bands instead of hard plastic. There are many jobs that this material can make possible that were simply out of reach in the past.

The Formlabs printers are available now starting at $3,350.

Interview by [livedanielemendez" class="UpStreamLink">.

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March 10, 2019 - Episode 523 (F5 Live: Refreshing Technology)

This week, Philadelphia is staying in the present, EA is skipping their presentation, and Disney is releasing their past.

USB4 Details - Episode 190 (Piltch Point)

This week, Avram Piltch discusses the future of USB, known as USB4 (or USB 4). While not everything is known about the new standard, such as the final marketing branding, we do know some. For example, we know that USB4 will be capable of up to 40Gbps transfer rates, equaling what Thunderbolt 3 supports currently. It will also support a smart switching capability when using both video and data over the same bus. Currently, each side gets 50% of the bandwidth, whether or not that is what is needed. In the new version, if video needs 20%, it will leave the other 80% of the bandwidth available for data transfer. This is similar to how Ethernet switches work today. For anyone using the port for external video cards, this will be an especially powerful upgrade.

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