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Kohler Has Super Technology For You and Your Home

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Kohler KonnectSuper technology in the home is not a thing of the future, but what is happening now. Kohler has been providing your home with everyday necessities for over 100 years, and now they are updating those products with their line called Kohler Konnect. This line of products is about moments made better, with control exactly how you want it. You can control these products manually, through the app or with your voice.

The Verdera Lighted Mirror is activated with built-in Amazon Alexa voice control. With the voice control in the bathroom, you can direct your wishes to start your shower with the proper temperature and desired spray choice or a combination of sprays. The morning shower person might want a quick awakening-type of shower and the bedtime shower person might want a more massage-type, relaxing kind of shower. Verdera is equipped with integrated lighting, 2 microphones and 2 hermetically-sealed speakers, so that you don’t have any extra clutter on your counter.

In the kitchen there is a touchless faucet that is perfect for people who just want to wave their hand to turn on the water and not touch the faucet. You can also use the voice control to tell your faucet to fill your coffeepot with a pre-set amount of water. Except for Verdera, all of these products are platform-agnostic, making it very compatible with Amazon, Alexa or Google Assistant.

These products are available now except for the voice command mirror which is coming out in March. For more information go to kohler.com.

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.
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The Sunflower is The First Autonomous Shade in The World

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Sunflower Robotic Sun Shade by ShadeCraftShadeCraft Robotics is a start up company in California that has made it their mission to improve human interaction outdoors through connected devices and robotic technology. One of their greatest examples of working toward that mission is called the Sunflower. The Sunflower is the world’s first autonomous shade that keeps your space completely shaded for the largest part of the day by automating its movements along with the sun’s movement. It also generates and stores renewable energy using solar panels to bring the mechanism to life.

The Sunflower has speakers for any type of music from your own device and a microphone for AI commands through your smarthome system through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi built-in capabilities. But it doesn’t end there! This shade goes above and beyond for any outdoor space with an HD camera and controlled lighting. You can easily use the Sunflower as the center piece from a party to a relaxing day to yourself.

Preorders are available now on the ShadeCraft website for $6900 until the end of March when the retail price increases to $8700.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.
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Samsung Gets More and More Impressive Each Year

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Samsung 8K UHD TelevisionWe love being immersed in the Samsung Electronics booth at CES. If The Wall was the main attraction for 2018, it definitely had some competition in the booth. Also featured is the first 8K QLED TV in the world. And as if that’s not impressive enough, it also features AI technology. It’s this AI technology that elevates the standard definition content to an awe inspiring 8K resolution. Basically, the picture quality is transformed via a proprietary algorithm to transform any regular content to a high-resolution 8K.

But Samsung did not stop here with this beauty of a TV. They also added several new really cool features, including detail enhancement, which not only upgrades the standard definition content but also adds noise reduction and has an edge restoration function to more clearly outlines objects on the screen. There is also automatic sound adjustment that differentiates between various content, like sporting events and music concerts. Also, your viewing experience will only get better over time with firmware updates that will upgrade the set with the latest improvements. So, the longer you own it, the better it’s going to get.

One of our absolute favorite features is that they have made the initial setup as easy as possible. This TV is an extension of their expanded Smart Things platform and includes Bixby, which is their own voice command system. When you first plug in, the Bluetooth will automatically connect with your smartphone, which enables it to link into the Smart Things app and update your new TV with not only your network Wi-Fi password, but also bring in all of your existing streaming platforms, complete with those passwords as well. It will also automatically configure the remote control with the other remotes in the home, even the cable remote, so you will have easy access to everything from one remote. It’s the same with your gaming devices. You will now have full control of all of your entertainment, gaming and other Samsung Smart Things appliances right from your TV remote control. Imagine sitting on the couch and asking Bixby what’s in the fridge and also having the oven start preheating. Talk about living the dream!

Samsung is looking forward to launch the 85″ QLED 8K TV during the second half of 2018.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.
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Clean and Plentiful: Complete Water Independence is Now Here

Monday, February 26th, 2018

Zero Mass Water SourceWhile walking through the courtyard at the Las Vegas Convention Center this year during CES 2018, we came across an array of solar panels. We walked past them at least a few times without really thinking about it. After all, just about everything is going solar. Then the name of the business caught our eye: Zero Mass Water. And as we pondered the name, we were offered a glass of water. That also was not all that unusual, many of the companies offer you a bottle of water while you are at their booth. Before we could ask about their business, they started to ask us if we enjoyed the taste of the water and explaining how their water source could help us to eliminate the need for buying bottled water, etc. Sounded great, but where are they getting the water and what are they powering with the solar panels?

Introducing SOURCE: a Hydropanel that makes drinking water directly from sunlight and air. This is a truly renewal water source that doesn’t need infrastructure or electrical input. And you can generate up to a case of bottled water per day from just a pair of panels.

Tapped into the unlimited supply of water vapor in the air, SOURCE uses sunlight to power a renewable supply of drinking water. No more waste from bottled or filtered water. It produces pure drinking water and adds exactly the right minerals to optimize health and taste. These electrolytes make SOURCE drinking water delicious. Each SOURCE array is connected to their global network, which enables monitoring of your water production and performance in real time. You’ll also be able to see what sunshine and humidity are expected in the coming days. There’s even an active green light signal to let you know that SOURCE is keeping your water safe. And as a Water for Life member, you’ll get even more data and control over your array.

Most homes can replace all of their drinking water with a 2-panel array. The water flows into a 30 liter reservoir where it is mineralized for optimal taste, storing up to 120 standard bottles per 2-panel array. The price for the two panels and installation is approx $4,500.

This is not only an amazing product for those who want to be environmentally conscience, but imagine how sustainable, clean water will be able to help people drought stricken areas and undeveloped countries. The possibilities are truly exciting.

To get more information, please visit their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.
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Gourmia Adds High Tech Smarts and Improved Convenience to the Kitchen

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

Gourmia Google Assistant Enabled AppliancesOver the last few years, Gourmia has gone from being a kitchen appliance manufacturer to being a leader in kitchen automation technology. Whether the appliance be in the form of a multi-use device, Google Assistant enabled or even remote monitoring, Gourmia has put a lot of thought into their new line of products. At CES 2018, the company showed us the latest enhancements they have made to their product offerings.

First up is a Google Assistant powered coffee maker, an upgrade to the current line. Initially you might wonder, “What might voice activation do for a coffee maker?” Once you see it in action it all becomes clear. Being able to be in your bedroom and be able to tell your coffee maker in the kitchen to start up is a great feature. Being able to say, “Good morning Google” and have the coffee start, the lights turn on and wakeup music start to play is even better.

In addition to coffee, they have added Google Assistant support to their other devices, such as a sous vide immersion pod, also an upgrade to the current line. You can control or check the temperature of the water and start and stop the cooking process, all without being in the room. Or, you could put together a recipe and automate a large portion of the process.

But Google Assistant is for more than just speaking to your kitchen. In upcoming versions of their multiuse oven and air fryer, the company is adding cameras. The camera will allow you to get a live video feed of what’s cooking, so you no longer have to open the oven to see how your pizza is doing, or open the air fryer to check on your chicken. You can do it all from the palm of your hand, or from any Google Assistant enabled device.

The products shown, with their upgraded features, will be launching starting in Quarter 2 and continuing throughout 2018, so stay tuned to their website for updates.

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.
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Klipsch Sets The Standards For High Performance Speakers

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

Klipsch C SeriesKlipsch is redesigning one of their highest performance sound systems: the Reference Premiere Line. This system has been on the market for several years now with a high satisfaction rate, so Klipsch decided to step it up by making the speakers look as great as they sound though the new generation called the Reference Theater Pack 5.1 surround sound system. These speakers are aesthetically pleasing with copper accents in a walnut wood veneer with a cast aluminum base and a vent-in tweeter to give you a more dynamic sound than the previous line.

Klipsch is also displaying their newest line of compact and high-performance subwoofers with The C Series. Klipsch really focused on performance in a smaller body therefore, the C Series comes in two sizes that are smaller than your average subwoofer: the square 10 inch and the 8 inch. Each subwoofer can be connected to the Klipsch mobile application to give you the ability to adjust the sound the way you like it straight from your phone! This application allows you to adjust five bands of parametric EQ, all the parameters and inputs, and even offers a room correction option.

You can learn more about these product as well as purchase them for yourself by checking out the Klipsch website or see the whole lineup on Amazon.

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.
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Light It Up and Enjoy Great Sound at the Same Time

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

ION Audio Solar StoneAt ION Audio, their catchphrase says it all.. Sound Experiences. ION is known for their unique lighting and sound products that enhance any space. Whether you have a peaceful, elegant outdoor setting or a complete party palace, you are sure to find inspiration when browsing their product line. We particularly liked two of their new additions for 2018.

When spending time in your outdoor space, lighting is key. Tiki torches are always a fun addition to the backyard but we’re not always in the mood for that bamboo look, and filling them up with oil all the time can really be a pain. A nice set of elegant electric torches would be great, but who wants to spend a fortune and then hassle with the installation process. That’s where ION has come to the rescue with Tiki Sounds. They use a warm-white LED bulb with realistic flicker effect. And don’t worry about installation. Not only are they solar, requiring no wiring at all, but they are also designed to fit into your space in multiple ways. They can be staked into ground, placed on a table, or hung on a tree. Also built in is a 10W full-range 360° Bluetooth speaker with Multi-Link. This enables you to pair unlimited Multi-Link enabled speakers together for an all encompassing sound experience that completely fills your entertaining space.

Another great Multi-Link product coming out soon is the Solar Stone Multi, and upgrade to their current Solar Stone series. These 6.5-inch, 20 watt speakers offer dynamic power and since they look like a stone, they add a great aesthetic to your yard as they are designed to fit right into the landscape. They are also Bluetooth enabled and can easily pair with the Tiki Sounds, as well as any other Multi-Link enabled speaker. Like the torches, they are IPX4 water-resistant and they recharge by embedded solar panel or with the included AC cord.

The Tiki Sound will be available later in Q1 2018 and will be priced at $69.99 for one or $119 for a pair. The Solar Stone Multi will go on sale in Q2 2018 and be priced at $129 each.

In the meantime, take a look at some of their other amazing products on Amazon:
ION Tape Express Plus / Cassette Player and Tape-to-Digital Converter
ION Holiday Party / Multicolor Projected Lights
ION Audio Party Starter MK II / Pocket-Sized Bluetooth Speaker with Built-In Beat-Sync Light Show

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.
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ARRAY Finds a Smart Way to be Secure in Your Home

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Array by Brinks Home SecurityThe world of home protection has been enhanced by a new product line from Brinks Home Security called ARRAY, designed and manufactured by Hampton Products. The line features many creative products to keep you and your family safe and protected.

The first product is the Brinks Push/Pull/Rotate Handleset. The doorknob offers the ability to open by pulling the handle, as well as the traditional turn, while the handle can be opened by a simple press. The handlesets are available now in a variety of styles, including knob, lever and handle, as well as different finishes.

To compliment the handleset is the ARRAY Wi-Fi Smart Deadbolt. The deadbolt is made from military grade steel and contains a solar panel to keep the electronics powered. It also has a hands-free feature making it very useful for entering your home when your hands are full. The deadbolt can be paired to your smartphone and senses when your phone is approaching your door and unlocks it. When combined with the handleset, it makes coming home with your arms full easy. The deadbolt is available for preorder in a variety of styles and finishes.

One of the most interesting features of the ARRAY locks is the check lock ability. This feature uses the ARRAY app to check your security at bedtime without having to go back to the doors to be certain that they are closed and locked securely. Using the feature, you can eliminate your nightly “lockdown process” of verifying the state of all of your doors. You can check this from anywhere in the world and, as long as the door is closed, you can even lock or unlock the door remotely.

Next up is a set of ARRAY Smart Light fixtures. Both styles feature a 1080p camera with night vision, 270 degree motion detection, a solar panel a microphone and speaker. We’ve all had a motion sensor light go off any time a cat runs through the yard, or a neighbor who has it pointed towards the street and anyone who drives by turns on the light. The ARRAY light has built-in AI and can recognize humans for activation, meaning that animals or cars will not set it off.

The first design is a coach-style fixture, which is easy to open and change the bulb, and looks like a traditional light fixture. In addition, if two lights are needed, for example to go on either side of a garage door, there is the availability of a slave light, which has no camera but it reacts to the master’s commands. Whenever the master light turns on, so does the slave.

The second design is an LED security light. It features two LED panels with power up to 2000 lumens and can be programmed by your phone to control the brightness, in the event 2000 lumens is too bright. This fixture can also be programmed to be used as a floodlight to enjoy your outdoor area in the evening. Both of these lights will be available in the near future.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.
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Cor Makes Your Environment Smart and Safe

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Cor by CarrierHome security is one of the most important things you can spend your money on. Now, one of the oldest and most trusted names in the business of home products, Carrier, has produced a line of smarthome and security products called Cor. This is a line of professionally installed systems that will alert you as a homeowner of any breach in security such as break-ins or fire. You can use up to 16 cameras and you have total remote access.

But Cor is more than just security; it also provides a wide range of smarthome products as well. From lights to garage doors, Cor can control a lot of the devices in your home. In an example at the booth, they used a wireless button to simulate arriving at home, where the garage door opened, the living room lights came on, and as the person moved through their home, the lights would com on in the new rooms and turn off where they had left. All of this provides a nice convenience for your home, to compliment the security and safety features of the system.

This product is best served as professionally installed because of the technology involved. The starter kit is priced at under $1000 plus installation. However, when you purchase this, you own it and there is no monthly fee because it is self-monitored. In addition to the existing products, Carrier will soon be releasing a doorbell camera. For more information check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.
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Introducing Smart Tech for Your Smart Yard

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

b•hyve outside water timersWatering your lawn and yard can be a frustrating chore. Not only do unexpected weather conditions play a factor, there is a matter of timing to turn it on or off. Now there is b•hyve, a line of smart timers for your lawn. These timers can be connected to the internet so you truly can “set it and forget it.”

b•hyve knows the weather up to 14 days in the future and, with that knowledge, will save you up to 50% water use. It is also aware of certain restrictions in your area, such as during a drought or flooding. It can check after a rainfall to see how much it has rained so it can adjust accordingly for the next cycle, preventing overwatering. The outside and inside timers are compatible with any brand of irrigation systems, not just with Orbit systems.

Another option is a spigot timer for your outside faucet. Many people water this way, and it’s not unusual to turn on the water and leave home, forgetting it is still on. It features a flow meter inside to let you know how much water you have used, as well as to limit the amount of water used. This is very helpful when you want to fill the swimming pool for your children or even fill a large aquarium.

These products are currently available at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart or Amazon. Pricepoint for this system depends on how large of a system you need or want. Outside mount with 6 stations in a weather-proof box is $100. An indoor mount for a shed or a garage is $60 for 4 stations or $80 for 8 stations. There is also a hose tap timer to be use from the end of your hose available for $40 and if you need the hub to make it Wi-Fi, it’s $70 for the pair. For more information check out their website.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.
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