Mark Vena

Oracle Taps Openness And Its Inner Consumer Persona At OpenWorld 2019

Oracle held its annual OpenWorld event once again at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco. The world’s third-largest software company by revenue (in 2018) made several interesting and important announcements, many of which have been well-covered by journalists and analysts. The company invited me to attend its Industry Analyst event at Oracle Park, home …

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IFA 2019 Analysis: Huawei Strikes Out, Qualcomm And Roku Hit Home Runs

This year’s IFA technology trade show extravaganza, conducted once again in Berlin’s spacious Messe Berlin fairgrounds (26 exhibit halls covering 1.7 million square feet), was undoubtedly the place to be for anyone wanting to learn more about where consumer electronics technology is headed. With over 245,000 visitors, more than 1,800 exhibitors, 2,300 keynote attendees, 1.5 …

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5 Smart Home Myths Dispelled

Given the strong response to my recent Forbes column about the myths of cord-cutting, I decided to write a similar piece about some of the consumer misconceptions surrounding the smart home. Taking the smart home plunge can be a daunting task, and in some ways, the challenges are even more formidable than cutting the cord. Hopefully, …

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Early Thoughts: iPadOS Will Change The Way You Work

Cue the opening soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odysseyand you’ll get a sense of how revolutionary I believe iPadOS will be for tablet users. iPadOS is still several weeks from its formal release to the general public, but after using the beta version for the past month, I’m convinced that it will have significant repercussions in the …

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Eargo: The Smart Hearing Aid Solution To Beat

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), approximately 15% of American adults (nearly 38 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing. Furthermore, the NIDCD states that age is a strong predictor of hearing loss among adults aged 20-69, with the most significant amount of hearing loss in the …

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4 Cool Smart Home Products That Deserve Consideration

Summer is finally here. I’ve recently come across a handful of new smart home products that are truly useful and game-changing—particularly if you’re spending more time indoors than usual hiding from the heat. Let’s dive in. Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Router satisfies your need for speed I’ll admit it: I’m a hopeless router fanatic, and I’m …

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4 Cool Smart Home Products That Deserve Consideration

Summer is finally here. I’ve recently come across a handful of new smart home products that are truly useful and game-changing—particularly if you’re spending more time indoors than usual hiding from the heat. Let’s dive in. Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Router satisfies your need for speed I’ll admit it: I’m a hopeless router fanatic, and I’m …

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Narwal And Ironpie: Not Your Typical Robot Vacuums

The conventional robot vacuum space has many compelling brands and solutions. If you’re looking to merely automate your vacuuming of hard surfaces or rugs, there are great solutions from legacy brands like iRobot’s well-known Roomba and Neato Robotics that range in price points from $400 to $830. Even lower-end brands like Ecovacs provide suitable solutions in the sub-$299 space …

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Microsoft Puts Its Foot Down On The Accelerator At E3

At a pyrotechnics-laden preview event at E3 2019 at the MicrosoftTheater in Los Angeles, Microsoft celebrated its continued commitment to the gaming category. The company previewed a wide-range of new gaming titles and provided a glimpse into what it has on tap for its next high-end Xbox console, codenamed Project Scarlett. The disclosure did not come …

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Apple Throws Down The Security And Privacy Gauntlet At WWDC

Apple customarily unveils several new software changes for its mobile and desktop products in June. This year’s WWDC19 event, held at the San Jose Convention Center with over 6,000 global attendees from 77 countries, didn’t disappoint and included some big hardware news for users who use Mac Pro desktops for professional video and media editing. There …

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IFA’s Global Press Conference Sets Stage For Big Berlin Event In September

Last weekend, I attended IFA’s Global Press Conference event, set against the lavish backdrop of the Spanish coast near Portugal, in Andalusia, Spain. Taking place over the span of 4 days, the event was attended by more than 300 journalists and analysts from 55 countries, with over 500 minutes of industry presentations. IFA-produced events are …

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Rayvolt Evangelizes Expansive E-Bike Lineup With Characteristic Style

Article by Mark N. Vena. Modern-day Barcelona is an elegant and profound mixture of the rich Spanish and Catalan cultures of the region. The city is one of the great cultural centers of Europe, housing numerous museums, theaters, and performing arts venues that speak to Barcelona’s 2,000 years of history. Numerous artists, filmmakers, and other …

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The Ultimate Cord-Cutter Solution: You Might Never Leave Your Home Again

Article by Mark N. Vena. Cord-cutting in the United States has grown insanely popular with consumers over the past several years. This is being driven by a combination of factors: anger with the incumbent cable or satellite companies over paying too much for premium channels; the fact that today’s consumers no longer are confined to …

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Man’s Best Friend Has A Place In The Smart Home Too

If you love dogs or cats, you’ll enjoy this week’s column in my ongoing search for the coolest smart home technology products on the market. Today I’ll take a look at two new products: Sony’s newest robotic dog, and a location tracking solution for kids and pets. Aibo: one step closer to the ultimate robotic pet For …

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Google’s Stadia Announcement May Be A Game Changer

Post by Mark N. Vena. Google  formally took the wraps off its new gaming platform,Stadia, last week at GDC 2019.  The phrase “game changer” is thrown around too often in the tech space, but in my view, Stadia really does have the makings to profoundly change the video game entertainment landscape. The Entertainment Software Association reports that in …

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Apple Boosts Its Place In The Smart Home With A New Services Strategy

At an Apple  special event on Monday, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, meticulously laid out the company’s vision and strategy, challenging consumers to view and think about Apple in a fundamentally different manner. Monday’s presentation was fascinating as it was the only Apple announcement in the company’s history that was entirely devoid of any physical hardware.  As Apple’s hardware sales …

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Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2019 Was About Much More Than New Smartphones

Last week’s Samsung Unpacked event in San Francisco marked the 10-year anniversary of Samsung’s Galaxy phone. The Galaxy’s original introduction ushered in a new age of “phablets,” turning Samsung into one of the most dominant mobile manufacturers in the world. With a splashy Broadway show-like announcement at the cavernous Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, complete with …

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Amazon’s Acquisition Of Eero Validates Mesh Networking In Today’s Connected Home

The news outlets have been abuzz this week with Amazon ’s decision to cancel its recently announced plans to build a new headquarters in New York City. Relatively little coverage was given to the e-commerce behemoth’s announcement earlier in the week that it was acquiring Eero, a startup specializing in mesh networking solutions for the home. While acquisitions like …

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The Cavalcade Of Cool Smart Home Technologies Marches On

With the Consumer Electronics Show now (finally!) in my rearview mirror, it’s time to provide some commentary on another group of interesting smart home products that have caught my eye. From digital exercise to a new smart speaker to a cool new e-bike startup, there’s something in this column for all consumers. Activ5: a different …

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