Mark Vena

First Look: Plume Blossoms With New SuperPods And Membership Offering

Plume’s mesh networking Wi-Fi solutions. If you’ve visited a major U.S. retailer over the past 2 years looking for a new home wireless router, you have almost certainly seen a new crop of routers claiming “mesh” networking capabilities. While that might just sound like marketing jargon, mesh networking does, in fact, deliver meaningful benefits over …

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Intel Gears Up For 50th Birthday With New Smart Home Announcements

This week Computex is being held in Taipei, Taiwan. Intel took the opportunity of Asia’s biggest IT tradeshow to make several important announcements in advance of the company’s 50th birthday next month. The announcements largely reinforced the company’s commitment to legacy PCs, but also underscored many of the infrastructure elements of its new smart home …

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Apple WWDC 2018 Recap: Siri Gets A Badly Needed Shot Of Adrenaline

Apple Event logo. This week I’m attending Apple WWDC 2018 in San Jose. Day 1’s keynote was an entirely software-based affair, surprising some who were expecting to see more hardware-related announcements or refreshes of current products. Apple executives took to the stage at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center to announce numerous (if incremental) enhancements …

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Review: The RadCity Electric Commuter Bike Is Truly ‘Rad’

The RadCity Electric Commuter Bike My journey into the electric bike category began about a year ago when I started to contemplate the idea of biking as an incremental exercise to add to my daily elliptical workout regimen. San Jose, where I’ve lived for the past 11 years, seemed to be the ideal locale given …

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Eargo Sets a New Bar In Hearing Aid Technology

Affordable hearing aids from Eargo. While hearing health issues have historically been under-emphasized, it’s estimated that 360 million people suffer from some form of hearing loss (over 5% of the global population) worldwide. In fact, it is ranked as the third largest health issue after heart disease and arthritis. Many people will suffer some degree …

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Lighthouse Is The Next Big Deal In Home Monitoring Technology

The new Lighthouse home security device. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of evaluating Lighthouse, a new next-generation home security device from a Palo Alto-based startup Lighthouse AI. After spending a couple of weeks with it, using my mom’s New Jersey home for evaluation, I’ve concluded that this remarkable device offers a …

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5 Big Takeaways From The 2018 IFA Exhibition

Event logo. The annual IFA Global Press Conference gives journalists and analysts alike a chance to assess the latest consumer technology trends, with several of the most iconic companies in the industry in attendance— Philips , Sharp , Huawei , Miele, Beurer, Fitbit and TLC, to name a few. With over 300 media professionals from …

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Smart Home Update: 3 Cool Solutions That Deserve Your Attention

In the sea of new “smart home” solutions that are flooding the market, the unfortunate fact is that many of these products are solutions looking for problems to solve. With the Field of Dreams “build it and they will come” mentality still very much part of the consumer technology landscape, it’s reassuring to see the …

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First Impressions: Norton Core And The Future Shape Of Home Network Security

Symantec’s new Norton Core router. Even technology “experts” like myself can make boneheaded decisions—but at least I learn from them. My epiphany, learned the hard way, came around 2009 when I traveled to Houston for a meeting with HP . I stopped for lunch at a local restaurant, leaving my briefcase with my notebook computer …

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Plex Software Review: Cut The Cord And A Whole Lot More

Judging by the huge response that I got to my AirTV review several weeks ago, there’s no question that a lot of mainstream consumers are chomping at the bit for products and solutions that allow them to sever their relationship with their cable and satellite companies. AirTV is one great way to access local Over-The-Air (OTA) …

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Apple HomePod Review: Big League Sound, Minor League Smarts

The new Apple HomePod. Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat— Apple ’s new HomePod is the highest fidelity “smart” speaker I’ve ever listened to. All the Super Bowl-like media hype (especially from Apple) over the past several months about HomePod’s audio excellence set a high bar that I doubted even …

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Paladin Armor Seeks To Redefine Smart Home Security

Paladin Armor, Inc. “Home security” is a broadly defined moniker that in my view does a disservice—no single company owns the home security ecosystem because it is so large, and glutted with many “me too” products. The sheer expansiveness of the category can overwhelm the average consumer, and the amount of very similar smart products …

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Top Smart Home And Home Automation Products From CES 2018

Consumer Technology Association  As expected, last week’s CES was an expansive affair, with 3,900 exhibitors presenting interesting (and more than a few head-scratching) products and solutions across 240,000 square feet of floor space at the Las Vegas Convention and World Trade Center. More than 184,000 attendees visited this year’s show (a CES record), and while …

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Intel Doubles Down On The Smart Home At 2018 CES

In response to the tremendous growth occurring in connected devices within the home, Intel  announced today a comprehensive 5-point strategy focused on bringing more intelligence to the home, along with other new advanced capabilities. This new strategy is great in that it accentuates a partnership element and is highly focused on facilitating solutions that make consumers’ lives more convenient, …

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6 Big Predictions For The Smart Home/Security Space In 2018

2018 promises to be an interesting year for the smart home and security industry. We’ll undoubtedly see many new products and solutions designed make our lives easier and more productive, so that we can focus on the things that matter to us most. After all, isn’t that the goal of a winning consumer technology product? …

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Review: New AirTV Is Tantalizingly Close To The Perfect Cord Cutter Solution

  The new AirTV In my past several columns, I’ve been making the case that it’s never been a better time for consumers to cut the cord from their current cable or satellite provider, due to the plethora of low-cost “Over The Top” (OTT) premium content services now available for streaming. When combined with an …

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The Perfect Cord Cutting Solution: Wouldn’t It Be ‘Loverly’?

Like Eliza Doolittle, the poor flower girl yearning for a better life in “My Fair Lady,” I long for the perfect “no compromise” cord cutting solution—which sadly does not exist today. In my last column, I discussed how the market environment continues to improve and conjure up better solutions for customers to cut the cord …

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There’s Never Been A Better Time To ‘Cut The Cord’

As expected, this holiday season is already awash with some great (and not so great) deals on televisions. While getting that 65” 4K TV is always tempting, there’s another potential gift to consider: cutting the proverbial cable or satellite cord could save you or someone else literally hundreds of dollars over the course of the …

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