Smart Advantages Make Life Easier For People With Disabilities.

As we age we have to accept that we generally start to lose our faculties. It’s natural and accepted that our hearing will go, our eyesight will become weak and our cognitive skills will also be less sharp from our middle age onwards, compared to our youth. Spectacles and hearing aids are no longer the cumbersome, unattractive ‘utility over aesthetic’ devices they once were. Now they not only serve their primary function of helping your see and hear, they look stylish (or are virtually invisible) and actively improve on what nature gave us. 

My case in point here is Smart hearing aids and Smart glasses. I recently went to stay with family and noticed my uncle has Smart hearing aids. I’m not certain he’s got the hang of them yet as he was watching TV very low and told us off for talking too loud while we were watching England snatch victory from certain defeat at the hands of New Zealand. Read more

Your Business Best Practise For Data Security

Meeting room and table with chairs facing a large television and webcamBusiness security is so much more than just fitting security shutters to the windows and a sturdy lock on the door. Of course keeping unwanted visitors out, protecting premises against vandalism and graffiti are all important considerations, however, there’s much more to consider than a comprehensive CCTV system and functioning burglar alarm. We’re talking data security.

The risks business face are so much more than simply premises and inventory. Everyone who comes through the doors, staff, customers, and visitors have to be protected as does all the company’s sensitive data. Security screens and alarms keep burglars out, staff and security keep visitors safe from harm and also protect property, but what about data? Read more

What You Need To Know About Fraud And Cyber Security In Summer

girl phone beach internet accessIt’s been a long time coming but the summer is here again and for thousands of us that means a fortnight in the sun, or, for the less lucky, few days in a rainy caravan park or unsanitary holiday camp.

But from the very best to the outstandingly mediocre, there’s something which all holiday destinations have in common: free wifi.

Who doesn’t love free wifi? You can keep up with you email, if you have a smart home you can keep tabs on what’s happening indoors and out, and you can look up all the local excursions, places of interest, restaurant and tourist attraction reviews.

All Fine And Dandy, Or So It Seems

The first rule of the hospitality industry is ‘anticipate a guest’s needs and fulfil them before they realise that’s what they want’ and for all of us now these days that means having wifi you can connect to without the hassle of finding the right network or faffing with passwords. But that in itself is problematic. Read more

46% Of A Burglar Alarm Not Switched On When The Burglars Came Back

burglar alarms, cctv systemsWhat’s The Point Of Having A Burglar Alarm If It’s Not Switched On?

Almost half of homeowners who have security systems fitted admitted that they were switched off when their homes were broken into. A poorly set up and calibrated burglar alarm could well go off when it’s not wanted, leading to disturbing your neighbours, upsetting your sleep, and becoming a public nuisance if it happens a lot. But switching it off isn’t the answer.

It may be that people have visible alarm units on their walls and a sticker in the window and rely on this deterrent to keep the intruders away. But studies show that dummy burglar alarms, and those which aren’t switched on every time the house is left empty, or the residents are asleep, are ineffective at keeping burglars at bay compared with an active alarm system.

And while it’s reassuring to think that burglaries only happen in affluent areas or in shops in the middle of the night, statistics don’t support this at all. In fact 2/3 burglaries take place in residential properties and they’re not as random as might seem. Most burglars live within a 2 mile radius of their victims and know the area, your neighbour’s habits and even your own patterns of behaviour. That’s not to say you’re being actively stalked, but a professional housebreaker will have a number of target properties on their mind and will watch the street to see who leaves when, and if anyone returns during the day. They’ll watch for the post too, to ensure they’re not making a get-away just as they try to deliver your gas bill. Read more

Simple, Effective Security For Small Business

Not long ago a business’ security relied on secure windows and shutters, a large safe sturdy gates and a regular beat police officer making their rounds, keeping an eye on everything.

And of course crime was rife in those days. Don’t let anyone ever fool you that ‘back in my day you could leave your door unlocked all night and nobody would break in!’ Because the fact is that back in those days ordinary people had nothing of value to steal. The temptation for criminals and opportunists to steal from businesses and banks on the other hand was everywhere.

Bank robberies and larceny from shops, trains, security vans and businesses has largely gone by the wayside too. Staff are no longer paid in cash so there’s no point doing a wages snatch and banks do all their business electronically, meaning that there is only a couple of thousand pounds float in cash on site at any point during the day. Thanks to improved security and the low take on offer it’s not worth the risk of breaking into a bank or shop any longer if cash is what you’re looking for. Read more

If You Think Your Job Is Rubbish, Look What We Do!

Briant Communicationsfibre optic, repair, maintenance, industrial, don’t only provide data cabling and fibre optic cables for household users. We were recently called out to attend a large industrial site, UBB in Essex. Unfortunately it wasn’t a bakery or biscuit factory, no, just our luck it was a 6 acre waste treatment and recycling plant.

As part of the waste treatment process it is left to maturate for several weeks, meaning that the smell inside swimming pool sized tanks was, predictable. Unfortunately the grot which is left in food containers when they’re thrown into the average household recycling attracts a variety of wildlife, who grow big and plump off of all the scraps which are available. The creatures which cause the biggest problem for us when it comes to fibre optic data communication is rats. They make their homes in the undisturbed, secure spaces where cables and fibre optics are housed and channelled, gnawing trunking and sheaths. And it’s this activity which gives us our biggest headache as the damage to fibre optic cabling is a great deal harder to fix than simply reconnecting two ends of wire, as it would be with metal cable. Read more

The Smart Way To Travel, Whether That’s To The Park Or Much Farther Afield

travel, running, fitness

What You Need To Know About The Latest Gadgets For Travellers, Whether That’s To The Other Side Of The World Or The End Of The Street. Smart home devices are a brilliant way to increase the functionality, efficiency of your home, including home security, but what about when you’re on the move? How can Smart Tech help you then?

Smart locks and access control, synchronised with your phone can lock the house firmly every time you go out. Using Bluetooth or GPS as soon as your Smart home network detects that you’ve left the house it can lock the doors, turn on motion detectors and set the alarms. If anyone comes to your home while you’re out you will then get a Push notification, open it and you can see, and talk directly to your visitor, letting them know when you’ll be home, where they should deliver the package, or tell them you’re not interested in their latest Get Rich Quick scheme.

If you’re going out for a run you may not want to take your phone with you, so why not take a Smart watch fitness monitor instead? You can still call, text, use the geofence which will activate and deactivate your home security while monitoring your pulse, heart rate, distance run and times. Read more

Tech To Take Travelling

Image courtesy of www.maxpixel.net

It’s June and the weather, as is traditional for a British Summer, is appalling. Sunny spells interrupt torrential rain, but only occasionally. Still, it’s good for the garden. It’s also good for hoteliers in sunnier parts of the world. The airports are telling us they need to expand to cope with the ever increasing traffic which goes through them as flying becomes more like commuting for more and more of us.

But this is a home tech blog, why am I talking about taking a flight to a beach somewhere?

Simple. Travel Tech. The stuff you can’t leave behind now that you are an online, connected individual. Read more

What will you look for when buying your next LED Flat Screen TV?

flat screen television, TV hanging, TV Mounting, television hanging, television wall bracketI wonder how many people would go back to buying a cathode ray tube TV if they had the choice. They were big, heavy, and not very impressive in terms of picture quality. Their only redeeming feature, so far as I can remember, was that once ensconced in the corner of the room they were a handy place to keep ornaments. The fact that you can hang your flat screen TV on the wall means that extra space is freed up, so you can find a proper bookcase where you can display your prized knickknacks.

Meanwhile, you should also be choosing your flat screen television, but which one?

LCD, LED, OLED QLED Flat Screen TV

LCD and LED TV sets make up the majority of TVs available on the high street today. The LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes, can be made extremely small and that means that when they are build into a flat screen it’s possible to generate a picture of much higher resolution than was possible with the old vacuum tube TVs. Active dimming is used to ensure the contrast of the picture. Achieving a black which is really black has always been a problem for TVs of any kind, and active dimming is one way of ensuring that dark areas of the picture remain dark, even when nearby areas of the screen are fully illuminated. They also have a backlight which boosts the brightness of the picture but this comes with drawbacks: it makes the picture more visible if you’re watching in the dark, but it means that the true black everyone is looking for is impossible. Read more

Your Top Tips To Identifying The Cause Of Poor TV Reception

poor aerial installationBriant Communications get dozens of calls regarding poor TV reception, pixelation, and channels dropping out while others remain fine. Since we’re in the business of installing and maintaining satellite dishes and aerial antennae it’s no problem for us to send one of our engineers to look at the problem and fix it, but that’s not always necessary.

It really helps us if you could trouble-shoot before calling us. Many problems are solved simply by turning equipment off and on again, or by re-initiallising your TV or Freeview box. Depending on the make and model this process can be started by simply turning the device off at the mains for a few moments. Once you power on again you’ll be told that the channels have changed, and do you want to re-scan for channels? Select ‘Yes’ and let it do its thing. (Pro tip, if you hate shopping channels, sports, or those seedy ‘dating’ channels, take this opportunity to delete them, that way, next time you’re scrolling through you’ll be able to see the channels you like without being bothered by the ones you don’t ever again.) Read more