Out With The Old And In With The New

new flat screen television setDid Santa bring you everything you asked for?

If you were on the Good list you’ll have lots of sparkling new gadgets and durables ready to set up and start enjoying straight away. But there’s one drawback. All that new kit needs to find itself a new home, and if it’s replacing superannuated old stuff you’ll be wanting to get rid to make room.

Sending it straight to landfill would be a disgrace. If it still works there’s no need to burden the planet with it and it would be a shame to scrap something which could still bring happiness to others so what’s the best way of disposing of all your old items without environmental impact, and possibly making back a few pounds on the deal as well? Read more

Smart Ways Of Getting Fit For The New Year

Fitness image courtesy of www.maxpixel.net

Smart Home Technology is all about making your home more efficient, saving your time and effort. As a direct consequence of that you may find that it’s even easier to become that couch potato you’ve always felt was looming in your future. The solution becomes the problem, so how about using Smart tech to get you up and active, improving your fitness for the New Year?

The automated home is all about letting you find ways of controlling everything that happens around the home either remotely or by simply speaking and electronic devices obeying your commands. Unfortunately one thing the latest technology can’t do for you is get fit. For that you really do need to get up and active. But how can smart tech help you achieve that? Well, for a start they can make the experiment fun and interesting. The things that put people off of regular exercise are that it is that it is dull, unpleasant and doesn’t show immediate results. Some people are a natural fit for the gym because they love the endorphins which are released by working out, the rest of us are simply glad that it is over. But tech can help with that. Read more

How Will Home Automation Help You As You Enter Your Golden Years?

Touch sensitive digital heating control panel mounted on a light coloured wall.Home automation technology at first glance appears to be targeted towards young people with disposable income and the need to have all things electronic controlled with a simple voice command. However, with any labour saving devices, their applications might be handy bits of frivolous tech for the young and able bodied, but they quickly become an invaluable part of life for those with mobility and cognitive impairments.

The appeal of the mass market means that the price of technology falls very rapidly, people become accustomed to the items and their usefulness is proven. Once this has happened the applications for people who can get much more out of them are revealed. (A good example of this is SMS. Originally only conceived as a means of testing signal delivery in the mobile telecoms industry, it was going to be scrapped when full coverage had been established. However, it became popular among phone users and is now universal and a vital service for the deaf community who need to stay in touch with family and friends.) Read more

Home Security In The Digital Age

Google and Amazon have been pushing us to buy smart connected devices for the past year or so, and as their offering of controllable devices, apps, media subscription services increases, the viability and usefulness also increases. And, just as Moore’s Law predicts, as the processing power increases exponentially, the price of entry decreases. Indeed, in order to secure their device’s place in your home, you can find offers on Minis, Dots, hubs bundled with lights etc. for at least half of the usual retail price. Their theory is, once you adopt one device or another you’ll have no need to buy the other since they effectively do the same job. Once you’re tied in they’ve got you for life. As we see every day in tech purchasing, brand loyalty can become deeply entrenched.

Smart Home Devices are being pushed by the major high street retailers. Home entertainment, TV subscriptions, lights, sound systems are all on high rotation during the ads, online marketing is placing the ads in front of us when we’re scrolling on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, making the Smart Home Option almost inevitable. We see the advertised advantages, but what are the down sides? Read more

What’s It Like To Live With Google Home Or Alexa?

Boy sitting in lounge using tv via a tablet computerDuring the run up to Christmas, you can’t have helped seeing all the ads for Alexa, Google Home Assistant, Smart Speakers and all other things ‘smart’. It’s almost as if there’s a technological revolution taking place and nobody’s told us what it’s all about!

When we thought about automated homes a few years ago it was the domain of sci-fi and horror. Movies such as the seminal Demon Seed and 2001 A Space Odyssey depicted the way an all seeing, omnipresent robot in our home would try to take over and make us mere mortals it’s slave. Or we’d perish trying to resist. It turns out Big Brother didn’t have to force us to put Telescreens into our homes, we bought them willingly from Google and Amazon! Read more

Something As Simple As Poor WiFi Could Knock A Fortune Off The Price Of Your Property

BT’s Modern Families ReportWiFi enabled tablet, coverage, improved service has found that 52% of families in the UK would be put off of living in a home with poor wifi. Unreliable reception, blackspots, and weak signal could therefore knock thousands of pounds off the value of your home when you come to sell it.

As anthropologist Amber Case said, “we’re all cyborgs now” and you can see the evidence of that in your own home every day. We’re all connected to our electronic devices and they become increasingly integral to our lives the longer we spend with them. Our dependent relationship becomes immediately and painfully evident if you ever have a wifi outage. It’s a viscerally unpleasant feeling to know you can’t just check on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Twitter. And if you’re heavily reliant on IoT connected devices, Smart TV and Netflix, that unpleasant feeling is multiplied. Read more

Wireless Security CCTV Systems For Your Small Business

cctv, security, security camera, Now that more and more small businesses are getting wifi routers in order to support contactless card payment technology, fulfil a customer expectation and let business owners get online more easily, it’s also much easier to install CCTV taking advantage of Smart wireless technology.

Fitting one or several CCTV cameras inside your business premises is a practical and cost-effective security and loss prevention solution. You reduce shrinkage, protect your staff and inventory and discourage vandalism, criminal damage and break-ins. Since so many stores now have wifi the barriers of entry into the Smart CCTV camera market are greatly reduced, so what should you bear in mind when looking for an electronic surveillance system for your business premises? Read more

If You’ve Ever Been Burgled, You Never Forget The Feeling

home security, break in, burglary, robbery
Home Looks Secure At First, But Is It?

As soon as you walk through the door you realise there’s something amiss. It just doesn’t feel right. There’s an odd draft and it’s much colder than it normally is.

That’s your first clue. Then you notice the sound. Outdoor sounds are a little too loud and the hairs on the back of your neck and on your arms start to prickle.

If you’ve ever been the victim of a break in, you’ll know the feeling. You just know when someone’s been in your house. Even before you see the missing items and the mess they left after ransacking your property you get a feeling. And that feeling doesn’t go away quickly, it’s only added to by the feeling of violation you have knowing some stranger has had their hands all over your things. Selecting the goods they think they’ll be able to flog on quickly; electronics, jewellery, cash and cards, keys, tools, and whatever else they can carry away quickly.

Once It’s Happened To You, You Don’t Want To Get Burgled Again

Knowing that your life has been evaluated, and that there’s every chance that the burglar will be back if they saw something they liked that they couldn’t carry off, or that they will wait for you to replace your things and come back for a second sweep makes it hard to sleep at night, and hard to relax the rest of the time. So what can you do to improve your security measures, and stop them coming back if they’ve invaded your home before?

Read more

CCTV And Its Place In Keeping A Community Safer

briant communications office neighbours break inThis week the cafe next door to our office was broken into. Hundreds of pounds worth of damage was done to steal a computer also worth a couple of hundred, which will have garnered the thief a few measly pounds on the black market.

Not only does a large piece of glass, a computer and stock need to be replaced, the café couldn’t open while the broken glass was removed, the wooden frame repaired and made safe, and once opened again, business is affected as the temporary board over the window looks unattractive. Unfortunately our security CCTV cameras were trained on our property, however, the bizarre and suspicious behaviour of a member of public was caught on that night. You can click reference to view the details of cctv cameras and security systems. The individual can be seen walking around and around, shining a torch through the windows of our neighbours’ shops and then apparently concealing something in his clothing as he takes flight.

Clearly Identifiable Criminals Caught On CCTV

The café owner came to look at the footage that our cameras filmed and was able to identify, by name, the person who was captured on camera. Somebody was arrested for the crime, but subsequently released by police thanks to lack of evidence.

However, the police didn’t ask us or any of our neighbours if we had CCTV footage of the night, or whether there were any eye witnesses to the break in. As well as having plenty of circumstantial evidence against the suspect the owner of the shop opposite can be seen coming to the door of his premises, speaking to the suspect, and going back inside. Shortly after the man can be seen shining his torch into the windows of the shop again, apparently to see if he was still on site. Read more

Integrating Digital Into Every Aspect Of Home And Lifestyle

smart technology, lightingLife and work change along with the accessibility of technology people make use of. When you like using something, you find ways to use it in your everyday life. Ease of use and advances in functionality make things more useful, and the more useful they are, the faster and more deeply they are adopted.

Working From Home Will Make Your Home Work Differently

Technological advances, like evolution itself, are a part of a creeping change, and only occasionally manifests itself as a identifiable leap. If you look at home-working, there has been a natural progression which allowed this to come about. Home working was often considered as skiving for most people until relatively recently. Today, with the reliability of digital communications, the ubiquity of laptops, tablets etc. and the problems people have commuting remote working is now a practical solution, and it’s been found that people are actually more productive working from home than from the office.

Because our lifestyles, workstyles, living and working spaces are evolving and merging with one another the space where that takes place needs to change and evolve too. A lifestyle ecosystem will develop around individuals which will include home, work, leisure, and relaxation, all taking place in one unified space. Smart technology will play an increasingly large part in that. Read more