Post-Pandemic Changes to Digital Engagements in Permanent Installations

July 29, 2021

One of the topics from the sessions I hosted on my Pexip Platform (see my previous column, “What I Learned By Hosting 32 Sessions With Different Topics and Speakers During the Pandemic”) last year between April 2020 to July 2020 included a very interesting presentation and point of view from Josiah Hobson, managing director at […]

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BrightSign Introduces BrightVoice Digital Signage Solution

November 20, 2019

BrightSign unveiled BrightVoice Tuesday — the company’s voice-activated digital signage solution that enables a unique, hands-free interactive experience. BrightVoice allows audiences to interact verbally with digital signage using wake words followed by natural voice commands that trigger playback of on-screen content, music, lighting and other devices. And while this type of interaction mimics the workflow […]

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How Long Until the Future?

April 4, 2019

Many science-fictional promises of the “world of the future” never have and perhaps never will come to pass. We don’t have our flying cars, and perhaps never will. We don’t have a robot maid. We aren’t eating Soylent Green. (OK, that one might not be a great loss). What about the meeting room of the […]

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BenQ Ships Amazon Voice-Enabled LCDs

April 1, 2019

BenQ has enhanced its Premium RP Series of interactive flat panels (IFPs) with voice control powered by AWS. Directly integrating AWS with BenQ’s Saffi voice-assistant technology, the RP Series IFPs use a voice-enabled remote that simplifies instruction tasks and introduces more flexibility in the classroom. The voice capability is available as an Amazon skill and […]

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March 19, 2019 is expanding the range of voice control in the home through a collaboration with LG. Integrations with 2018 as well as 2019 OLED, Super UHD and UHD model televisions enable the user experience of being able to walk from room to room and ask Josh Micro to turn on desired content through LG displays. […]

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JOAN Teams Up with Amazon Alexa and Cisco Webex

March 15, 2019

Joan officially announces its collaboration with Amazon Alexa for Business and Cisco Webex for the kick-off of the Enterprise Connect expo in Orlando, Fla. on Monday March 18, 2019. This collaboration brings together Joan and two of the most used communication smart devices in the world to offer high-end integrated solutions for the workplace. Companies […]

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The Google Home Mini May Be Small, But It Is Also Mighty Useful

January 14, 2019

This holiday season I gifted a small, simple smf useful electronic device that can play music, control your home, integrate to other smart devices very easily, assist you throughout you day and night, and so much more through the power of the internet. It’s offered in a variety of colors, can be bold or blend […]

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Amazon Wants Smart Homes to Be Affordable and Simple

December 17, 2018

In years past, building a smart home has been expensive and complex, to say the least. Now however, with the rapid increase of technologies that allow devices to communicate and interact with others well, in the form of the silly/well known by you, acronym, IoT (Internet of Things), this cost has been drastically reduced and […]

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Home Technology’s Rise of the Smart Displays

December 3, 2018

Digital assistants are all the rage these days and they seem to live in so many places like your car radio, watches, smart phones, tablet, computers and the very popular “smart speaker” category. The smart speaker category has grown rapidly and has seen adoption from major brand names in the audio and tech industries — […]

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What Keeps an AV Professional Up at Night – Part the Second

November 26, 2018

I’ve spoken about the things that keep an AV professional up at night — in part the growing rise of one-box, easily configurable solutions sharply reducing the need for highly skilled integration in simple spaces. That trend continues with both industry stalwarts like Crestron and smaller upstarts like Owl Labs selling single-device collaborative solutions. That’s […]

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September 17, 2018

Crestron announced today that is now an official Crestron integration partner. The Josh Micro device and app are easily set up and deployed via the Crestron Pyng operating system, enabling Crestron residential integrators to add voice control to their smart home designs. The Crestron Pyng operating system enables simple integration with the modules […]

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Crestron Integration with Apple TV, Siri and HomeKit Announced

June 5, 2018

Homeowners will soon be able to control Apple TV with their voices through Crestron remotes and use Siri to control their Crestron-driven home. Announced at Apple’s WWDC 2018 conference, Crestron Technology Professionals will soon be able to leverage the power of Apple TV, Siri, and HomeKit to enhance their clients’ lifestyles and user experience.  This new integration will bring two […]

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Personal AV Tech Controls the Future of AV and Doesn’t Even Realize It

April 24, 2018

Maybe I’m a skeptic. I don’t think I am but, maybe. Having lived in technology for nearly 30 years, it’s not often a new tech product debuts that I get excited about. The iPhone was a giant WOW. Wireless networking was an “its about time” kind of moment as I was one of those power-travelers […]

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Voice Control for One And All: It’s Here, Are you Ready For It?

April 1, 2018

Voice control has become a new standard for our daily lives. We see it in media consoles, smart devices, automobiles, office environments and more. Some manufacturers partner on one platform while others embrace a larger audience on a completely different one. Most provide a similar concept of assistance, but others excel in the experience — […]

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Amazon VS. Google Part 1

March 6, 2018

Is anyone really surprised that Amazon bought Ring Labs? It doesn’t seem like that big of a shock, or shocking at all for that matter. Since they released their original Echo product, initially to Prime members only, and then later to the masses in mid 2015, the smart assistant, Alexa enabled, speaker and personal assistant […]

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Origin Acoustics’ New VALET Amplifier Uses Alexa Voice Control

February 6, 2018

Origin Acoustics just launched the four-zone system Valet amplifier designed to integrate with an Amazon Echo Dot. Featuring eight 50-watt channels, the Valet amp can be connected to a broad range of speakers and provide the power necessary to drive them to substantial volume levels. The Valet is now available and shipping. Each of the four stereo zones […]

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2018 and the Pace of Change

January 11, 2018

The beginning of the year is a time for people to look at previous predictions and score their success, along with making new predictions for the year ahead. I have spent some time over the past few weeks thinking about what is to come in the new year with technology. What really struck me, however, […]

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On Digital Assistants

January 2, 2018

An AV consultant once had a conversation with an executive from manufacturer about the most expensive home he’d seen. He asked what kind of control system one would build for a ten-million dollar home. The executive answered that there’d be a single button. When the button was pressed, a servant would walk into the room […]

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New Release of Crestron Pyng Software Adds Support for Sonos and Amazon Alexa

August 28, 2017

Crestron announced today that a new Crestron Pyng software update is now available. Version 1.010.0038 elevates the user experience to a new level while making integration even easier for Crestron Technology Professionals (CTPs). Highlights of the Crestron Pyng update include: Native Sonos sound system support: Integrating Sonos with Crestron Pyng as a multi-room audio source […]

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CEDIA’s Keynote Speaker Has Plenty of Irony to Go Around

August 14, 2017

There’s no doubt that Amazon’s Sarah Zenz will be one of the best keynote speakers CEDIA has ever heard. She’s one of the smartest people at AMAZON, she’s an amazing speaker and she was a kick-ass product manager. But, in a doubly-irony, she’s been asked, by the ALL-MALE CEDIA board to address the attendees who […]

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Savant Adds Amazon Alexa Skill

July 11, 2017

Savant has announced today the release of the Savant smart home skill for Amazon Alexa. Savant was one of the first to use voice control as part of the connected home by introducing the Savant Pro Remote, enabling homeowners to activate a Savant Scene, choose a favorite channel or select a source within their entertainment system. Now they’ve […]

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HARMAN Introduces Sonique Far Field Voice Input Technology for HomeAV and ProAV Applications

June 11, 2017

HARMAN International, as you know, a subsidiary of Samsung, today announced a new Far Field Voice Input Technology, called Sonique. This technology is intended for the fast-growing market of devices in the Consumer Electronics, Enterprise, and Robotics spaces that utilize voice commands, rather than traditional physical inputs via buttons, keyboard inputs, or mouse clicks. Translation: Harman (with Samsung) […]

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The AV Industry’s Leading Voice-Activated Control Interface Is About to Add a TouchScreen

May 8, 2017

Amazon isn’t aiming its Echo at the high-end residential or commercial AV markets, but we’re obviously seeing it added everywhere. In 2017, nearly every major control system vendors added an interface to the Amazon Echo to allow it to control their systems and some AV integrators are adding Echo into small rooms to enable voice-activated […]

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BREAKING NEWS! New Voice Control Product to Debut at ISE 2017

February 2, 2017

AMSTERDAM and RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, CALIF., FEBRUARY 2, 2017 — With the emergence of voice control as the hottest new trend in AV, AVPhenom will be introducing a new voice control product at ISE 2017. “Ever since Alexa’s debut at CEDIA, I have been obsessed with voice control as the future of the user interface […]

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Our Life With Alexa

December 1, 2016

“Alexa! Alexxxaaaaaaa!!!” My four-year-old daughter is trying to wake up our Amazon Echo. Alexa gets better at understanding her every day, but she still only wakes up for her about half the time. Once Alexa is awake, however, she has an uncanny ability to figure out what my daughter is asking for. (Alexa wakes up […]

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Whole Home Voice Solution Launches at CEDIA 2016

September 9, 2016

JStar announced that its whole home artificial intelligence platform,, will start shipping at CEDIA 2016. Built for the custom integration channel, uses artificial intelligence to unify home technology through its unique user interface. is a standalone control system that works with Lutron, Meridian, Sonos and others. It also integrates with control systems […]

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Crestron Ships TSW Screens

May 9, 2014

Crestron announced today that it’s started shipping the TSW touch screens in the form of the TSW-552, TSW-752 and TSW-1052. The TSW family is integrated with what Crestron is calling Smart Graphics technology — basically saying that it’s bright, offers capacitive touch and can handle H.264 streaming. One unique feature is that instead of navigating […]

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RTI Develops Driver for Tenflare’s Voice Viper System, Adds Voice Control to Home Automation

May 6, 2014

RTI announced this week the availability of a new two-way driver for Tenflare’s Voice Viper CTL voice control system. The new driver makes it simple for integrators to incorporate voice control into RTI’s control and automation systems. Voice Viper is a hardware solution developed by TenFlare, a company started by integrators, which adds voice control […]

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Samsung Improves Gesture-Based Control of TVs at CES

December 29, 2013

Ahead of CES, Samsung has announced that it has added “finger gesture” technology to its Smart TV line up, which will allow users to change the TV channel, adjust the volume, as well as find and select what they want to watch using  just their fingers. By motioning counterclockwise, they can also go back to […]

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