Wise men Speak, when they have something to say...

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Wise men Speak, when they have something to say...

"We've just had a monster delivery of our favourite architectural speakers from Nuvo" - These are our very favourite in-ceiling, in-wall and outdoor speakers.  They sound magnificent, last for ever and are (almost) bomb-proof (we haven't tested).

We ordered so many they needed a crane to lift them all off the truck.

We've got a load of non-Phuket jobs coming up, the next few weeks will see us in Hua Hin (Sonos and Home Cinema), Bangkok (Nuvo Speakers and Sonos) and Chiang Mai (Nuvo speakers and wireless amplifiers).  These bad boys are going to come in very useful.

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Could this be the latest Sonos speaker?

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Could this be the latest Sonos speaker?

Sonos is one of the worlds leading multi room and wireless audio companies, they are notoriously secretive about their product lines so it's a surprise that this has leaked (if it's genuine).

A leaked product listing from BH website revealed a Sonos speaker called the ‘Sonos PlayBase’ showing the speaker company take a new direction. Whilst it is, as of yet, an unconfirmed leak the name and design of the speaker has people speculating that it is likely a Soundbar for your TV, that the TV sits upon.

So far Sonos has focussed on home speakers that can be connected to the internet and stream music through multiple speakers. It can be assumed that the Sonos PlayBase will retain Sonos’ connectivity between other speakers for a simulated surround sound experience. Sonos already have a large TV soundbar available and with no real details available it will be interesting to see what the Sonos PlayBase brings to the table.

http://routenote.com/blog/leaked-new-sonos-soundbar-for-your-tv-to-stand-on/

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Computer Room at Baan Ya Literacy Centre

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Computer Room at Baan Ya Literacy Centre

Today we were briefly back at Baan Ya literacy centre where we have recently provided the kids there with Refurbished computers as part of our reBoot initiative - where we recycle older computers for the underprivileged.

This time we were loading up software for some USB Microscopes we will be installing so that the kids can magnify things and do science stuff.  That's a small screw under the Microscope there, technology really astounds me sometimes, the microscope looks expensive but it wasn't really yet the image is really clear and its so easy to use.

Here some of the guys are just checking out one of the PC's we are having a bit of trouble with, again if any of you have any old PC's or computer gear please consider donating it to this cause.

BaanYa Literacy Centre is part of the Good Shepherd Phuket initiative. http://goodshepherdphuket.com/projects/banya/

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Project Artisan Sound System

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Project Artisan Sound System

Today we had the pleasure of working at Project Artisan which is a Garden eatery, bakery, coffee, cool place with an exceptional Spa and a chilled out laid back vibe.  They are based right near Luna and Laguna here in Phuket, not so far from our new office.

We are installing a sound system for them for casual listening and the odd lively event, we're working hard to make sure that in such a beautiful environment our in-ceiling and outdoor speakers blend in as seamlessly as possible.  Of course all wires are totally hidden and the music will be able to be controlled via any phone or computer connected to the network.

What system is it, well it's capable of playing HD Flac up to 24 bit 192 Khz bit perfectly - It's our new music system called Reference:Music , You will be hearing more about it soon.

Looking forward to it being up and running at Project Artisan soon and enjoying food from their tempting menu and relaxing in Phuket style ambiance.

 

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Smart Home Units to hit 1.4 billion by 2021 (a fivefold increase)

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Smart Home Units to hit 1.4 billion by 2021 (a fivefold increase)

Worldwide, smart home households will grow more than fivefold from 90 million in 2016 to 463 million in 2021, for a CAGR of 39%, according to new forecasts from Ovum.
 
Ovum's Smart Home Devices Forecast: 2016–21 found that the largest smart home markets will be China and the US, thanks to high availability of devices and greater consumer interest in smart home services and products. Device sales will grow to more than 1.4 billion units by 2021, up from 224 million in 2016, driven particularly by sales of security devices, such as cameras, door locks, and sensors, and by utilities devices, such as connected light bulbs and smart thermostats (see Figure 1). Ovum predicts that each smart home household will use on average 8.7 devices, bringing the total smart home active installed base to 4 billion devices.
 

 
 "Another device category that will become increasingly important is interactive audio speakers, like Amazon Echo and Google Home," said Senior Analyst Francesco Radicati, author of the Smart Home Devices Forecast. "By using voice control as a user interface, they allow consumers to control their smart home devices in a more natural way, without resorting to apps on their smartphones or tablets, while the AI capabilities of assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant help to deliver increasingly better services."
 
 As the newest device category, interactive audio speakers are set to post the fastest growth, with unit sales growing to more than 88 million in 2021, from 5.5 million in 2016 (a CAGR of 74%). Just as importantly, devices such as Echo or Google Home will help spur sales of other smart home devices, as consumers learn to link devices together to satisfy their families' own particular needs. However, because these speakers are not widely available outside the US, there are opportunities for local companies, for example in China or Japan, to launch their own alternatives. The first is Baidu's Little Fish device, which includes facial recognition and a camera screen along with voice control.
 
However, there is a distinct gap between the number of smart home households and the take-up of dedicated smart home services. For example, on a worldwide basis, 15.5% of households will have adopted smart home security technology by 2021, but only 6.2% will be paying for a professional smart home security service.
 
"This gap between the take-up of smart devices and services suggests that there is an opportunity to develop new business models around smart home technology," said Michael Philpott, Practice Leader for Ovum's Smart Home Services team. "However, players will need to be innovative and open to working with third-party devices and partners if they are to be successful

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Awareness of Smart Home Technology - 81%

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Awareness of Smart Home Technology - 81%

81 percent of consumers are aware of smart homes and 26 percent of people want one at the moment says the latest report by consultancy/accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

They interviewed more than 1,000 consumers - nowadays it seems that almost every tech company is making it's own smart-home or IOT product and PWC wanted a grasp of the market.

Consumers with a household income of $100,000 or more are the group most likely to interact with smart home devices (43 percent), followed by men (32 percent).

Conversely, consumers above the age of 50 are the least likely to interact with such devices (13 percent).

PwC said that among users, satisfaction is high, in the 90th percentile. Those current users of smart devices are pleased not only with the device itself, but also with the supporting apps.

There is a strong correlation between smart home device use and connectivity with an app. Seventy-four percent of respondents said they use their home device more frequently because it connects to their mobile device.

But 10 percent of consumers said they are unhappy with their smart devices. They said they found them to not be as helpful as anticipated or to have a spotty connection. Or they said they often forget about the device.

Consumers are willing to pay for smart devices that deliver cost savings, safety, security, and convenience.

Seventy-five percent of consumers are willing to pay more for enhanced security, such as being able to grant or deny access to your home remotely.

Consumers also said they want access to discounts and rewards programs (such as insurance discounts), with 72 percent of consumers willing to pay extra.

For women, convenience is a key feature. They view smart devices as another set of hands, and 60 percent would pay extra for personalized customer service.

As for non-users, price is the biggest barrier to entry. Forty-two percent of non-user survey respondents cited the cost of the devices as their biggest hesitation. In fact, 23 percent said they wouldn’t consider a smart home device, even down the road, because of cost.

About 24 percent were concerned about the security of smart home technology, and 23 percent were concerned about privacy of their data.

Sixty-five percent said they were excited about the future of smart technology. But PwC said there is a significant difference between consumers adopting a single device (e.g. a smart thermostat) and those signing up for an entirely connected life.

“We are at a tipping point for the connected home and IoT when it comes to consumers,” PwC said. “They are only just beginning to understand the potential value smart home devices can provide in their everyday lives.”

http://venturebeat.com/2017/01/31/81-of-consumers-are-aware-of-smart-homes-but-only-26-want-one/

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Amazon vs Apple (vs Google)

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Amazon vs Apple (vs Google)

In less than a year, Amazon’s combination of the Echo speaker system and the Alexa voice-controlled digital assistant has come close to delivering on the elusive promise of easy-to-use technology that can control gadgets in the home with a few spoken words.

Yet Amazon.com Inc’s surprise success sets up a long-term battle with Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc’s Google for primacy in the connected household. And the contours of that competition are following a classic tech industry dynamic.

Amazon is pursuing an open-systems approach that allows quick development of many features, while Apple is taking a slower route, asserting more control over the technology in order to assure security and ease-of-use.

The strategic importance of the “connected home” niche looms large: Amazon wants a way to own its customer interactions – mainly shopping online – without an Apple phone or a Google Web browser as an intermediary.

Apple needs to keep the iPhone at the center of customers’ lives, and has built a whole home automation architecture, called Homekit, into its smartphone.

Google, for its part, is investing heavily in both intelligent assistant software and home-automation devices like the Nest thermostats and, more recently, the Google Home speaker.

But Google is behind in the race, with its speaker only hitting the market in November and compatible with a handful of gadgets beyond Nest and Dropcam, which the company also owns.

“When the iPhone rolled out in 2007, everyone developed [software] for that. Right now, everyone is developing for the voice-activated Internet,” said Mark Mahaney, an analyst and managing director with RBC Capital Markets.

Mahaney estimates Amazon sold as many as 10 million Alexa-enabled devices over the holiday season. Google hasn’t disclosed sales for its Home speaker. Apple has declined to comment on reports that it has a voice-activated speaker in the works.

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Smart Home Technology at tipping point in UK

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Smart Home Technology at tipping point in UK

With Amazon's Echo now installed in over 1.6 million homes Smart Home technology around the world is becoming more and more mainstream.  Lighting control, wireless speakers and multi room music, smart thermostats and home automation are becoming common.

Google have also launched Home and between the Echo and Home they are igniting users (and business) in a way that's previously been unseen.

Until now, smart home devices have worked in branded isolation. Controlled by native apps, users found it difficult to mix and match devices from different manufacturers.The introduction of smart speakers from Google and Amazon have revolutionised the landscape for consumers.

Homeowners can now piece together smart devices from across the major smart home players so consumers have more choice and the devices themselves become easier to use.  A great deal of debate is devoted to the merits of “Alexa” versus “OK Google”, but more striking is the speed with which householders have adopted smart gadgets especially since they can be controlled within a single ecosystem.Amazon Echo and Google Home are more than just talking speakers, and thanks to Wi-Fi technology, the de facto smart home ecosystem has arrived, and can future proof itself.

Where the US is leading, the UK is quickly following as the technology is released on British shores.

While the UK is considered to still be in the early adopter phase, more than four million Britons have invested in smart devices for their homes creating a market currently valued at £30 million a year.Since the launch of Amazon Echo it has been hard to keep pace with consumer demand for the home’s smart plugs because of the simple integration and endless opportunities for controlling everyday household devices from; lights and slow cookers to portable heaters and hair straighteners.Research from a range of sources demonstrates there is a clear appetite for smart home. 

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3D TV is dead (for now)

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3D TV is dead (for now)

3D Tv which made an official comeback at the release and success of 3D movie "Avatar" from James Cameron, across cinemas and homes throughout the world.

For a few years TV manufacturers threw everything towards building and promoting 3D sets, now the last The last two TV makers to build 3D functionality into their sets, LG and Sony, will not build any new 3D TV's.

With that the Death knell has officially rang.

For now... 

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Sonos release Trueplay for the Sonos Playbar

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Sonos release Trueplay for the Sonos Playbar

The new Sonos 7.0 update brings Trueplay to the Sonos Playbar.

Trueplay instantly makes your Sonos wireless sound system smarter, more aware, and more responsive - by using your smartphone to measure how sound reflects off walls, furniture, and other surfaces.

It perfectly adjusts the speaker to produce sound that’s true to the music and right for the room. Any room, any setting, any possible speaker setup. Pure and honest sound, every time. And crucially, tuning with Trueplay is easy. Just open the app on an iPhone or iPad, pick a room and tune. No need for clunky accessories or having an expert over.

In the pursuit of the best possible listening experience, designing great equipment is only half the battle. Sound is beautifully imperfect. It changes constantly from song to song and room to room, which means that even the most precisely-tuned speaker will sound different in certain environments. The solution? Embrace the change. If no speaker fits every context why not use software to give every speaker the ability to create true sound in any context? That was the conviction that drove us to create Trueplay, a unique tuning technology that anyone can use to quickly and simply fine-tune your Sonos speaker to produce spot-on playback in any room.

he visceral immersion of the cinema and the sweeping soundstage of the multiplex are coming home. Trueplay for PLAYBAR brings amazing sound to the world of television, games, and movies, giving PLAYBAR owners the chance to have the best home theater audio experience without having to make your home look like a theater.

It all works on the same smart technology as the original Trueplay. First the software analyzes where your PLAYBAR sits in relation to your favorite viewing spot. Then it adjusts the timing, EQ and loudness of each of PLAYBAR’s nine internal speakers to make sure the sound reaches your ears at exactly the right instant and volume. Playbar uses the walls of your room to bounce sound, creating a bigger soundstage. But (luckily) we don’t all live inside perfectly shaped boxes. So, Trueplay listens for the specific placement of the walls in your room and tunes the speaker to match. Got a heavy curtain that hangs only on one wall? Trueplay knows that area will absorb more noise, so it aligns your PLAYBAR so that sound arrives at the exact right time and volume.

http://blog.sonos.com/en/trueplay-for-playbar/

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