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Technology and our Homes

We Have The Technology! How IT Can Propel Our Homes Into The Future

Photo: Bence Boros

We Have The Technology! How IT Can Propel Our Homes Into The Future

How many times have you heard your parents tell you how rough it used to be for them growing up?

All it ever took was a sigh when your dad told you to go change the channel on the television for him. The next thing you knew you were hearing how they didn’t have televisions when he was a kid! He and his brother apparently used to walk to school taking turns carrying each other while the other got to wear the lone pair of shoes the family owned.

Thankfully we have come a long way since those times.

It really is mind boggling to consider the advancements that have been realized during the life span of the previous generation.

In the past it seemed our major accomplishments centred upon discovery associated with physically reaching beyond our current boundaries. Whether it be crossing an ocean to discover new lands or reaching beyond our planet to the stars, we were always embarking upon a journey.

In recent times it seems we are more inclined to advance our ability to reach out from where we are. We have developed technologies that allow us to communicate, control, and monitor systems and devices from anywhere.

We can travel the world and communicate with anyone with the touch of a finger.

While we still have the desire to explore and discover, it would appear that we are currently focused upon expanding our theoretical reach through technology.

Just as in the past, when technological advancements entered our homes and changed our lives, we went through an adjustment period.

The advancements of today are no different. Eventually we master the new technology and it becomes a part of our everyday activities. Certainly the current advancements are more complicated and less rudimentary when compared to past technology and it is advisable to seek out the advice and expertise of knowledgeable professionals when dealing with the new devices and capabilities.

For our cover story this month we were able to assemble a group of local professionals in an attempt to help our readers understand the possibilities and capabilities of the Smart technology that is currently revolutionizing the world.

The Windsor and Essex County region is blessed to have a collection of knowledgeable professionals in all facets of Smart technology. Our current gathering of experts for this article provides indisputable evidence of that fact.

Controlling Your World From The Palm Of Your Hand

Jake Kigar, Marketing and Social Media Coordinator at KELCOM Wireless, demonstrates the Google Home Mini home device you can pair with your Smartphone for hands-free help when you need it. Powered by Google Assistant, the Home Mini can get you the latest news, help you organize your life and power devices in your home — like your TV. The Home Mini is also compatible with many of the most popular Smart home devices, like Nest. Photo by Rod Denis

It is difficult to imagine our current world without cell phones. Everywhere you go, and virtually everything we do now involves our Smartphones in some way and the applications seem to be growing exponentially.

Keeping track of the possibilities associated with our phones is an ever expanding task and it is good to know that with each new model we have professionals available to guide and inform us.

Over the course of their 49 years in business, the team at KELCOM Wireless, working out of 363 Eugenie Street East, Windsor (KelcomWireless.ca) are smack dab in the middle of the advancements within the local telecommunications industry.

Jake Kigar, Marketing and Social Media Coordinator was able to share some of the information he has gathered during his four years of personal experience in the field and is a TELUS WISE Ambassador for a national program educating Canadians about Smartphone and Internet safety.

Our cell phones have gone well beyond their traditional capabilities of calling and texting,” he indicates. “Now we see them do many things and operate many of our household items through apps. You can control your thermostat, your lights, televisions, garage doors, and basically any outlet in your home if it’s connected!”

The benefits of the ever expanding interactive capabilities of our Smart phones and our home are many.

Smart home devices can make your day more efficient,” Kigar says and he asks, “How nice would it be to wake up, turn on your lights, start your coffee maker and adjust the temperature in your house with your phone as you start to get ready for your day?”

Kigar suggests you “Check out your device’s home app (Home for Apple and Samsung Smart Home for Samsung) and you’ll begin to see just how many things you can connect to your Smartphone.”

The possibilities for this technology seems endless as Kigar informs, “Just this month one of the most well-known Smart home technology companies, Nest, launched new doorbell and lock devices that connect with their mobile app. With these devices you can lock and unlock your door remotely and have full video conversations with someone at your doorstep through your phone.”

Ensuring Your Hardware Is Up To The Task

The demands upon our home computers, Wi-Fi systems, and networks are another aspect of the technology boom in our homes.

Our reliance on these technologies becomes even more critical as they become more intertwined in our day to day life.

Ensuring your system is up to the task is imperative to ensure you can achieve your desired capabilities. MDG Computers Tecumseh LTD., located at 13300 Tecumseh Road East, Suite 220, (MdgComputersTecumseh.ca) has been servicing the computer related issues of the Essex County region for the past two years and Samir Hrnjadovic, President/Owner has over 18 years of personal experience to draw upon.

The way that we utilize our home computers and networks has changed dramatically in recent times.

Today, my personal computer is integrated into my home network where I can quickly access it from anywhere in the world that I have Internet access,” states Hrnjadovic. “It is used for remote surveillance, it is also linked with two more televisions wirelessly from where I can access variety of media files and play them on the TV.”

With the demand on these systems it makes the average guy wonder how to keep up with the technology!

Wireless systems are a fast growing and fast changing technology,” says Hrnjadovic. “They are constantly improving and changing to meet the consumer’s demand. We provide a variety of wireless devices such as routers, access points, and range extenders. All of these devices come in different strength and features to meet ones needs.”

The professionals like MDG should be able to assist the average consumer as they venture into this new age.

We are in an era that virtually everything is being designed and converted to be remotely and wirelessly controlled,” indicates Hrnjadovic adding, “Car garage doors, thermostats, appliances, indoor lightning are being controlled wirelessly therefore our wireless routers need to be compatible and strong enough to support all that with its strength and range.”

As Hrnjadovic contemplates the advancements of the future he indicates, “One of the biggest technological advancements for our near future would be Artificial Intelligence (AI). How this is going to reflect upon our traditional computers and Wi-Fi systems soon, we will hopefully find out.”

Home Security At Your Fingertips

The security of one’s home, possessions, and family is more than a convenience. The incorporation of telecommunication technology and Smartphone capabilities as it relates to the security of our houses is likely one of the most important developments in this area.

Staying up to speed on the recent advancements in home security technology and developments is a priority for Security ONE situated at 200 Sherk Street in Leamington (SecurityOneAlarm.com).

Security ONE has been helping protect the residences of Biz X readers for the past 40 years and Dustin Vermast, Director of Sales and Loyalty Operations was able to set aside some time for us to answer our questions.

When it comes to the current capabilities of our Smartphones Vermast expresses, “It’s a truly amazing area of our business that we’ve seen transform greatly over the past five to10 years. It was a huge accomplishment when cell phones allowed you to arm and disarm and stay engaged with your alarm system wherever you were.”

Vermast continues by saying, “Remote access to cameras is also a huge part of our industry these days, with clients interested in checking in on their homes, children, or pets, all with a swipe of a thumb.”

The advantages to having this type of access are obvious. Vermast offers, “it is more about convenience and complete control. The Smartphone technology has enabled users to be alerted by a push notification at the first sign of any abnormal behaviour.”

Beyond the convenience is the aspect of control. He notes, “We’ve all been there, needing something picked up or dropped off, and trying to organize how it can happen. Remote access allows for control of the alarm and door locks. This makes for access that is more reliable, safer, and provides tighter control.”

Adapting to and incorporating these new capabilities is imperative and Vermast points out that he is “proud to be part of an organization that thinks ahead of the game, and is always on the leading edge of technology. Our research and strategy teams are always scouring news articles, blogs, trade shows, and the Internet for what is on the horizon.”

Wrapping things up in this section, he concludes, “I think it’s so important for our clients that we keep them informed on this up and coming technology and provide them with cutting edge products that will provide them the peace of mind they desire.”

The Idiot Box” Of The Past Has Now Become A Smart TV

The evolution of the television has been an interesting one. From the first ever television broadcast by John Baird in 1928 to the arrival of colour televisions in the late ’50s, the home television has woven itself into the fabric of our society. In the years that followed the television changed the way we passed our time in our homes.

In recent times the typically standard television has evolved once again into the Smart version of the medium. The capabilities of Smart televisions are constantly changing and broadening the possibilities of home entertainment. Elegant and versatile flat screens such as the Samsung Frame are changing the way we watch the telly!

Cover story continues on page 18 of the April issue of Biz X magazine