SDN Blog

New gadgets keep coming out (and eating up bandwidth)

Posted on Wednesday, August 05, 2015 in Broadband Internet

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These are exciting times for gadget geeks. All sorts of new gizmos are entering the market.

One that’s been getting quite a bit of attention is the JIBO, which is being promoted as a social robot for home use. It’s a connected device about the size of a coffee pot with a swiveling top that makes it capable of following action and taking photos and videos.

JIBO – often referred to as “he” - also can interact with its owners by, for example, reminding them of appointments and placing phone calls. It’s described by its creator, Cynthia Breazeal, as a personal assistant that humanizes technology. Some people might find its capabilities a little creepy.

JIBOs are scheduled to start joining households in the spring of 2016. You can pre-order one now for about $749, plus shipping.

The JIBO was among the gadgets that Ryan Dutton, a national consultant for the telecommunications industry, talked about recently during meeting of telecom marketing managers in Sioux Falls. Dutton is the executive director of Cronin.

During his presentation, Dutton demonstrated an Amazon Echo, which is a pretty cool device. It’s cheaper than a JIBO and available now for about $180, plus the cost of accessories and shipping.

The Echo is a tube-shaped speaker that responds to the name Alexa or Amazon, which apparently makes it female. She or it stands less than 10 inches high. It’s essentially a voice-activated speaker that can play music, report news highlights, control home devices and answer questions related to topics in covered in Wikipedia.

Some critics have compared talking to the Echo to communicating with a child, which is probably more comforting than imaging that you are connected to a powerful corporate office.

Regardless of how you feel about specific uses of technology, the proliferation of new products and services make it more important than ever that the Internet and other electronic communications networks stay up and running. That’s the role of companies such as SDN Communications, the host of this blog.

In addition to issues related to bandwidth capacity, products create issues related to electronic security and compliance with regulations – matters critically important to SDN and its customers. SDN is the premier provider of broadband connectivity and related services to businesses and institutions across South Dakota and in the region. So the company keeps up with developments in technology.

Keeping up with all the new, bandwidth-consuming gadgets also is important to SDN’s 17 member companies, which serve consumers as well as businesses with phone, Internet and TV services. Some SDN member companies also sell home-automation and surveillance devices.

Other new products that Sutton mentioned during his presentation included Ecobee, LIFX and Panasonic Nubo.

Ecobee is a Wi-Fi-powered smart thermostat with remote sensors. It’s capable of monitoring temperatures, as well as activity, in multiple locations throughout the home rather than from only the thermostat to adjust temperature levels throughout.

LIFX are smart light bulbs, which can provide versatility as well as color to lighting the interior of homes or businesses. You can try out a single bulb for about $40.

Panasonic Nubo is a 4G camera system being designed to operate from a mobile connection. It can be used inside or outside to monitor property.

Dutton also talked about Google’s Project Fi, which is an emerging network that connects carriers and others in an attempt to enhance wireless performance for users.

Home and business technology is advancing rapidly on several other fronts, too. Wearable devices are becoming popular, for example, and home-entertainment options are expanding.

The experts at Sioux Falls-based SDN and its members companies across South Dakota have the expertise, products and services to help clients keep their networks fast, secure and legal. For more information SDN and its member companies provide, visit the Who We Are section of the company's website.