Before getting started, I’d just like to say that although these are my personal opinions, keep in mind that I work for an electrical contracting company that depends on smart innovation to keep the business alive. There are better “smart” systems to integrate in your home and business than the ones I’ve listed below. That being said, I hope you never waste money on these products, even if we’d be happy to tell you about them.
1. simplehuman Sensor Mirror Pro
Get this, it’s a vanity mirror, with lighting… and you don’t need magnification -- I’m not done yet -- it also has a wide view with adjustable color, wait for it… one charge lasts up to three weeks (that’s actually pretty cool) AND it can connect to WiFi! The best part is that it’s a cheap price of only $530 on Amazon! PLUS FREE SHIPPING. How exciting and cool is that?! It’s not.
If you buy a regular vanity mirror you will save hundreds of dollars and a few laughs. Just trust me, regular mirrors are still cool.
2. BeOn Home Protection System Lightbulbs
Basically, these turn off and on when you enter and leave a room. Which isn’t a bad thing, but they also automatically turn on when there is a blackout. That’s not to bad either I guess, except that they only have a max of 5 hours before they run out of battery during a blackout. What if the blackout is longer than that? I would have to buy multiple sets of these lights, or I could use regular light bulbs integrated into my smart home and save a bunch of cash. Oh, you also need an iPhone to use the app that controls the lights. I’m all about saving money, so I wouldn’t mind using candles during a blackout.
Update: Just found out this company is actually no longer in business so you can only use these as regular bulbs because the app is no longer running, but after reading a number of one star reviews I’d still advise you not to buy them (considering you find them on eBay or something).
3. SONOS PLAY:1 Smart Speaker
I don’t like to pin brands against each other, BUT if you’re going to buy a smart speaker, just buy an Amazon Alexa. SONOS is a great brand but I wouldn’t spend money on this speaker when compared to my Alexa. The catch with this speaker is that it streams all your favorite tunes and connects to WiFi. Sound familiar? That’s right, Alexa speakers can do the same thing and a whole lot more for around the same price. We Are More always promotes quality, they’re both great speakers, but in this circumstance, I’m also measuring quantity!
4. Kuna Smart Home Security Light and Security Camera
This light/camera is advertised as being great for disguising a security camera as a light that also doubles as an actual light! Yeah it is cool, except that you could just get a full smart home security system. It might have some cool features, like being compatible with Alexa and being easy to install, but why spend your money on a lamp camera (or two) when you could put your money towards a much better security system? Maybe it’s just me.
5. Chamberlain MyQ-Garage
A remote control for your garage—which allows you to open and close your garage from anywhere in the world. FINALLY. Now I can travel and open and close my garage when I don’t even need to open and close my garage. It’s a dream come true!
I hope you understand how unnecessary this appliance is. No one, literally not a soul, needs this. Just use a regular garage remote, please I’m begging you.
6. Ooma Telo Home Phone Service
“Telo, who is this?”
“It’s me, Ooma!”
“Ooma need you to not buy this product.”
Sorry, couldn’t help myself with that one.
I’d say, unless you’re a businessperson who makes international calls almost every day—don’t waste your money on this. It’s the same as a regular phone that just allows you to make cheaper international calls, but even a regular phone can be set up with a plan that does the same thing.
7. iDevices Kitchen Thermometer
A rechargeable smart thermometer that gives you the temperature of your food faster than a regular thermometer!
Ladies and bros, if you can’t wait a few more seconds while using a regular thermometer to get the temperature of your dinner, I’d advise you to go speak to a counselor and figure out how to work on your patience. Good news is it’s only about $25 so you won’t break the bank if you decide to go on and buy it, but personally I’d rather spend that money on my dinner than something to check if it’s cooked or not.
8. Smart Piggy Bank
I get that it’s a cute and fun way to save your coins in a piggy bank and have it track your savings but unless you’re a child—why not just open a bank account? If your kid really wants to have fun, have them make a piggy bank, or buy one that’s not automated. Then they can count the money themselves and learn important math skills at the same time! Just a thought.
9. Smart Egg Tray
If you don’t eat eggs often, you’re probably someone like me who only buys them when they’re absolutely needed for a recipe or for house guests. Even in that case, you don’t NEED this product. It’s an egg tray that tells you the freshness of your eggs.
Maybe someone who doesn’t eat their eggs in time could use this but it just doesn’t cut my list for things I need, and I’m silently hoping you agree.
That’s it folks! I’m sure this list could be even longer, but these are my top for “smart appliances you shouldn’t spend your money on.”
Due to the fact that people can spend up to five hours a day on their phones, and an average of another five hours a day watching television, blue light blocking options have been increasing. These 10 hours a day don’t include the amount of time spent on laptops and other PCs. Fortunately, blue light glasses have become widely popular.
People who spend long hours in front of a computer usually opt in to buying themselves a pair of these glasses to reduce eye strain and increase the amount of melatonin the human body produces. This decreases blurry vision, headaches, and helps people to get a better night’s rest. Most smartphones already have a blue light blocking ability that allows the tone of the screen to change at desired hours or the natural surrounding light. That way people don’t have to wear blue light glasses while using their phones.
Something most people don’t know however is that newer televisions have a blue light filter listed in the settings menu under the display options. Most people would say that watching TV before bed isn’t a good habit, but there’s something about putting on a show after a long day that makes people continue to do it. So, making sure to change blue light settings on your television at night will make the habit less concerning. Don’t worry though, if you’re someone with an older television there are blue light filter stickers that can adapt your TV light to a yellow tint or block blue light all together.
People who don’t like to wear glasses, or don’t want to fuss with blue light blocking on a TV, have ditched watching shows on a television and use projectors instead. Projector screens are a great alternative, especially for theater and office rooms. They give off less harmful light because the blue light bounces off the walls instead of being shot directly at your eyes like on a TV.
Protecting your eyes are important! No matter what option suits you best, remember that you can contact We Are More for installations of any TV or projector screen. They also set up and sell amazing surround sound systems for home theaters, show rooms, and meeting spaces of any kind.
No copyright or infringement is intended.
Yes, you read that title correctly. If you didn’t know—now you know! Hawaii even had electricity before the white house did. King David Kalakaua was fascinated with technology and was the first to implement the use of electricity in Hawaii by updating Honolulu's kerosene street lamps to electric lamps, which made their way into houses. Eventually he instilled generators into plantation homes as well. By 1890, more than 700 Oahu homes had electricity when a majority of Europe and the U.S. didn’t.
Hawaii was ahead of the times when it came to technology. Today, that fact has shifted drastically. According to a study taken by Tech Republic for 2018, you might be surprised that Hawaii is now listed as the eighth LEAST innovated state in America. Meanwhile the top three most innovative states are Massachusetts, Maryland, and Washington.
Why is Hawaii so behind when it comes to innovation? The highest rated reason comes from a lack of fast internet. There is little to no promotion of innovation in Hawaii. We Are More tries to change that stat with what they do for others. Sadly, the education on technology innovation is low, leading to little importance when expressed as an issue.
Why does Hawaii need innovation? Aside from the fact that an economy can flourish with advanced innovation, (find the 4 important benefits of innovation in business here) it also enhances life as a whole with profitable revolutions in technology that impact society. If Hawaii climbed it’s way back up the list of leading states in innovation we’d also have improved productivity and reduced costs, better quality of products and services to meet customer needs, a larger product range for higher sales and profit, better handled legal and environmental issues, added value for businesses, more staff retention for businesses as well.
The country would develop as a whole, economically, if all 50 states could play a lead role in innovation. Most critical problems are resolved by new innovations. The first and smallest step Hawaii could take in the right direction is ditching companies that offer slow internet. Like King David Kalakaua, Hawaii needs to start small and think big.
No copyright infringement is intended.
Why is smart technology important for any business? (Along with 4 types of important business technology)
A main goal of anyone starting a business is to make something out of nothing. Right? Majority of business owners never had things given to them. They know what it means to work hard and be diligent. Without even a pat on the back, they’ve accomplished things most people look at and say, “how did you do that?” They’ll spill stories of challenges, victories, and dead-end pursuits, but the number one thing they all have in common is that they’re still striving for success.
Someone with no experience in business could look at a business owner and think “they’ve made it.” Maybe they’ve made it a lot farther than most, but success is an ongoing process for everyone. Whether it’s a new business, or a business that’s been around for years, smart business technology plays a huge role in continuing success. Even for those who don’t realize how much they depend on it every day – that is why smart technology is important for business. If you want to keep reading, I’ll be sharing what kind of technology would benefit a business below.
Tip: When looking into smart business technology, be sure to end up with things that would cater to your business. If you work in a large office building, a VoIP telephone system is worth looking into.
1. VoIP systems (Voice Over Internet Protocol)
VoIP phone systems allow businesses to use their internet as a form of transmission as opposed to circuit transmissions. This means that the calls are made over the internet and “do not incur a surcharge beyond what the user is paying for Internet access, much in the same way that the user doesn't pay for sending individual emails over the Internet.”
Please treat your business to high speed internet/WiFi. Slow internet is probably one of the largest inconveniences to put your business through. It can result in a large number of problems including being on the clock but hardly getting any work done, resulting in an 8-hour lunch break. Downtime is not a friend to your wallet, especially when a bad connection results in no sales. Save your time and money by getting high speed internet.
3. Professionalized Emails
Emails are part of technology and professionalized emails are smart. Allowing your business to stand out and create a brand for itself is important. When emailing anyone for a business matter, you don’t want them to know you as “jayjaykitty37” (it’s a joke). Instead, you and your team should have professionalized emails. A clean tag showcasing your name and your business is a lot more practical. (Ex. email@example.com)
4. IT (Information Technology)
Finding a great IT service to help your business keep stability is crucial. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes of all great businesses, if there isn’t, it could be doing a lot better if it had one. An IT department handles communication, governance, office infrastructure, securing the environment, and data management. All things that help businesses move forward every day.
No copyright infringement is intended.
Simply put, IoT is the abbreviation for “Internet of Things,” but to answer the question I searched it up on Wikipedia for you; IoT “is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.” Still not sure what that means? Read below!
Pretty much anything with the label “smart” on it has to do with IoT. Smart phones, smart homes, smart controls, smart lighting, smart businesses, smart speakers, smart locks, smart cameras, smart appliances, smart fixtures, yada yada yada. IoT is represented by things that can be connected to the internet. Wikipedia also tells us that IoT was basically created and defined by 2009 when the number of objects connected to the internet was higher than the number of people connected to the internet.
Let’s think about this. Out of 7.5 billion people on the planet, with only 15 leading countries in technology, and only 50 top electronic distributers, starting in 2008 there have been more devices connected to the internet than humans. How? When an object is able to connect to another device or the internet without the help of a human, it’s in the category of IoT. Anything that doesn’t need human direction to preform a task connected to the internet has its own network. It can function properly on its own.
Simply using your smartphone or turning on your laptop doesn’t disregard this process. You have a say in what is sent and received on your end, but your devices don’t rely on you to make them compatible with sharing information across the internet or being able to connect to other networks. You don’t have to manually carry a text message, or an alert signal, or an email. Appliances do it for you.
IoT isn’t a bad thing (if that thought crossed your mind). Technology has been created for one thing, to make every day more convenient. IoT is proof that technology has been working hard to do things, so humans don’t have to. IoT is a favor. We Are More loves working with the internet of things to give people more convenience and better quality with the human thought put into which devices can help you best
No copyright infringement is intended.
Favorites are powerful. Think about five favorite physical things (that aren't food or people). Do any of those things include technology? Don’t lie.
Imagine a world where life could still be fully functional without technology. I bet you can't. Even though “they” did just fine back in the day without it, people today can’t think of a time without that convenience. From outlets, to lightbulbs, internet communications, refrigerators — Making life a separate entity from technology is kind of pointless. Why regress when we’ve come so far. Right?
Do we “need” technology? No. However, if the world went dark tomorrow, people would either scramble and provoke chaos or die. Literally. Doctors rely, heavily, on technology. They know a lot more than I do, but have you ever met a physician that can tell you exactly what’s wrong with you just by giving them your symptoms without taking a scan or blood test? No, but google can. (That was a joke Jimmy, you don’t have a ruptured spleen.)
Technology gives us perspective, maybe a little narrow, maybe a little too wide, depending on who you are and how you think. Does it control your life? Does it give you more control? Does it help you work harder? Or make you lazy? There are pros and cons all around. The bottom line is, technology is what you make it.
As a business who promotes all kinds of leading technologies, We Are More makes it a point to bring human knowledge to the table. They stick with you on every project, they pick up every call, they talk you through and fix every issue because technology doesn’t always tell you what’s wrong. When technology is abused it can lead to more than a few cons, but using it efficiently helps everyone. We Are More is there to make sure that technology is used to your benefit instead of your downfall.
No copyright infringement is intended.
We all love the old nob and key, but smart locks are becoming the new crush of modern-day. Or are they? Let's take a look at the pros and cons of both, and you can decide for yourself. (Before continuing below, you can find an in-depth description for both types of locks here.)
Traditional Locks: Pros
1. PRICE. You can't beat the price of a traditional lock. You can find them as cheap as $9 at Walmart, maybe even cheaper elsewhere.
2. INSTALLATION. It's pretty easy as long as you know how to use a screwdriver, or know how to read directions.
3. No technical difficulties. As soon as your lock is in place it's ready to be used, issue free!
4. Only a certain shaped key has access to the lock. No other key is designed to fit the lock. Unless you've made multiple keys, only those with the key have access.
Traditional Locks: Cons
1. The downside of having a traditional lock and key is that you need a key. Don't lose it, or you might have to crawl in through a window!
2. It's easy for these locks to be removed from your door by intruders leaving them with easy access into your home if they're good with a screwdriver too. Easy come easy go.
3. Houseguests and new roommates need the key for entry, which is an inconvenience if you can't be two places at once or don't want to make a replica.
4. Traditional locks are good for picking. Literally, since there's a keyhole someone could pick the lock, if they're into that.
Smart Locks: Pros
1. CONVENIENCE! All you need is a secure access code, no keys necessary. Smart locks are also compatible with smartphones through an app where you can lock and unlock your door no matter where you are. No worrying about needing an extra key for guests or trying to remember if you locked the door or not, just check/use the app.
2. ALERT SYSTEM. It's not as easy for a smart lock to be removed from a door by an intruder because most smart locks have a built-in siren or alarm system to let you know about any suspicious activity.
3. No one can pick your lock if you have a keyless entry.
4. Bluetooth camera connectivity. Some smart locks (there is a variety) can connect to your security camera system or come with a camera built-in which is compatible with smart lock apps and can be hooked up via Bluetooth so you can view any camera activity directly from your phone.
Smart Locks: Cons
1. "Dolla dolla bill ya'll." These things can get pretty pricey. I've seen smart locks that range up to $800, but I'd pay a lot for safety too so no judgment here.
2. Technical issues. Some smart locks require a network connection, they can also run out of battery life. While other malfunctions could mean you need an upgraded lock.
3. Code hacking! If someone has the time, or your code is simple to crack-- they can certainly hack it. Make sure not to use a birth date just to be safe.
4. Instead of depending on a key you have to depend on a smartphone or a code. Just keep your smartphone charged and/or don't forget your lock code!
There are far more pros and cons to both locks, but after this little list which one do you like more? We Are More specializes in smart locks, so if you have any more questions about those or need help installing multiple for your home or business (including alarm systems or any security control) let us know.
No copyright infringement is intended.
Generally, an Amazon Alexa listens and responds to requests like setting alarms, playing music, and answering questions that you might’ve looked up on your computer instead. The smart speaker is activated by voice commands when you address the device by saying “Alexa” before any request. People can turn any office or living space into a smart location by simply having an Amazon Alexa.
There is a long list of “smart” tasks that Alexa can do besides the general uses. There are also a variety of Alexa devices to use which include voice activated remote controls for all control systems, thermostats, security and doorbell cameras, alarm clocks and weather monitors, thermostats, outfit organizers, and of course home and portable speakers, connected by WiFi or Bluetooth. The number of devices provided leads to a wide range of smart home capability.
Aside from asking about the weather, finding immediate answers to questions, or enjoying a fuller sound system (Amazon provides Alexa subwoofers too) you can also control the rest of your home with your voice as well. Camera feeds, temperature, locks, smart outlets, lighting, door bells and so much more. Alexa has over 50,000 skills available to users, and Amazon Alexa products also come in kits/bundle packages to ensure you have the best experience for a startup smart home or smart business.
After connecting your Alexa to other devices and/or apps, such as your coffee maker, or smart vacuum, Alexa can do things for you without you moving a finger. Want your coffee ready in the morning? Ask Alexa to make your coffee at a certain time so it’s waiting when you wake up. Don’t have enough time to vacuum manually? Tell Alexa to start the vacuum for you. Need a personal gym trainer but don’t have time for the gym? Ask Alexa about her 7 minute workout. To see a detailed list about more of the significant skills Alexa can do, click here and here.
We Are More uses an Amazon Alexa to control lighting, music, projection screens, and televisions in their office. Whether it’s a shop or business office, there are a lot of options for turning it into a smart space. Conference calls can be put on a louder speaker at board meetings, no more fumbling in the dark, just ask Alexa to turn on the lights when opening up in the morning or turning off lights when closing up at night. The most known feature and personal favorite is having control of background music, connect other smart speakers to a single device to play music throughout the store or office.
There’s no doubt that these handy devices are becoming part of everyday life for some. They’re easy to use, timesaving, and cost effective. If you’re someone who doesn’t want to spend a whole lot on installations for a smart home or smart business, then Amazon Alexa is a perfect fit for you. Take it from We Are More, they love Alexa!
No copyright infringement is intended.
According to the US Census Bureau of 2017 County and MSA Population Estimates, “Maui’s population has increased by 11,423 residents since 2000.” As population increases, a variation of technology being used increases as well. Keeping Maui on the move through the demand of technology for the population growth considering new homes, and businesses is part of what keeps the community thriving.
Hawaii state is always progressing towards what’s next when it comes to technology. Along with its location in the Pacific, Hawaii is a “natural portal between the US and Asian high technology markets.” The population growth has led to more small business startups and more developers finding new housing opportunities. Through this, people are trying to find more and more ways to be cost effective and environmentally efficient.
The biggest way to be eco friendly and save money might be a shocker to those uneducated on the topic, but technology is what saves money and the environment. Look at it this way; what is the purpose of technology? Technology was created to make things easier, to make things more affordable in the long run. We Are More continues to offer quality technology installations and administrative help to those who want to join the move from the past to the now.
Maui is a large tourism location and with the help of technology it will continue to flourish. Adding technology infrastructure to hotels, condos, and rental homes makes the paradise life more, well, more paradise. Simple efficiencies like temperature control add to the island experience. Locals know how hot it can get, mixed with Hawaii’s humidity, it’s satisfying coming back to a room with a comfortably cool temperature that is set by the guests themselves.
With Hawaii having some of the highest electric rates in the country, electricity bills are often ridiculous for the average person. In fact “electricity prices in Hawaii are more than twice the national average.” Technology like solar panels are a perfect example on how the everyday citizen can cut back on sky rocketing monthly electric bills. Solar aids those who would rather spend a lump sum of money in one month, than hundreds of dollars every month.
There is a long list of ways that Maui can and is using technology for the betterment of the beautiful island and its people. Companies like We Are More want to help other businesses and home owners join the move. By looking into the benefits of technology and what it takes to keep up with the times. Not just to join a bandwagon, but to be more cost effective as a community and continue to care for our environment utilizing technology in any way we can.
No copyright infringement is intended.
1. What are telecommunications? “Telecommunications, also known as telecom, is the exchange of information over significant distances by electronic means and refers to all types of voice, data and video transmission.”
2. What was the name of the first telephone for telecommunication? The “harmonic telegraph.”
3. What are examples of telecommunications? Telecommunications has a wide range of examples in the audio-visual field of which include cell phones, VoIP telephones, landlines, internet, fax machines, laptops, and all other networks. Basically, anything that can send a message through electromagnetic waves or signals.
4. What kind of jobs are in telecommunications? There’s a lot, so click here!
5. How do I start my own telecommunications company? To sum it up, you need to create a business plan, name and register your business, make sure to get all your licenses and permits, pay the Federal Communications Commission, find where you’ll be getting your money from, and that’s that. For a step by step detailed list click here!
6. What do telecommunication companies do? They provide all networking systems within wired, wireless, and satellite sectors to ensure communication for businesses, families, and the average Joe.
7. What are the types of telecommunications? According to Wikipedia, telecommunication types consist of e-mail, fax, instant messaging, radio satellite, telegraphy, telephony, television broadcasting, videoconferencing, and VoIP (voice over internet protocol).
8. What are the biggest telecommunication companies? In 2018 a study conducted that AT&T and Verizon are at the top of being the largest and best telecommunication companies in the world.
9. Are telecommunications important? Well let’s put it this way, without telecommunications we wouldn’t have any communication outside of writing letters. So, you decide, is it important?
10. What is mobile telecommunication? Anything mobile is technically wireless, so wireless telecommunication would be the “exchange of information over significant distances” whether it’s transferred by sound, data, or displayed signals.
11. What’s the difference between telecommunication and communication? Telecommunication is referred to communicating from a certain distance, while communication encompasses all forms of signaling a message.
12. Is telecommunication a part of information technology? IT definitely becomes a part of telecommunications when there is a mix of unified communications and telecommunications at the same time; which would be known as ICT. Wikipedia states that “ICT is also used to refer to the convergence of audiovisual and telephone networks with computer networks through a single cabling or link system.”
13. What are the benefits of telecommunication? Click here for details, but the main benefits (especially when it comes to businesses) are improved efficiency, better flexibility, improved collaborative work, better connections, and savings.
14. What is engineering in telecommunication? “Telecommunications engineers are part of every process of creating a telecom system, dealing with both software and hardware.” Telecommunication engineers initially design, assess, develop, and restore all telecommunication soft/hardware.
15. Is a telecommunications job a sustainable career choice? The way technology is constantly changing in a progressive way, a job in telecommunications proves to be a great career choice. With that being said, it is a competitive business to run but constantly needed.
16. Who should I go to in Hawaii when it comes to telecommunication? WE ARE MORE of course! VoIP is something we’ve been introducing to a lot of businesses as a better way of communication for scalability, legacy technologies, and integration with other business systems (including hotels, condos, offices etc). Call (808)-280-1679 for an estimate!
No copyright infringement is intended.
Samara Shaw does We Are More's PR & Marketing which includes writing our blogs! She was born and raised in Hawaii and writes content to help our audience have a better insight on technical solutions big and small.