What we now call the consumer technology industry was born November 30, 1920, when the first consumer electronics product, the two-piece RA-DA, the first commercially produced radio designed for the mass market, rolled off the Westinghouse assembly line in East Pittsburgh. After a two-year period of hectic technological, business and legislative/regulatory developments following the end of World War I, the Westinghouse RA-DA and the entire radio industry emerged, becoming the dominant consumer technology product for three decades. On the centennial of our industry, let’s take a look at the events of 1919-1920 that cleared the way for the future.
This blog is the middle part of a trilogy of stories concerning the birth of radio during the years immediately after World War I. The first was “The Day Radio Died,” which you can read here. The third is “How President Wilson Shaped the Airways,” which you can read here.
Perhaps the most consequential period in technology history, the first format war that determined how the world would be powered, is lovingly portrayed in the new film, The Current War. The film depicts the business, technological and personality battles that pitted the direct current (DC) scheme promoted by Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) versus alternating current (AC) supported by industrialist George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), assisted by Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult).
Now that Apple and it’s AirPods have not only proved the true wireless earbud concept but have made them really cool, everyone wants a pair. True wireless earbuds or wireless headphones are among the top wished-for gifts this year, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the folks who put on CES.
It seems that every headphone maker extant has introduced their own true wireless bud version. So, which true wireless buds model is the best for each of the folks on your holiday gift list? Here are our best personality-to-bud matches.
Are you paranoid, frustrated, angry, or scared about how much “the net” knows about you and your online activities? Those fears may be justified. It seems there is a “deep state” cluster of companies you’ve likely never heard of that collect, compile, and analyze your online commerce activities and interactions – what you’ve bought from where and who and on which device, who and how you’ve corresponded with or complained to about purchases or services, etc.
Perhaps more frightening, many of these companies not only collect and AI analyze these often intimate interactions, but they sell this data to clients. You’re assigned a “score,” something like a credit rating or an Uber rating that impacts how commerce companies treat you online, or even whether you can get a job. Unlike a credit score, however, there’s no one to protest to if you don’t like your online activity score – assuming you could even access it.
Clothing isn’t normally considered high-tech, but The North Face applied advanced technologies to create and weave a new type of fabric that is set to change the way we exercise outside. Called FutureLight, this revolutionary fabric does the seemingly impossible — it breathes, letting out moisture, while also being fully waterproof and windproof.
Sleep trackers come in four basic varieties: apps that use sonic feedback via your smartphone’s microphone to track your sleep-related vitals; wearable sensors for your wrist, finger or forehead; under-mattress sensor pads; and, smart beds with built-in sleep tracking technology. Over the last couple of months, I’ve been experimenting with these various sleep-tracking solutions, and five criteria emerged as the best way to choose the best sleep tracker.
Surrounded by his recording engineer peers, master mastering engineer and 11-time Grammy winner Bob Ludwig was presented the first dCS Legends award at an event Tuesday night during this week’s annual Audio Engineering Society confab in New York.
Google is adding audio monitoring to its Nest Aware video security monitoring service next year to let you know if something is amiss at home. So you’ll be able to use one of the new Nest Mini smart speakers to listen for an alarm from any smoke alarm you own, not only Nest’s, and send you an alert when it does.
We confront our annual iPhone paradox: we buy Apple’s latest gleaming, immaculately designed phone, then we rush to wrap and hide this beauteous object inside a plastic or leather case. While encasing your new iPhone 11 makes little aesthetic sense, it obviously makes economic sense – that new phone is pricey. And, if you keep it in good condition, you can trade in your iPhone for hundreds of dollars.
So if you have or are planning to purchase in a new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max, here’s a collection of 11 high-quality cases to protect your investment.
It is not a matter of if but of when you upgrade your existing iPhone to the new iOS 13 operating system. There are so many changes to so many apps, it’ll feel as if you actually got a new iPhone 11. Except you don’t have to buy a new iPhone – all iPhones dating back to the iPhone SE and 6s, as well as the 7th generation iPod Touch, which came out this past May, can be upgraded to iOS 13 to take advantage of a wealth of new features and functions…