CEDIA Expo 2019 - Digital Ramble Blog - #CEDIAExpo

CEDIA Expo 2019 - Digital Ramble Blog - #CEDIAExpo

The custom electronics industry is rolling into town, the smart home circus is about to put up its Big Top! Two years in San Diego ushered in Do It For Me business model discussions, the establishment of voice control of professionally installed technology and of course the new owners of the CEDIA Expo. Denver, Colorado is this years host city and over the next 5 days we will see the home tech future mapped out by the biggest brands and brightest minds in the industry.

2019 is as good as done, CEDIA Expo brings you face to face with 2020 and 2021 products, so what’s going to be hot stuff this year?

The Practical Smart Home

Water, smoke, odours and intruders are all unwanted in the home and the sensory superpowers of a home get more intelligent every year. Artificial intelligence and machine learning is now driving the new range of sensors soon to become a standard fit in millions of homes. Look out in the aisles for automated water valves, cameras equipped with facial recognition and sensors monitoring air quality good and bad.

One to Watch - Hero Labs

The 5G Home

Faster connectivity to our homes from the internet service providers means our internal home networks need to be built to handle these speeds and able to deliver them reliably around the home. The home network is becoming too much for the homeowner and the need for a pro to take the hassle away is on the rise. Pay attention to network solutions with long term in mind and get the training you need to be a local home network specialist.

One to Watch - Access Networks

Smart Home as a Standard 

This has been coming since 2015, right? It’s never quite hit the price point for the masses but the new decade ahead is going to see affordability with smart home tech arrive in style. New construction is embracing the connected home and a standard fit from new means you don’t need to be buying all those upgrades you did in your last home. New home builders are ditching the dumb and giving buyers what they want.

One to Watch - Design + Connection Tours

The Digital Ramble will be broadcasting throughout the week of Expo. You can be a part of the show, drop us a message, we’d love to have you join us on air.

Kris and JJ

#wearetdr

#cediaexpo

DigitalRambleShow.com

Customised to exhibit at CamHomeShow 2019 #SmartHome #HomeTech

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Customised to exhibit at CamHomeShow 2019 #SmartHome #HomeTech

Customised will be exhibiting at this years Cambridge Home & Garden Show and we cannot wait!

The Cambridge Home + Garden Show is Cambridge’s first event dedicated to the best in home and garden design. The event features a packed exhibition hall, talks and workshops from experts, a pop up café as well as free professional design advice. You’ll be sure to leave with everything you need to create your dream home.

Want to transform your home but don’t know where to start? Come and browse the exhibition hall. The Show will have loads of exhibitors showcasing unique and inspirational interior and garden products for all budgets and tastes. Whether you’re looking to revamp your kitchen, splash out on new homewares or landscape your garden, you’ll find an exhibitor for your project.

We will of course be showcasing some awesome Smart Home Technology products which will make your lives more convenient, easy and in the long run, cheaper too! Including lighting, blind control and much more!

The first event took place on 9th September 2017 and due to it's huge success will now be expanded to a two day event over the weekend of 30th – 31st March 2019. You can book your free tickets by clicking here. You can also find out more about the event here.

We hope you can make it!

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Customised Valentine's Discounts #smarthome #valentinesday 🌹

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Customised Valentine's Discounts #smarthome #valentinesday 🌹

This week, Customised will be putting a 10% discount on all Sonos speakers and Lutron RA2 Select products, including blinds & lighting. The sale, which will be on between Wednesday 13th and Friday 15th of February 2019, is a Customised Valentine’s special.

Fall in love with Sonos and fill your home with amazing sound - Stream your favourite music everywhere, change the volume seamlessly, wake up to your favourite radio star, enjoy the latest beats as you relax in the garden or experience out of this world sound quality when it’s movie night. All possible with Sonos.

Sonos is the home sound system that delivers all your sound to every room, with warm, full-bodied audio that's crystal clear at any volume. Sonos fills your home with music by combining incredible sound and rock solid wireless performance in a smart system that's easy to set up, control, and expand.

Set the scene with Lutron - Personalised smart lighting and blind control for any home. Added convenience, more comfort and more reliability. Staying in touch with your home, even when you’re not there. Includes a free downloadable Lutron App which lets you monitor and adjust lights and blinds on your smart device from wherever you are.

Learn the features and benefits of the RA2 Select system with this overview. See how RA2 Select can turn any home into a smart home.

T&C’S: Discount applies to our professionally installed Sonos and Lutron services. Please redeem the code by messaging, calling, emailing or visiting Customised and quote the code shown below. Installation services are limited to certain areas of the UK, get in touch to confirm your location qualifies and for further information. Orders must be placed between 13th and 15th February and a deposit payment will secure the discount. 

Discount code for Sonos: LOVESONOS

Discount code for Lutron: LOVELUTRON

Well…what are you waiting for? Get saving on some fantastic Smart Home products!

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Barclays Eagle Labs 'Your Home Of The Future' Event #smarthometechnology

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Barclays Eagle Labs 'Your Home Of The Future' Event #smarthometechnology

Yesterday evening, the Customised Tech Team exhibited at a Barclays Eagle Labs 'Your Home Of The Future' event.

It was a great night with many people in attendance, all had a genuine interest in how Technology is making Smart Homes better each year and how living smart makes our lives much more easier on a daily basis. It’s always nice to see so many people realise that Smart Home Technology is becoming more and more important because its only going to keep growing - the Smart Home is the future. When talking to people last night, quite a few said to me “i’m worried about being left behind” and that’s something we hear often. As a company that specialises in Smart Home Technology, we completely understand some of the concerns people have regarding the evolution of Tech in the home. If you have concerns then you will be hesitant to use it and that’s something we want to change. We can not reiterate enough that Smart Home Technology is actually much more easier to use than most people think and the benefits will be both exceptionally good and rewarding.

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The biggest thing that Smart Home tech gives us is ease every single day, alongside saving energy, being safer and making our homes more fun to live in. If you are someone who wants to add Smart Home gadgets to your property but maybe doesn’t fully understand how it works and what it’s purposes are, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Customised professionally provide and fully install the Technology, as well as offering a Free Smart Home Survey so we know exactly what you would like and what we would need to do in order to give you best possible living experience using Smart Home Technology.

We recently published another blog on why you should go smart with Customised in 2019, you can read that by clicking here.

A big thank you to Barclays Eagle Labs and the University Of East Anglia for having us last night.

Header Image - Barclays Eagle Labs

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New Sonos Amp Is Coming To Customised! #SmartHome #Audio #Sonos

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New Sonos Amp Is Coming To Customised! #SmartHome #Audio #Sonos

We are excited to reveal that we will have the new Sonos Amp on display at our Home Tech Experience Centre in Loddon very soon.

The Amp released in the states towards the end of last year, but it will soon be available for people in the UK. It will be the versatile amplifier for powering all of your entertainment - enjoy high-fidelity performance with 125 Watts per channel, power your shelf, floor-standing, in-wall, and in-ceiling speakers, stream everything you love with the Sonos app including Apple AirPlay and also connect your TV to create the ultimate entertainment system!

As well as the features mentioned above, the Sonos Amp will allow you to do many other things too.

  • Control Amp with the Sonos app, AirPlay, or your favourite music service's app.

  • A streamlined set of ports at the back of Amp make setup simple and keep your cords organised. The threaded connections for left and right channels are standard diameter so you can remove them and use your own banana plugs.

  • Use any standard HDMI cable and the Optical Audio Adapter to connect Amp to your TV’s optical audio output if your TV doesn't have an HDMI ARC port.

  • Add stereo or surround sound to your TV for shows, movies, and games.

  • Power your outdoor speakers and easily expand your home sound system to the backyard.

More details about our Sonos Amp display event, including dates and times, will be announced in due course. The Sonos One, Play 1, Playbase and Sub will also be on show alongside our 4K TV. We hope you will be able to join us!

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Wingate and Finchley FC first to use Artificial Intelligence coach #AI #Football

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Wingate and Finchley FC first to use Artificial Intelligence coach #AI #Football

It has been announced that London based football club Wingate & Finchley will become the first club in the world to use an Artificial Intelligence Coach to recommend tactics, formations and much more to the players and coaching staff.  The Football Club, which currently plays in the Isthmian League Premier Division, plans to use the AI Coach for their game against Whitehawk next month.  As a business which spends a lot of time researching, using and installing tech, Customised were very interested in this story and we were keen to speak to a representative of Wingate & Finchley to find out why they’ve brought this piece of Technology through their doors and into the footballing world. We are delighted to bring you an interview below which we were able to conduct yesterday with Paul Lerman, who is a Director at the Football Club.

So firstly Paul, what made the Football Club give the green light for the use of AI Technology? Was it something the manager and board thought a lot about?

PL: We were approached by the Big Bang Fair with this idea, and we immediately said yes. We are a community club and will do anything we can to assist any sector of society and our local community, of which encouraging students to get into STEM careers is an extremely worthwhile endeavour. It is an added bonus that we are at the forefront of a new development in football and hopefully it will be able to assist our coaching team in these early stages.

Wingate and Finchley are the first Football Club in the world to use Artificial Intelligence to choose formations, tactics etc. I imagine the club is pretty proud and also confident that the AI can be a success?

PL: Yes we are indeed very proud of being ahead of the times, and it fits in exactly with the ethos of the pioneers who created Wingate FC in 1946 for the purposes of combating racism. Technology is increasing its role in football year on year and this without doubt will be a success across the sport in the future. It is there to assist the management team by offering insights and advice rather than makes the detailed choices itself, and how ready it is now remains to be seen and we are excited to find out.

What have the first impressions from the players and even yourself been like towards the AI? Has it impressed you or changed the teams approach to training & matches already?

PL: It is only in a prototype stage at the moment and so its advice (outputs) are only programmed specifically with the Whitehawk match in mind, which as we speak is still a few weeks away. However the management team has been very keen to test it out and familiarise themselves with it in preparation for the inaugural day.

Obviously the manager and coaches are usually the people who have a big say in which formation the team plays and what tactics will be used, what have they had to say about the introduction of AI? I suppose you could argue that the technology may help them as well as the players?

PL: Yes that is actually it’s intended purpose. It is not at all here to replace the management, but to assist them and offer AI-modelled advice that they can choose to use to affect their decision-making if they want to. It is therefore perfectly placed to grow into something that can help and guide young up-and-coming coaches of the future, and in a reversal of responsibilities our staff are in a unique position to help guide the AI's future development.

I know i mentioned a couple of examples above, but what exactly can the AI do and what is the Football Club hoping to achieve with it's help? 

PL: At such an early stage the main thing we are hoping to achieve is to encourage students and inspire them to get into STEM careers by giving it a platform. What it does now is take in a series of inputs, such as the unique strengths and weaknesses of each team as well as the exact match scenario minute by minute, and then provides suggestions for formations and substitutions. Going forwards it will be developed to take in a vast array of statistics, such as in-game player-tracking by GPS, to further improve the AI and its outputs. We are proud to be at the forefront of innovation and helping to shape whatever it becomes in the future.

How big of a step do you think this is in regards to the use of Technology in sport and in particular Football? Do you think that it is the future of management and coaching in the game? I guess the next step is to have an AI System that can do scouting reports on players!

PL: The first step of introducing a new technology is always a very big one, but we are well aware that it is limited at the moment. It will undoubtedly become very sophisticated in years to come at which time it will be completely ingrained into all clubs, at least at professional level. Analysing opposition is already done manually, Clive Woodward's 2003 World Cup win being a famous example, and letting automated technology do that for you and then providing analysis on that scouting is certainly within the AI Coach's scope.

Finally, if the Artificial Intelligence does prove to be a success at Wingate & Finchley, will the club be open to add more Technology Systems in the future? Is that something that has been spoken about at all or are you just taking it step by step to see how the team gets on with it?

PL: We are just taking it step by step, and are making sure that we are fully aware of its limitations as a brand new technology. For that reason we are looking to initially focus on how we can benefit the UK community, by inspiring the youth of today into STEM careers that they may not have previously considered by showing how varied and fun technology's uses can be.

Non-league Wingate & Finchley FC employs AI football coach to inspire kids through STEM.

Customised thanks Paul for agreeing to to this interview with us and we of course not only wish the AI to be a success for the Football Club, but also the remainder of Wingate & Finchley’s season too. We will be sure to keep you updated if we hear from the Club in the future in regards to how they’ve got on with their new coach!

Image - Paul Lerman

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Go smart with Customised in 2019 #smarthome #smarttech #thefuture

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Go smart with Customised in 2019 #smarthome #smarttech #thefuture

Technology is rapidly developing more and more every year and it will only continue to do so. Customised have been reading up on some of the gadgets that were on show at CES 2019, it’s fantastic to see so many new systems being developed but it’s also a reminder as to how clever and intelligent they are all becoming. A 65” rollable TV, smart alarm clock, a clothe folding machine and even an automatic toilet seat which opens and shuts…that’s only naming a few!

Customised are aware that some people are scared of smart technology and hesitant to use it, but we are here to help and put any doubts you have to bed. Maybe you grew up when there wasn’t such a thing called smart technology and thats why you’ve never really thought about using it, or maybe you have already started to gradually add smart home products to your property. The fact is, everyone is different and we as smart home technology specialists respect that.

Customised have been professionally installing and providing smart home technology since 2011, and we have met so many people that didn’t have a clue about how smart home tech works, what it does and what it’s purposes were. Today, they couldn’t live without it. A YouGov’s Smart Homes report from August last year indicates that close to a quarter of Britons (23%) own one or more smart home devices, while one in ten (8%) now have two or more. Smart home devices include: smart lighting, smart security, smart speakers and smart thermostats. The report shows that once someone buys one smart home device, they are more likely to purchase another. Amongst people who currently own at least one smart product, the consideration for getting other smart gadgets increases to 40%. Three quarters (75%) of non-owners are aware of smart home appliances, but don’t know much about them!

We urge people not to be amongst that 75%, do the sensible thing and live smart. Smart homes are the future and they are becoming part of the norm already, saving people money, energy and making their everyday living experience more convenient than ever. Do not get left behind. Contact us on 01508 528964 or visit our Home Tech Experience Centre in Loddon, Norfolk, to start or continue building your smart home.

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Customised Tech Team Gadget Blog - Atmos Control Hub #CES2019 #Gadgets #SmartHome

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Customised Tech Team Gadget Blog - Atmos Control Hub #CES2019 #Gadgets #SmartHome

The Customised Tech Team have picked out their third Gadget of the week which has been on show at CES 2019, and it’s another awesome product that we believe will thrive in many Smart Homes in the near future.

Let us introduce you to the Atmos Control Hub, a wall mounted device which lets you control lights, temperature, music and more from almost every brand out there. Atmos have officially launched it’s Control Touch Panel with the aim of giving people quick access to their most used smart home products via a 7” wall mounted screen.

The Atmos Control Hub hides the apps themselves and instead uses simple icons for lights, temperature, locks, security cameras and music, making it a simple and quick process. When you tap one of the options, you can adjust settings based on their functions. There are also sliders to adjust the lights, virtual buttons for the locks and playlists for music. Some of the brands which are compatible with the system include Lutron, Philips hue, Nest, Ring, Yale, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Sonos, Logitech + much more.

Other smart home product integrations include doorbells, ceiling fans, TV’s and appliances. The Atmos Hub has a tidy and modern look to it, i suppose you could say it’s like a tablet, but on a wall! The user interface looks good, with lovely nature images for backgrounds and flat, simple designs. The main home screen also looks quite cool, featuring the time, date and weather on the right side of the screen and a customisable widget on the left, this was reportedly used for the thermostat control at CES.

The device has the following specs:

  • Quad-core processor

  • B RAM

  • HD IPS capacitive touch display

  • Far-field microphone array

  • Front intercom camera

  • Proximity sensor

  • Ambient Light Sensor

It is priced at around £233 ($299) and available in two colours, Steel Grey or Onyx Black. Atmos will begin shipping preorders around the summer time of 2019 with a retail sale after that.

Images - Atmos

Images - Atmos

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Customer Review - Philips Hue Lighting Strips

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Customer Review - Philips Hue Lighting Strips

Just before Christmas, the Customised Tech Team installed two Philips Hue Lighting Strips for a client. The receiver of the lights has now told us how impressed and happy she is with them.

‘I had always wanted under cabinet lights in my kitchen. As a surprise Christmas present from my husband, Philips Hue lighting strips were fitted and installed by Customised who are based in Loddon. They are absolutely amazing, theres so many things I can do with a menu programme via the Philips Hue App on my mobile. The brightness can be adjusted and so many colours can be selected to suit any mood, from romantic dinners to family get togethers. They make the kitchen look so much more cosier on a dark, cold morning and night. Just to be able to walk into my kitchen and ask Alexa to turn on my kitchen lights is so cool!

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The lights can also be controlled by remote control which makes things even more easier and convenient as well. As I said before, they were a surprise present and were installed a few days before Christmas. They were so discreetly and professionally done I had no idea they were there, there was no mess, no wires or anything to indicate they had been fitted. The overall quality of the lights is incredible and the brightness and intensity of the thousands of colours is just phenomenal.

I would highly recommend any smart home gadget which is provided and fully installed by Customised, which in the long term, can save you time and energy. We are now thinking of other cost effective smart gadgets to have installed.’

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Customised Tech Team Gadget Blog - Lenovo Smart Clock #CES2019 #Gadgets

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Customised Tech Team Gadget Blog - Lenovo Smart Clock #CES2019 #Gadgets

The Customised Tech Team have picked out another tech gadget which they believe can go on and be a success in any smart home. Once again, it’s a product that has been on show at CES 2019 and it’s certainly caught our eye.

Introducing the Lenovo Smart Alarm Clock with Google Assistant - This smart clock has a 4” touchscreen, which can show you information relevant to your day. You can set alarms, check your calendar, check the weather and even check traffic on the route you take for work by swiping across on the display. You can use it to watch live feed from a Google compatible smart camera like the Nest Cam too, it also has the ability to play music. The Lenovo Smart Clock is designed to show you the information you need when you're going to sleep or waking up, so don’t be disappointed when you can’t watch videos or play games!

Another great feature that the Smart Clock has, is a touch sensor that allows you to tap it when it's time to wake up. You can hit the top once to snooze your alarm or twice to turn it off completely. In addition to this, when you dismiss the alarm, it can trigger your "Good Morning" routine through Google Assistant and turn on your lights, tell you about your day and play the news.

Thanks to Google Assistant, it doesn't lack other features. In fact, it will respond to all of the same voice commands you give to a Google Home or a Google Home Mini. As well as playing music and controlling smart home devices, you can also search the web and even group your Smart Clock with other Google smart speakers for synced playback.

This Smart Clock is smaller than most smart home displays and is designed specifically to fit nicely on your bedside table. Okay, it might not have as many features as the Google Home Hub but does it need them? Not in my opinion. it’s great for what it is and has all of the important information available for an alarm clock. It’s a simple but effective gadget with a nice fabric base, volume buttons and a USB port on the back for charging your smart devices whilst you sleep.

Release Date: Spring 2019. It will be priced at around £60 ($80).

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