PepcomPepcom has long been one of my favorite events to attend at what used to be known as the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  This year, they have done three virtual mini shows and having attended virtually, several other shows this year, it is nice to find a format that is easy to navigate and actually speak with people about what they have.  The Pepcom Fall 2021 show had a number of things that I wasn’t looking for but found interesting and here they are!

Because I did not actually get my hands on any of these products yet, what you are going to read is a lot from their websites and news releases and I will highlight the text so you can see what came from the site.

So, what is new and interesting!

Like many people of my age, I have traveled a lot over the years taking thousands of photographs. Some were on slides to make it easy to create travelogues and shows and many were with film printed on photopaper ranging in sizes from 4 inch square to 3x5 and then up from there. I have used dedicated slide scanners, a flatbed scanner, and a dedicated small photo scanner all with an extreme wide array of success.

ff680w right photosEpson has introduced their own scanner. The Epson FastFoto FF-680W is a highy speed photo scanning system.

From Epson: More about the FastFoto FF-680W Scanner

The Wi-Fi enabled FastFoto FF-680W High-Speed Photo Scanning System is the world’s fastest personal photo scanner, scanning thousands of photos – as fast as one photo per second at 300 dpi and up to 36 photos per batch, front and back. SafeTouch technology offers worry-free scanning for a variety of media types and sizes up to 8.5-inches wide, including postcards, panoramic photos up to 36 inches and Polaroid photos. New flexible scanning modes were developed for easy sharing (300 dpi), archiving (600 dpi TIFF) and enlarging (1200 dpi), and proprietary software offers organization, restoration and scan to cloud features to share images to cloud services such as Dropbox® and Google Drive™.

Available from Epson here for $599.

 

Level lock touch v2Level is a different kind of home front door lock that can feature either a simple touch to unlock, an App, or keycard. The lock has been available since 2019 but they have refined the styles, options, and have partnered with a construction company to provide matching door handles as well.  From Level Home, Inc.  The App is pretty impressive in that besides scheduling events, you can also give a number of people a “digital key” for one time use as well. Very slick starting at $249.   Not only does it look nice, but the technology inside is impressive.

 

From Level: Built upon Level’s invisible smart bolt technology, Level Touch introduces a new era for residential locks and sets a new standard for a modern home entry experience. Its technology is thoughtfully hidden, offering smart home conveniences in an elegant and timeless lock design. With Level Touch, keys are optional - you can enter and exit in any way that is most convenient for you, with the touch of a finger, using your voice or even an included programmable keycard. All of this while maintaining the highest level of residential security of any smart lock to date.

 

ThermacellOutdoors and one of the things I love about fall weather is the lack of mosquitos!  Course, the Yellow Jackets create a different peril for us wanting to be outside but staying out in the summertime gets quite difficult and so far, have heard of at least, a million ideas, recipes, products, and hints about how to keep the pesky insects away.  So, at Pepcom comes along Thermacell.  One or multiple units working together will last over 100 hours before needing refilling. Three units covers over 900 square feet of space. A three unit starter kit is $699 and will be available spring of 2022.  And of course, there will be an App for it.

From Thermacell:  Highly effective and fast acting against mosquitoes. The advanced 5.5% metofluthrin formula provides consistent and powerful mosquito defense.

Creates a built-in, large area of mosquito protection customizable for any outdoor space. Each repeller provides a 20 ft zone of protection.

The repellent set typically lasts a season (100+ hours*). *8 hours/week for 12 weeks

An electric-powered smart hub activates your repellers. There's no batteries or fuel to replace.

Control the LIV system from anywhere using the LIV+ app. Smart features are programmable to set timers, on/off schedules and check repellent refill levels.

The repellent is invisible and scent-free. There’s no spray on skin, no flames and no mess.

Durable, all-season product components are waterproof and weatherproof.

Repels tough mosquitoes, including those that may transmit Encephalitis, Chikungunya, West Nile Virus, and Zika Virus.

 

 

Sure MV7According to a study from FutureSource, Two in Five people are content creators. While many of us do it via the keyboard and internet, many do it through the Podcast which has been around in one form or another since the 1980s. It took off after the turn of the millenia and has since then exploded on the scene. Quite often offering a live view or listen to what is going on.  Sure has been with us since 1925.  96 years ago if you can imagine the time, and they started out by selling AM radio kits and parts. They started making microphones in the 1930s and have been on a roll since. At Pepcom, they were showing off their latest MV7X Podcasting microphone.  From $249. $269 gets you a mini tripod as well. And of course, there is an App.

From Sure:  Best For: All Content Creators, especially Podcasters, Gamers, Streamers, and Musicians who already own a mic stand or boom arm.

  • Price: $249
  • The MV7 Podcast Microphone is a dynamic microphone with both USB and XLR outputs for use with computers and professional interfaces. The MV7 easily connects with a USB so users can explore additional features. With Auto Level Mode, the MV7 will adjust gain in real time to give a consistent output level, no matter if recording or streaming.

 

TP LinkI am a huge fan of Mesh Wi-Fi networks. I have had several to give a try in my home and office and several of them have ended up at my church as well.  The range and quality of the signal is far and away better than what you get with your typical provider’s modem and if you have a house with more than one floor, glass or brick walls, and more than a couple of rooms, you will know how frustrating it can be to stay connected. Even more so when you consider how many devices you have that phone home now. So, another stop at Pepcom was TP-Link.  What they were showing off was their new Deco X90 AX6600 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System.  Better range, better speeds, better connection for $499 you get two units.

From TP-Link: Deco X90 New

AX6600 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System

AX6600 Tri-Band WiFi: Boosts overall speeds up to an incredible 6600 Mbps

AI-Driven Mesh: Intelligently learns the network environment to provide ideal Wi-Fi unique to your home

Smart Antennas: Establish a stronger backhaul to boost coverage and improve wireless connections

Connect More Devices: Connect up to 200 devices without dragging down performance

Boosted Seamless Coverage: Achieve seamless whole home coverage with a clearer and stronger whole home Wi-Fi signal generated by Wi-Fi 6

TP-Link HomeShield: Keeps your home network safe with cutting-edge features for network and IoT protection

Setup Made Easier Than Ever: The Deco app walks you through setup step-by-step

 

VictrolaAs a kid, I remember taking a record player to a friend’s house for a party. A hundred years later, so it seems, you can do it again with Victrola.  But will kids these days take any better care of the records?  The Revolution GO Portable Rechargeable Record Player is $199.  Sound is built in with a Bluetooth speaker.

From Victrola: The world’s first portable, rechargeable, Bluetooth® record player

Introducing the Victrola Revolution GO, the world’s first portable, rechargeable, Bluetooth® record player. The battery-powered Revolution GO allows you to take vinyl records any place you want to listen. Tailgate party? No problem. Camping trip? Perfect. Imagine yourself anywhere – with your albums spinning by your side.

 

If you love vinyl as much as we do, you know the feeling of being in a place where you wish you could listen to your favorite vinyl, but, with no electrical outlet in sight, you simply can’t. This is no longer the case with the Victrola Revolution GO.

 

owc elektronHaving over the years helping hundreds of people with their computer problems, one of the things I constantly search for is speed in a USB connected storage drive. Remember the old 5400 RPM USB drives that would take forever to copy files from a computer to ? Yes, the USB spinning drives did get a little faster but connect one to a old slow laptop and you might as well go watch a movie while it copies files.  Solid State drives and USB2 made quite a leap forward but copy that Windows 10 Home 4 gigabyte file and you can still go watch a movie. So, when OWC introduced their Envoy Pro Elektron, all I could say was about time! Besides Wow! We are talking serious USB 3.2 C Speed. And rather than a typical SSD Flash drive, they have included an NVMe M2. 2242SSD.  The 1 TB unit is $229.

 

From OWC:  USB-C 3.2 10Gb/s Portable Storage Solution

Envoy Pro Elektron is the fastest, toughest mini-sized SSD in the universe. It’s crushproof, dustproof and waterproof for transferring gigabytes of data in seconds anywhere with your Macs, PCs, iPads, Chromebooks, and Android tablets.

 

Jabra Panacast 20Early in the pandemic, I had a number of people asking for my help in just finding a video camera to use with Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Meetings. None were to be had anywhere so digging out old cameras from the closet really showed how poor the video quality was at the time. The same was true for those built into the laptops and notebooks. For a quick and easy chat with family, the new smartphones from Apple and Samsung solved that problem but for business users, you really need a better quality camera and that is what Jabra has introduced.  The PanaCast 20 is a 13 megapixel camera that can capture up to 4K Ultra HD resolution.  How about an automatic and intelligent zoom to follow you around?  Available for $299. 

From Jabra:  PANACAST 20

Engineered for intelligent AI-enabled personal video conferencing.

Premium AI-powered 4K Ultra-› HD video quality

› AI-driven Intelligent Zoom keeps you center stage

› Intelligent Lighting Optimization for a picture perfect image, wherever you work

› Picture-in-Picture for even more impactful presentations

› Powerful on-board AI processor improves data security

› Integrated privacy cover guarantees privacy when you need it

› Built for flexible working. Clips to any monitor. Comes with protective case

› Truly plug-and-play. Works seamlessly with all leading UC platforms

 

Fidelio l3 hero imageThis next company I nearly skipped entirely. I mean, I have seen what Philips has in the way of electric lights, switches, smartlights, home healthcare, and so on and as I had finally converted all of the old CFC light bulbs to LED, thought why bother. But I took a look anyways and boy was I surprised.  They have moved into soundbars, headphones, and other home audio products.  What I can’t wait to get my hands on is the Fidelio L3 Headphones. Noise cancellation and comfort are my goals.  It will be available soon for $349.

From Philips:  The EISA award-winning Fidelio L3 headphones offer a unique combination of superb audio performance, excellent passive-noise-isolation, exceptional active-noise-cancellation and the ultimate luxurious build and finish.

The Philips Fidelio L3 has a four-mic hybrid ANC system, offering the maximum level of noise cancellation without changing the timing or musicality of the headphone’s playback – which remains the same whether the system is on or off.

Additional key features include Bluetooth 5.0 technology, touch controls with swipe, tap and press action and push-to-talk facility that allows hands-free, voice assistance via Google Assistant compatibility. Additionally, the Fidelio L3 has a long battery life with 35 hours playtime (30 hours with ANC continually on) and an outer metal headband wrapped in Muirhead sustainable leather for comfort and luxury.

 

Robert Sanborn
October 2021