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NC #666 HomePod Surprises, Fortem Radar, OWC Thunderbolt 3, Guardzilla Security Cam, Belkin Valet, Nite Ize

The show isn’t too long this week, but it’s action packed. We’ll start with a conversation about what surprised Steve and me about HomePod. Then we’ve got Steve in front of the microphone (and camera) with an interview from CES with Fortem about their Drone Killing radar. I’ve got an interview with OWC at CES about their wicked fast Thunderbolt 3 Storage and their docks. Then I’ll tell you about how we finally broke down and installed a smart lock – the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect. Back to CES and we’ll talk to Guardzilla with their 360 security camera. We’ll wind up the show with a review of the Belkin Valet Power Pack that charges both your iPhone and your Apple Watch with a built-in Apple Watch charger puck.

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August Smart Lock Pro + Connect

August Smart Lock and ConnectSteve and I have been moving very cautiously into having a smart home. We started with a smart smoke detector with the Nest, then a couple of Hue lightbulbs came on the scene. We added a couple of Wemo switches somewhere along the line, and eventually a couple of security cameras, as I’ve told you about before. The one thing that really gave us pause was the idea of a smart door lock.

But then I heard about how people can take a photo of a physical key and create a duplicate physical key. Heck, there are even apps for that! So, we’re not necessarily more secure with physical keys.

But then I started talking to that crazy Joe Dugandzic of Smarter Home Life, and he talked about his cool August Smart Lock. I was jealous, but I still didn’t jump. Then I listened to a podcast (and I wish for the life of me I could remember which one) where they talked about someone testing a whole pile of smart locks and determining which had good security models. The August Smart Lock was on the good list. Additionally, the August Smart Lock is HomeKit-compatible. It isn’t the only smart lock that’s HomeKit compatible, but that definitely played into our decision. If you’re a fan of Alexa, she can play with the August devices as well.

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What’s Unexpected about HomePod?

By now you’re either sick of hearing about HomePod, or you’re so curious about it you’re paying attention to this. I thought it might be fun to talk about what has surprised Steve and me about HomePod.

I’ve read the reviews, I’ve heard the hype, and I’ve heard the naysayers. I would suggest to you that you think about HomePod as a speaker. A really awesome speaker that has great sound. And it also comes with a frequently recalcitrant, always myopic, and slightly dimwitted assistant. How about we avoid the word “smart” altogether?

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CES 2018: Nite Ize Cordcollar & Steelie Mobile Mount

Allison interviews Jan Greenspan from Nite Ize about a couple of their new products: the Cordcollar and the Steelie Mount System. The Cordcollar is a durable cover to reinforce cable ends where they bend the most to help prevent fraying while providing color coding to help distinguish similar cords and cables. The Steelie Ecosystem is a family of products that make it easy to mount and view your mobile device just about anywhere. Featuring magnetic mounting technology, this two-part ball and socket system creates a hands-free viewing platform with continuously adjustable viewing angles in your car, at home, and on the go. The setting is Pepcom at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at https://www.niteize.com/

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