This Old Grid
We take electric power for granted. Our modern world would simply not run without a stable supply of electricity. But our energy infrastructure is aging, and it is not the most efficient at generating power to meet demand peaks.
Nowhere has the age of the grid been as visible as in Puerto Rico. Last year Hurricane Maria wiped out large portions of the power infrastructure, and billions of dollars of investment are needed to modernize it. The issues with restoring power everywhere on the island have been well documented and it’s an ongoing story.
The rise in the use of renewable energy, like wind and solar, are putting increased pressure on power distribution. For example, electric power generated from solar panel deployments can return their excess power to utility companies, returning it to the grid. Since 2010, more than 45,000 businesses and 600,000 homes have across the U.S. have started using photovoltaic (PV) panels to produce their own energy.
Home Automation Software is not Immune from Security and Privacy Issues
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent testimony in Congress shone a bright light on data privacy issues. In reality, the issues have been there for a long time, and while Facebook is a major player with an enormous amount of personal data, unfortunately, there’s more to worry about.
In this age of the Internet of Things (IoT), there are billions of devices connected to the Internet. Whether we realize it or not, most of them are collecting personal information and activity that ends up in the cloud. The trend to mobile apps as an interface of choice for home automation control brings our industry into this world.
Should we be worried? From a security standpoint, yes – but there are steps to take to mitigate risk. From a privacy standpoint, awareness of where your data is going and how it’s being used is an important consideration.
Let’s consider some security and privacy issues that may or may not be top of mind for you in the crush of the daily business – but that deserve your attention.
Exploring the Impact of Crestron Programming on the Home Automation Industry
The phrase “home automation” used to be synonymous with Crestron. Back in the early 2000s, if homeowners wanted the latest smart technology, the choice for automation was a no-brainer: Crestron.
There really was no other option. If you wanted an automation system, it was going to have to be custom Crestron programming from the ground up.
So what changed? Why did Crestron go from home automation’s poster boy to just one of many programming systems for smart homes?
It’s a complicated answer, but the shift started right around 2005-2006.
Our Firsthand Look at Crestron’s Newest Remote
Because our ADAPT software is solely dedicated to improving Crestron programming, it would be an understatement to say that we work closely with Crestron. When there’s a new product or feature on the horizon, we’re happy to test it out and provide feedback to Crestron.
It’s a mutually beneficial relationship: Crestron gets to hear about any issues before they ship devices to their integrators, and PanTech Design gets to fully integrate the updates into ADAPT so that any ADAPT dealer has access to cutting-edge Crestron features as soon as they are released.
That was definitely the case with the HR-310 remote, which Crestron sent over to the ADAPT team in December prior to the January launch.
The ADAPT team banged on the remote, so to speak, and tested it in pretty much every way possible.
Our thoughts on the new remote? The quick version is that we love it.
For a longer review, keep reading!
Buy Software Now to Save Later
Tax season is right around the corner. If you’re like most integration firms, you likely have a hefty tax bill heading your way. I’m all for giving Uncle Sam his due, but at the same time, there are definitely smart strategies out there that Crestron dealers can employ to reduce their tax burden heading into 2018.
Charitable donations, deductions for travel expenses, starting retirement plans for employees…there are a lot of useful ways to keep that tax bill low.
There’s one strategy in particular that we employ a lot because it’s beneficial both now and in the future: investing in tools, technologies, and resources for your business.