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February 2020 • Volume 35 • Issue 2

The TWICE Picks Award Winners For CES 2020 12 Weirdest Gadgets We Saw At CES RCA: Celebrating 100 Years


4 Inbox

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

TWICE Picks Award Winners for CES 2020

Grant Morgan, Senior Editor grant.morgan@futurenet.com @GrantMorgan77

EDITOR’S NOTE

Dear Headphones, Be My Valentine...

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ebruary is already here, CES and all its excitement is behind us and the CE industry is off to a great start for 2020. One of the most exciting parts of being an editor for a CE publication is all the great audio equipment I get to research, test and share with our TWICE readers. This month, we’ve curated some top articles from our experts at What HiFi? and Tom’s Guide to give you some budget and premium alternatives to Apple’s AirPods, along with some reviews and previews of the hottest headphones on the horizon. Be sure to peruse our TWICE Picks Awards winners in this issue for a look at the fresh CES 2020 models.

bought ones just like them, as it was all I knew and could afford. Fast forward 30+ years. I wouldn’t be caught dead with those terrible headphones! There are so many options now to deliver quality sound to our ears, including truly wireless, over-ear and on-ear headphones. You can get a cheap pair of earbuds for under ten dollars, or pay hundreds (or thousands) to experience some of the best sound in your life. Whether you listen to rock, Top 40, classical, country, R&B or audiobooks and podcasts, having top quality headphones will change your life. I never thought that truly wireless headphones

“Headphones are a way of life, a fashion statement, a portal to escape the world around us at home, in our vehicles or on the long commute.” Headphones are a way of life, a fashion statement, a portal to escape the world around us at home, in our vehicles or on the long commute. When I was nine, I used all my birthday and Christmas money to buy my first knockoff walkman, complete with terrible on-ear headphones that bled sound faster than an aquarium with a hole in the bottom. And I loved them. Finally, I had control over what I listened to! When those cheap plastic headphones with the metal headband started to crackle and die I

would ever be my go-to over my over-ear noise cancelling cans of choice. But, after reviewing and testing multiple sets in 2019, I wonder why I didn’t try them sooner. I recommend you give them a try if you haven’t already, and our audio experts at Tom’s Guide and What HiFi? can point you in the right direction if you need help deciding where to begin. Chocolate for Valentine’s? I’d rather have a dreamy set of headphones from Cupid, thank you very much. That’s real love.

CES 2020 has come and gone, and as we reflect on the products seen and lessons learned, the staff at TWICE has named their Picks Awards winners for CES 2020. Only products that were submitted into the awards program were eligible to win, and were judged based on their potential impact to the consumer electronic industry. More information about this year’s winners can be found at: https://bit.ly/36TvVIT

Announcing the Winners Of the TWICE VIP Awards

VIP

AWARD We would like to extend our congratulations to this year’s winners of the TWICE VIP Awards! This year saw a wide gamut of products ranging from folding laptops to the latest TVs to outdoor grills. The response to the 6th Annual TWICE VIP Awards was spectacular, with nearly 90 entries across 30 categories to vote on. A special congratulation goes out to Samsung, which once again took home the Super VIP Award thanks to its ability to lock down five wins.

UPCOMING EVENTS PrimeTime (Nationwide Marketing Group) Feb. 9-12, 2020 Houston, TX The Summit 2020 (BrandSource) March 8-11, 2020 Las Vegas, NV

Azione Spring Conference March 18-20, 2020 Bonita Springs, FL CTA CEO Summit June 22-25, 2020 Stockholm, Sweden

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6 Perspective

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

3 Biggest TV Trends For 2020: Read This Before You Buy The hottest TVs of 2020 are coming soon, but is it worth waiting to buy a new TV? By Brian Westover

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fter a week of going hands on with new TVs at CES, we’ve gotten a pretty good look at all of the major new models, technologies and features coming to televisions in 2020. It will be a few months yet before any of these new models are available to buy, but if you’re starting to look at a new TV, it’s always worth paying attention to what could land on our best TV list. We did see some exciting things in the TV space while we were in Las Vegas, but whether or not it’s worth waiting to buy one of these new TVs is another question. While many of the trends we predicted have come to fruition, we were surprised that most of the hot technologies and new capabilities were being debuted on 8K TVs. Current 4K sets are getting only incremental updates, like improved smart TV software and a couple of funky new form factors. IMAGE CREDIT: FUTURE

brands is refreshing, and should open up the market to new leaders and lower prices. LG and Sony are still in the OLED game, however, and they’re both offering some impressive models that leverage their experience in making top-notch OLED sets. LG has announced the new Gallery Series, which packs a complete OLED TV, including the sound system and components, nto a super-slim 20-millimeter-thick package that can be hung flat on the wall. Sony’s own OLEDs are getting a 2020 update with the Bravia A8H, which boasts an improved version of Acoustic Surface Audio, Sony’s sound-from-screen technology. With all of these OLED TVs on the market, we can safely predict two things: 2020 will deliver the best OLED TVs yet, with even better picture quality and sound than we’ve seen in years past. But it’s also very likely that this will be the year of the affordable OLED. While prices will stay in the premium range when products launch, it’s entirely possible that we’ll see prices dip below $1,000 during big sales like Amazon Prime Day or Black Friday later this year.

8K TVS: ARE YOU STILL THROWING YOUR MONEY AWAY? OLED TVS: FINALLY, SOME COMPETITION OLED technology will be offered by more companies than ever before in 2020 as Vizio, Philips, Panasonic and newcomer Konka are all planning to bring new OLED models to market this year. After several years of OLED sets coming exclusively from LG or Sony (who use LG OLED panels), the introduction of any competition from other

We’ve been seeing 8K TVs at CES since 2018, but so far, we’ve been urging people to wait on buying these new sets themselves. While 8K TV still has some maturing to do, 2020 may be the first year we don’t actively discourage people from buying the new higher-resolution sets. With new models announced by LG, Samsung and Sony, along with the first 8K model from TCL, the range of 8K TVs has never been broader. The new offerings include the Samsung Q950 8K QLED, which


IMAGE CREDIT: SAMSUNG

TWICE.COM | FEBRUARY 2020

Perspective

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It will still be at least a year before we start recommending anyone buy an 8K TV, but we’ve reached the point that early adopters are no longer throwing money away by buying into 8K technology too soon. IMAGE CREDIT: AMAZON

SMART TVS THAT LISTEN: PROCEED WITH CAUTION

boasts a fancy frameless design and a new sound system that offers audio quality to match the beautiful 8K picture. Sony’s Z8H does the same, with an improved version of Sony’s Acoustic Audio+ technology that actually vibrates the frame of the TV with an embedded tweeter to produce sound. 8K TVs are coming down in price, and 2020 will be the first year that 8K content is finally available. The Tokyo Olympic Games will be broadcast in 8K – at least for some events – thanks to a partnership between LG and Japanese broadcaster NHK. And the upcoming Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles will both be capable of gaming in 8K. The first 8K streaming options are expected to launch this year, and Samsung is pushing a new compression technology, called AI ScaleNet, that will allow 8K video to be streamed within the same bandwidth currently used by 4K streams. IMAGE CREDIT: FUTURE

The other big trend to watch for should have you a bit more cautious, as smart TVs get the ability to listen to everything around them. The surging popularity of smart speaker technology has encouraged TV manufacturers to build the same capabilities into smart TVs. Since many smart TVs already offer voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and others built in, it’s a logical step in making voice interaction more accessible. And there will definitely be more convenience in being able to talk to your TV directly without having to speak into a microphone built into the remote control. But it does raise some questions about privacy and security. TV makers have a checkered history when it comes to tracking user data, keeping close tabs on viewing choices, app interaction and more. And this information is almost always shared with third parties, usually with advertising in mind. There’s no reason to think that manufacturers will suddenly turn away from this valuable trove of data when microphones that listen to the room are suddenly standard in many TVs. That said, every TV manufacturer we’ve spoken to has taken pains to make sure that these microphones can be disabled, and will require users to opt into their use, whether as part of the setup process for a new TV, or as a separate function to enable. Rest assured, we’ll be keeping a close eye on this development in the coming year.

UPGRADING IN 2020 The bottom line here is that, when it comes to buying a new TV in 2020, you may not want to hold off on purchasing for the latest TVs to arrive this spring. There are a few things worth waiting for if you’re in the market for specific features or capabilities, like OLED or 8K. And if you’re security-conscious, it might be a good time to pick up a top 2019 model before built-in microphones become commonplace. But when it comes to the majority of 4K smart TVs, the annual churn of new models and features may not be quite as compelling as in years past. If you’re in the market for a new TV, you’re safe to check out our best TVs of 2020 for great models you can buy now.


8 Perspective

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

Four Technology Trends For The Mobile Accessories Industry In 2020 By Chris Ahern, Chief Executive Officer at ZAGG Brands

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s we enter the new decade, this is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past year and take a moment to process the latest mobile technology developments. 2019 was a year of new technology trends promising to alter the business landscape as we know it. Not all of these trends have yet developed their full potential, however they sparked a discussion and will continue to evolve in the future. At ZAGG Brands, we have identified four major trends that, in our opinion, will take off and drive the market in 2020 as mobile devices continue to evolve.

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Power, power, power Whether we are talking about smart cities, 5G, Wi-Fi 6, video streaming, e-sports or cashless payments – all trends depend heavily on mobile devices having the battery power to ensure they work efficiently. For wireless charging, we expect faster charging with speeds well over 10W, even up to 20W. Faster power means devices can be recharged quicker. In terms of charging pads, we can also expect wireless connections over a broader range of space around the center point of charging pads. This “positional freedom” means users will have the ability to drop the device anywhere on a charging pad. Potentially, we will also see pads big enough to charge multiple devices with positional freedom. This development will revolutionize the user experience. Furthermore, wireless charging will be integrated into more devices than just mobile phones – tablets, laptops, and even electric vehicles eventually. As part of the

natural product lifecycle, wireless charging will become more of a reality as people look to replace devices that require wired charging today. Wired charging is another area where we can soon expect higher speeds and more capable charging technologies like power delivery (PD). In recent years, USB charging speeds were limited to 5W, whereas now, device makers sell 18W chargers. This trend of advanced power delivery will continue in 2020 with research and development in several areas, including Gallium Nitride (GaN), USB-PD, Quick Charge 4.0/5.0, advances in wireless power delivery, and alternative battery and power storage technologies.

“As 5G becomes more ubiquitous with time, people will move away from traditional routers and Wi-Fi access points and rely solely on 5G connectivity for internet connection.”

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5G Proclaimed as the biggest trend in 2020, we anticipate gradual 5G growth in contrast to the massive growth some have predicted. We expect 5G to be introduced in high population areas first, where demand is high, as well as key urban centers. Acquiring the spectrum and building out the requisite technology networks will be a costly and lengthy process for carriers. This means the speed of growth will be gradual, and we believe it is most likely to mirror what we saw during the transition from

landlines to wireless. As 5G becomes more ubiquitous with time, people will move away from traditional routers and Wi-Fi access points and rely solely on 5G connectivity for internet connection. As 5G will offer faster streaming and video delivery services for media such as Netflix, the reliance on and attachment to mobile devices will only increase accordingly. Device protection and power solutions will, as such, become a necessity, and we expect to see stronger demand for these products in 2020.

3

Second-hand market As mobile devices get more innovative and technologically advanced, it is inevitable that the associated price for new devices grows as well. Today’s smartphone user is opting for more affordability as evidenced by slowing handset sales during 2H 2019. Although this shift in consumer appetites has led mobile phone manufacturers to strengthen their entrylevel and mid-tier portfolios, we can expect the second-hand market to strengthen next year as people seek more affordability in refurbished devices. Persistence Marketing Research’s recent report estimates the global refurbished and used mobile phone market will expand by 8.9 percent CAGR by 2025, reaching $39 billion, up from $20 billion in 2017. Another motivation for customers to buy second-hand is the desire to create less waste and incorporate sustainability into their everyday life.

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Sustainability

Sustainability is a key global trend impacting businesses and people in their everyday life. The growing public awareness about issues such as plastic pollution has created a lasting momentum, which is driving companies to rethink how they are doing business and how they can make the transition to a sustainable society and economy. In 2020, we expect this trend to grow with an increasing number of customers making environmentally conscious purchasing decisions. This will have a transformational impact on every aspect of business, from a company’s supply chain operations, to its employee practices and the physical workspace itself.


Perspective

TWICE.COM | FEBRUARY 2020

PHOTO: DENNIS FISCHER PHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES

Is Wireless Home Theater Right For You?

By Rob Jones, CTO Enclave Audio

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hen it comes to setting up a dynamic at-home entertainment experience, it’s not the visual performance of your system but the audio performance that is going to have the greatest impact on your favorite content. While striking visuals are a component of a complete system, it is audio atmospherics that brings content to life and makes the viewer feel like they are truly immersed into their favorite movies, games, television shows and music. Unfortunately, while most homeowners are onboard with the concept of home theater and enhancing their at-home experience, most sacrifice the quality of true surround sound for the convenience of a soundbar.

Presently, the term “home theater” conjures up thoughts of heavy loudspeakers, hulking subwoofers, complicated AV receivers with more connection options than the telephone switch boards of old and a feeling of dread associated with running (and concealing) speaker wire all over the room just to get a system connected. The complicated setup process associated with

home theater set up and management is one of the largest barriers to entry the market faces today and the reason why so many homeowners simply opt for a soundbar. While soundbars have their place in the world, they are simply not capable of providing the dynamic multi-channel surround sound experience that a separatesbased home theater can. With a soundbar, homeowners are only getting an algorithm designed to make their brains think that sound is coming from a place that it is not – why simulate it when you can get the real thing? What if users had access to audio systems that setup just as quickly and easily as a soundbar does, provided the same wireless audio experience as their favorite on-the-go Bluetooth speakers or headphones but with the level of quality better than a wired surround sound home theater system? In 2020, customers have access to multiple wireless home theater surround sound systems that check all the boxes above while overcoming the second hurdle to home theater adoption, affordability. Today, customers have access to more wireless home theater system options than

ever before thanks to the progression of WiSA technology, a worldwide standard for high definition, multi-channel wireless audio. The WiSA Association is made up of leading audio, CE, and manufacturing brands – including Enclave Audio – that are all working to advance the technology and provide low latency wireless audio solutions for TV, gaming, movies and music. This technology, found in speaker systems from a variety of manufacturers, removes the number one barrier to customer adoption of home theater by making complicated setup a thing of the past. Two recent examples of WiSA Certified home theater solutions now available to customers include the Enclave Audio CineHome II and the THX-Certified CineHome PRO. By leveraging the WiSA technology, these new systems are capable of supporting up to eight channels of uncompressed 24-bit, 96KHz audio with less than 1 micro-second of synchronization across speakers with under 5 milliseconds of latency. Manufacturers also have the ability to build on top of the WiSA technology to provide additional features to their consumers including auto-synchronization of speakers and even on-screen setup and calibration to help consumers overcome additional barriers to adoption. The end result? There is now an entire ecosystem of wireless home theater products available to consumers capable of providing the same impactful and dynamic performance of wired solutions of the past which setup as easily and quickly as other wireless solutions within their home. Beyond the freedom of wireless home theater sound in their living room or media room, customers can choose from systems that bring additional features into the mix and operate on dedicated wireless networks to safeguard against interference from the plethora of 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz wireless devices that exist within the home today. As more and more technology moves towards a wireless future, today, there is no reason why your home theater and entertainment system cannot be wireless and provide the same level of performance customers expect within the home. Rob Jones

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10 Perspective

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

Potential Effects Of The T-Mobile And Sprint Merger On The Wireless Industry By Jon Mikow, VP of Wireless at Fortegra

EFFECT ON REGIONAL CARRIERS

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As mentioned, the new T-Mobile and Sprint conglomerate will focus on bringing 5G to rural markets. This strategy is based on Sprint’s longstanding relationships with rural carriers. T-Mobile, on the other hand, has been historically inhospitable to rural carriers which has opponents of the merger worried. Rural carriers fear the new T-Mobile won’t cover their customers when they travel out of their local areas, requiring roaming coverage, or provide them with access to high-quality airwaves and spectrum. Additionally, many MVNOs are concerned about the effect the merger will have on their existing and future combined network resource utilization agreements. However, if T-Mobile raises rates and restricts access to coverage, this will drive their customers in these areas away from them and into the hands of competing rural carriers.

ost notably is the pending merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, the third and fourth-largest wireless carriers in the U.S respectively. This deal, which allows the carriers to compete with AT&T and Verizon (the top two carriers), is not without its detractors. Already approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Justice Department (DOJ), the merger is currently subject to an anti-trust lawsuit brought forth by a coalition of state attorneys general. The coalition believes this merger will be harmful to consumers by reducing industry competition and allowing for significant pricing increases. The likelihood of the merger eventually going through does appear to be a certainty at this point, so what will this mean for the wireless industry and the future of 5G? What impact will the newly formed T-Mobile with more than 90 million U.S. customers have?

EFFECT ON LARGER CARRIERS For the major nationwide wireless carriers, the future is all about the race to 5G supremacy. As it stands, Verizon and AT&T are larger and far better equipped to operate successful 5G networks nationwide. T-Mobile and Sprint can only hope to compete by consolidating their resources and high-band spectrum. Once they merge, their strategy appears to be investing primarily in 5G for rural broadband, aiming to service 96% of the rural U.S. by 2024. This will undoubtedly make the 5G race even more competitive among the nation-wide carriers than it already has been.

EFFECT ON CONSUMERS When it comes down to it, how this merger will affect the average consumer is the most important outcome to consider. The critics of this merger are many, including those who brought forth this antitrust lawsuit. They claim that this consolidation will result in less competition in the wireless industry bringing about higher prices and therefore less access to coverage for consumers in rural and lowincome areas as well as minority communities. T-Mobile and other advocates, however, disagree with this outlook, claiming that the merger will actually mean lower prices for customers. T-Mobile has even promised not to raise prices for existing customers for the first three years. T-Mobile is already gearing

up to bring 600 MHz spectrum, considered 5G-ready, to 300,000 square miles of new rural coverage area. This and other significant investments in rural wireless infrastructure will lead to improved coverage and scores of new jobs. Critics believe these claims are suspect and simply lip service to quell consumer concern though. So, how do we sort through this? Is the merger going to be a positive thing or will it be a detriment to the industry as a whole? There is one last thing to consider though. As has been stated previously, less competition means a smaller contingent of the market has more control to dictate product rates, normally to the detriment of consumers. But this may not be the case for the wireless industry. In their current forms, T-Mobile and Sprint don’t quite have enough market share to influence pricing compared to Verizon and AT&T. The consolidation of the 3rd and 4th largest competitors into a third major competitor may actually provide more genuine competition than there was in the past, meaning more pricing parity for the average customer. The potential for market disruption on this scale deserves to be carefully considered.

ABOUT JON MIKOW Jon Mikow is Vice President of Wireless at Fortegra where he is responsible for executing Fortegra’s sales strategy, maximizing sales opportunities, and driving revenue growth in the company’s wireless channel. A graduate of Southeast Missouri State, Jon brings nearly 20 years of retail, wireless, and finance experience to the table, his expertise serving as a valuable asset to Fortegra and the growth of its partners.


PHOTO BY INA FASSBENDER/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Amazon Success & Growing Pains For Bezos and Co.


12 Feature: Amazon

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

Amazon: Echo Devices Stream Apple Podcasts Now Over 800,000 shows available by asking Alexa to play your favorite Apple podcast. By TWICE Staff

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mazon recently announced Alexa customers in the U.S. are able to listen to more than 800,000 podcasts available through Apple Podcasts on Alexaenabled devices. Simply link your account in the Alexa app using your Apple ID, and you can seamlessly

pick up where you left off listening on the Apple Podcasts App or your Alexa device. Finding and playing Apple Podcasts uses simple Alexa commands, such as: “Alexa, play Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend on Apple Podcasts” “Alexa, play The Daily from yesterday on Apple Podcasts” “Alexa, resume playing Business Wars on

Apple Podcasts” “Alexa, fast forward 30 seconds: “Alexa, next episode” Additionally, you can set Apple Podcasts as your default podcast provider by opening the Alexa app, go to Settings, select Music & Podcasts, and link/manage new services. Then, each time you request a podcast, Alexa will prioritize playing it from Apple Podcasts if it’s available.

Malicious WhatsApp Video Reportedly Used To Infiltrate Bezos’ Smartphone By Anthony Spadafora - TechRadar

POTENTIAL BACKLASH

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The revelation that the future king of Saudi Arabia may have been personally involved in targeting the founder of Amazon could result in backlash from both Wall Street and Silicon Valley. If true, it could also undermine Mohammed bin Salman’s efforts to bring more western investors to Saudi Arabia as part of his plan to economically transform the kingdom. The examination of Bezos’ phone by digital forensic experts began after the National Enquirer published intimate details about his private life last January. The CEO’s security team then tried to uncover how his private texts were obtained by the publication. IMAGE CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM American Media Inc (AMI), which owns the National Enquirer, says that it managed to “access” his phone and gain received the information regarding Bezos’ private information about him. affair with Lauren Sanchez from her The evidence regarding the hack is also so estranged brother. However, the compelling that investigators could be investigation by Bezos’ own team found considering formally approaching Saudi with “high confidence” that the Saudis had Arabia to ask for an explanation.

mazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos reportedly had his mobile phone hacked after receiving an infected WhatsApp message sent from the personal account of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Following digital forensic analysis, it is believed that the encrypted message sent from Mohammed bin Salman’s phone number included a malicious file that was able to infiltrate Bezos’ smartphone. The analysis found it “highly probable” that the hack was triggered by an infected video file sent from the crown prince to Bezos. According to anonymous sources who spoke with The Guardian, the two were chatting over WhatsApp when the unsolicited file was sent in May of 2018. Within hours, large amounts of data were exfiltrated from Bezos’ smartphone according to a person familiar with the matter but it is still unclear as to what data was taken from the device or how it was used.


Feature: Amazon

TWICE.COM | FEBRUARY 2020

“Amazon Is Working,” Says Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass

Amazon, Apple, Google, And The Zigbee Alliance And Its Board Members Form Industry Working Group To Develop A New, Open Standard For Smart Home Device Connectivity Project Connected Home over IP Intends to Simplify Development for Device Manufacturers and Increase Compatibility for Consumers

A By TWICE Staff

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ccording to a CNBC report, the retail partnership between Amazon and Kohl’s is working, regardless of the retailer’s reported dismal holiday sales. “I get this question, ‘Is Amazon working?’” Gass said Sunday at the National Retail Federation’s annual Big Show in New York, in an interview with CNBC’s Courtney Reagan. “Amazon is working. This returns program is working. We’re seeing the traffic. We’re getting new customers.” Kohl’s same-store sales dropped 0.2 percent this past November and December, leading retail analysts to question the joint venture with Amazon. Some say it isn’t turning out to be all that Kohl’s hyped it up to be. Some say it is benefiting Amazon more than it is Kohl’s. Kohl’s is expected to report its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on March 3 and is scheduled to hold its annual investor meeting March 16.“We’re getting a younger customer,” Gass said Sunday. “And to what we expected, some of them were buying. ... You’re never going to get 100%. But some of them are buying. I’m very confident around where we’re going.”

mazon, Apple, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance, announced on December 18, 2019 a new working group that plans to develop and promote the adoption of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among smart home products, with security as a fundamental design tenet. Zigbee Alliance board member companies such as IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, Somfy, and Wulian are also on board to join the working group and contribute to the project. The goal of the Connected Home over IP project is to simplify development for manufacturers and increase compatibility for consumers. The project is built around a shared belief that smart home devices should be secure, reliable, and seamless to use. By building upon Internet Protocol (IP), the project aims to enable communication across smart home devices, mobile apps, and cloud services and to define a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification. The industry working group will take an open-source approach for the development and implementation of a new, unified connectivity protocol. The project intends to use contributions from market-tested smart home technologies from Amazon,

Apple, Google, Zigbee Alliance, and others. The decision to leverage these technologies is expected to accelerate the development of the protocol and deliver benefits to manufacturers and consumers faster. The project aims to make it easier for device manufacturers to build devices that are compatible with smart home and voice services such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and others. The planned protocol will complement existing technologies, and working group members encourage device manufacturers to continue innovating using technologies available today. Project Connected Home over IP welcomes device manufacturers, silicon providers, and other developers from across the smart home industry to participate in and contribute to the standard. If you’d like to get involved or receive updates visit connectedhomeip.com.

ABOUT THE ZIGBEE ALLIANCE The Zigbee Alliance is the foundation and future of the Internet of Things. Established in 2002, our wide-ranging global membership collaborates to create and evolve universal open standards for the products transforming the way we live, work, and play. Visit www.zigbeealliance. org for more.

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14 Feature: Amazon

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

You Might Have To Wait A Little Longer For Your Amazon Echo Auto But the Amazon Echo Clock is on sale

By David Nield - TechRadar

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ack in September, Amazon announced a huge number of new Echo products, without filling in too many details about when they would be available. It looks like the launch of one of these gadgets, the Amazon Echo Auto, has now been pushed back to 2019. While Amazon hasn’t said anything officially, the product page for the Echo Auto has scrubbed any mention of “this year” from the listing, AFTVnews notes. Interested punters can still sign up to try and nab an exclusive invitation, but now there’s no

promises as to when those invitations are actually going to go out. Another tweak to the Echo Auto description suggests only Google Maps is going to be supported at launch, with Apple Maps and Waze support following at some point later on – worth bearing in mind if you’re thinking of signing up.

ECHO IN YOUR CAR The Amazon Echo Auto is currently being promoted at a knock-down price of $24.99, with a full retail price of $49.99 (at the moment only US customers can sign up for an invite). It’s essentially like a little Echo

Dot that sits on your dashboard. By hooking up to your smartphone for connectivity, the Echo Auto can do all the usual Alexa tricks, answering questions from the web, playing music and audiobooks, and telling you about your upcoming calendar schedule. It can also work with locationbased reminders, so you get an alert to buy milk when you arrive at the grocery store. Other new Echo-enabled devices announced in September have now gone on sale, at least in the US: the Amazon Echo Wall Clock can now be yours for $29.99, keeping time automatically and making it easier to see your Alexa timers.


Feature: CES

TWICE.COM | FEBRUARY 2020

TWICE Picks Awards Winners For CES 2020 See which companies took home this year’s awards!

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ES 2020 has come and gone, and as we reflect on the products seen and lessons learned, the staff at TWICE has named their Picks Awards winners for CES 2020. Only products that were submitted into the awards program were eligible to win, and were judged based on their potential impact to the consumer electronic industry. Here are the TWICE Picks Award winners for CES 2020:

1MORE REACT TRUE WIRELESS IN-EAR HEADPHONE The React True Wireless by 1MORE offers exceptional performance and capabilities for those looking for a pair of headphones that can handle any outdoor activity with the convenience of a truly wireless design. The React TWS, a 2020 CES Innovation Honoree award winner, features a two-chip system that enables lower power consumption and enhanced efficiency while also including an independent DSP for keyword spotting (microphone always on). Users can utilize local commands like play/pause, skip, or volume without having to touch your headphones or device. These headphones also feature an IR sensor, heart rate sensor, and G-sensor, as well as the ability to use the left or right earbud individually. 1MORE’s React True Wireless Headphones deliver serious performance and functionality, perfect for those looking for a workout companion that can handle any tough condition or exercise. 1MORE TRUE WIRELESS ANC IN-EAR HEADPHONES Meet 1MORE’s newest flagship headphone, the True Wireless ANC, the first multi-driver + active noise cancelling true wireless headphone on the market and a 2020 CES Innovation Honoree award winner. Hybrid active noise cancellation with one feedforward mic and one feedback mic allows the

end user to have much more comprehensive noise cancellation through a broader range of frequencies. By using the latest Qualcomm chipset, these true wireless headphones have extremely low power consumption with Bluetooth 5 and aptX + AAC compatibility. Users can enjoy 6 hours of battery (5 with ANC on) on a full charge, and 22 hours of total battery with the included portable charging case that provides three additional full-length charges. In the case that you do happen to run out of battery, 1MORE includes a 3C battery to allow for fast charge, where users can charge for only 15 minutes to get an additional 3 hours of use. 1MORE includes both a multi-functional button at the end of each earbud along with G-Sensor (touch control) to turn ANC on/ off as well as control volume, song selection, phone calls, and voice assistance. 24 IN. 1.2 CU. FT. 950W SHARP STAINLESS STEEL IOT EASY WAVE OPEN MICROWAVE DRAWER OVEN SMD2489ES The Sharp SMD2489ES is the first, built-in Microwave Drawer™ with wifi connectivity for seamless integration with your modern, smart home. Download the Sharp Kitchen app to enable the smart features. The SMD2489ES Sharp Microwave Drawer™ features Built-In Airflow venting. Now you can choose the traditional “”proud mount”” installation or flush mounting for a streamlined finish without additional trim-kits or vent deflectors. With our Easy Wave Open feature for touchless operation, simply wave up-and-down near the motion sensor and the Microwave Drawer™ will glide open. With the touch of a button or a gentle nudge, our patented Easy Touch Automatic Drawer System smoothly closes the oven to avoid messy spills. The SMD2489ES Sharp® Microwave Drawer™ stays closed when you walk by, so children and pets won’t accidentally open it. The concealed, glass, Touch Control panel is easyto-see and operates at a convenient 45° angle, keeping

all of the controls at your fingertips when you need them, and completely out of sight when you don’t. The modern, edge-to-edge, black glass and stainless steel design with bright, LED interior lighting and stylish floor pattern compliments your kitchen and pairs beautifully with other stainless steel appliances. AB TURN 360 AB Turn 360 is the world’s first standing, 360-degree core exercise machine. Inspired by the motion of a hula-hoop, but with spring-powered resistance for a more controlled form and consistent intensity. You can use your hands and body to push and pull on the cradle to generate resistance. You can also use direct body contact with the cradle for a relaxing massage for your lower back or abs. With AB Turn 360, you will finally be able to work your crucial core muscles from a comfortable, standing position that keeps your spine within its natural range of motion. Different movements can be used to target different muscle groups. The most common motion targets the core abdominal muscles and the obliques. Tone, tighten and strengthen your abs while burning calories at the same time.”

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16 Feature: CES AEON CLR The Aeon CLR® “Ceiling Light Rejecting®” projector screen uses a multi-layer surface design that scatters “off axis” light to prevent it from washing out the image. Unlike other ALR designs, it is made for Ultra Short Throw (UST) projectors. The use of a CLR® screen with a UST projector not only rivals the visual performance of a 100” flat screen TV, it does so at a fraction of retail price for a 100” flat screen TV and is available in up to 120” sizes. The Aeon CLR® is an EDGE FREE® fixed frame screen that uses a serriform micro-structure that negates 95% of the washout effects of ambient lighting from overhead sources while negating other forms of off-axis lighting as well. This highly specialized design enables the material to provide contrast levels that are 100 times greater than that of standard matte white projection screens. Its low-profile ability to work with ultra short throw projectors makes it not only a costeffective option to a large flat panel, but a superior performance choice as well. The lightweight screen ships compact and is easy to install. It comes with a full installation kit that includes sliding wall brackets and an LED back-lighting kit.

AIRTHINGS WAVE PLUS Airthings Wave Plus is the world’s only batteryoperated smart indoor air monitor with Radon detection. The device offers users short-and longterm visibility into six critical indoor air quality factors, including sensors for three different air pollutants: radon, total volatile organic compounds (TVOC’s), and carbon dioxide (CO2), as well as temperature, humidity and air pressure. Each sensor is equipped with a built-in threshold that provides instant, color-coded readings that alert users when a level is too high or low. The Airthings Wave Plus shares data with the Airthings Dashboard, a free online platform that provides quick access to view, customize and analyze sensor data from multiple Airthings devices. It also can be paired via Bluetooth with the Airthings app, which offers users advanced analytics of their readings over days, weeks, months and years, along with detailed, personalized interpretation into the air they’re breathing. The Airthings Wave Plus is integrated with Amazon Alexa and IFTTT, and its simplistic interface, easy installation and long battery life (2-3 years) make setup and maintenance a

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

virtual non-factor. ALARM.COM SMART WATER VALVE + METER The new Smart Water Valve + Meter from Alarm.com redefines water management in the smart home or business with a combined Z-Wave water meter and automated shutoff valve. A must-have solution to help prevent costly water damage, property owners and service providers get alerts about leaks within seconds of detection. Precise Leak Detection: As part of the Building36designed complete Water Management solution, the Alarm.com Smart Water Valve + Meter offers best-inclass water metering that can detect a wide range of flow rates to help identify and prevent damage from leaks large and small. Best-In-Class Hardware: The new Smart Water Valve + Meter has an installed width under 4”, about half the size of the average unit. With a slim actuator and widely compatible design, service providers can install this product in most homes, where space around plumbing is at a premium. Connectivity: The Smart Water Valve + Meter will use Z-wave Plus technology to communicate and connect with other devices within the smart home. This device will be fully integrated into our ecosystem so users can manage the entire system remotely through one mobile app. Homeowners will have the ability to open and close the water valve, monitor water consumption, gauge water temperature and view leak notifications all through the app. The Alarm.com app also gives users the power to create scenes and set rules for their water management system to accommodate water usage habits and maximize control of their home plumbing system.” ANKER POWERCONF The PowerConf is Anker’s first entry into the portable conference speaker market. It uses Uses 6 microphones to pick up voice in 360° within an 8m range, and uses digital signal processing to reduce ambient noise. A USB port on the PowerConf helps keep your phone charged while on a call. The PowerConf also features Smart voice enhancement technology. It optimizes voice pick up based on who is speaking. A section of the light ring illuminates to indicate whose voice is being enhanced. It retails for $129.99 and is available on January 20, 2019. AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-CK3TW WIRELESS HEADPHONES The Audio-Technica ATH-CK3TW truly wireless in-ear headphones (SRP: US$119.00) features an Auto Power On/Off function that automatically turns the headphones on and connects to a paired smartphone, portable digital audio player or other compatible device when the headphones are removed from their case. The headphones will also turn off automatically when placed back in their case. The ATH-CK3TW delivers enhanced audio quality during phone calls thanks to Qualcomm cVc Clear Voice Capture that improves clarity during phone conversations. The ATH-CK3TW incorporates Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology for reliable long-

range connectivity and multi-pairing capability. The headphones are also perfect for fitness-oriented wearers thanks to its drip-proof IPX2 water resistance rating. The ATH-CK3TW offers up to six hours of battery life per charge, and the charging case provides an additional 24 hours. The headphones feature Qualcomm TrueWireless Stereo Plus, a special lowlatency function that ensures that users can stream audio with no disruption and a stable connection. The ATH-CK3TW comes with XS, S, M and L sized eartips and is available in black, white and blue.

BRILLIANT SMART DIMMER SWITCH The Brilliant Smart Dimmer Switch takes all of the design and manufacturing attributes that made the original Brilliant Smart Home Control a critical and commercial success and marries them together with a fashion-forward aesthetic at a remarkably affordable price point to create the world’s first integrated smart lighting and home control system. This enables smart lighting to be deployed throughout the entire home, with control capabilities built into the walls and accessible by touch, by voice, and remotely via app. The Brilliant Smart Dimmer Switch instantly enables you to turn regular lights into smart lights and make smart bulbs even smarter. A Brilliant Smart Dimmer Switch can be added to any room easily, replacing any standard light switch, and no new wiring required. This reduces installation complexity and makes it perfect for renovations, remodels, renters or buyers, late decision upgrades, or whole home installations. All of this is accomplished at an unprecedented price point. BRONCO LP 4-IN-1 CLASSIC-TRUCK-STYLED MUSIC CENTER Bronco LP is a complete music system: It has a 3-speed belt-drive turntable that plays every record in your collection, an AM/FM radio that tunes in all your favorite stations and an AUX input so you can hook up any other gear you’d like. Plus, with its built-in amplifier and speakers, you don’t have to fuss with wiring up anything extra—great sound is standard equipment! You can also connect a USB flash drive to record your albums and then take that flash drive to play them back through another device. The Bronco LP has that vintage Bronco styling with the classic grille look and illuminated headlights. In terms of performance, features and individual character, this system is one of a kind. While it seems like everyone else these days is looking for the soft and convenient path, Bronco LP is


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looking for people who like the unexplored trails, the adventurous route. [Bronco LP is an official Ford®licensed product.] CARTA Carta is the first digital measuring wheel to virtually map any outdoor space. Utilizing the revolutionary LetsPlott platform, winner of the Best of Innovation AR/VR in the CES 2019 Innovation Awards, Carta makes custom digital mapping easy with real-time visual references and accurate dimensional data. This ensures accurate measurements for virtually any outdoor project, including landscaping, construction, road building, accident recreation and more. The digital measuring wheel captures the path a user walks, including a full perimeter and sections within a specific area, then imports the data into the LetsPlott app where instant calculations are made. Users can take their own photos of a space, or use overhead satellite images for larger projects, to accompany the data they have captured. From there, text or video notes can be added for reference to ensure no detail is forgotten. The LetsPlott app, an integrated design center, can also calculate accurate material estimation, such as the amount of mulch for a flower bed or asphalt for a driveway. Once the design and planning are complete, Carta will help bring it to life with guidance to real world points.

audio formats and streaming from Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay 2, AAC, FLAC, WMA and Apple Lossless, and Chromecast. With Wifi, a 3.5mm Aux, RJ25 and optical inputs, it also easily supports additional audio sources. DELL XPS 13 The all new Dell XPS 13 laptop is carefully crafted with premium materials to achieve a flawless finish in durable, lightweight design. Crafted with a combination of CNC machined aluminum and insert molded carbon fiber or woven glass fiber to create the best mobile computing experience with a light weight and stiff characteristics. The new Dell XPS 13 is the smallest 13-inch laptop enabled by the first 4-sided InfinityEdge display, putting the largest possible screen in the smallest possible size. Not only is it incredibly powerful, but also 16% thinner than before, fitted with a full-sized edge to edge keyboard and has a 7% larger 16:10 display in a smaller footprint than the predecessor. Users can also experience fast and secure access with Windows Hello facial recognition or with a touch with built in fingerprint reader in the power button.

holds your phone and a car freshener cartridge, but also utilizes the airflow from your vehicle’s vent to release and disperse that fragrance around your vehicle. The Fresche Universal Mount began with our patent pending FreeFlow vent mount design that has an open circular design and an articulated swingarm. This arm lets you move your phone away from the vent in any direction, while the base remains securely anchored there. All Fresche mount models use the same replaceable air freshener cartridges that are available in a variety of scents.The Fresche Universal Vent Mount will be available in February 2020 at an MSRP of $24.99. GALAXY CHROMEBOOK Samsung Galaxy Chromebook is a premium, powerful and productive device – with an ultra-sleek design that takes the Chrome OS experience to new heights. As the world’s first AMOLED Chromebook, with 4K UHD and 400 HDR, it offers a stunning visual experience. It’s a convertible laptop with

CONCEPTD 7 EZEL The ConceptD 7 Ezel is ideal for all kinds of working scenarios – collaborating with a team, sketching with a Wacom pen, or presenting work to clients. With five ways to use the notebook, designers can leverage the one that best fits the situation - sharing, floating, stand, pad or display mode. A desktop replacement that can be taken on the road, it is ideal for creators who want to sketch, finalize and present on one device. Creators’ work will come to life in brilliant detail and clarity on the notebook’s 4K IPS display. The display also includes integrated color correction technologies and has been tested and calibrated to deliver superior fidelity in reproducing the PANTONE® Matching System (PMS) Colors. This ensures true-to-life color reproduction with a 100% Adobe® RGB color gamut and a color accuracy of Delta E. CRESCENT Crescent Smart Speaker from Cleer Audio Combines Statement-Making Design with Unparalleled Sound performance that compliments and blends into your home interior design, serving as an accent piece as well as a sound system. The sleek and considerate shape is an interior designer’s dream and makes this speaker something worth hearing and seeing. With a linear array of eight custom 40mm full-range drivers and two 3.3” subwoofers, the Crescent is emblematic of the premiere audio experience that Cleer is making their name on. Its use of Dysonics’ SoundShaping™ software marries exceptional industrial design and engineering with the latest technology for a customizable listening experience. Equipped with a Voice Assistant, the Crescent incorporates an optimized mic array with noiserejection technology for superior far-field voice recognition. The Crescent also supports Hi-Res digital

FORUM Finally, presentation screen-sharing made simple! With Forum, your laptop is turned into a presentation server broadcasting whatever is on your screen to everybody’s screen around you. Laptops, tablets, or phones – any browser-enabled device! So, everybody just uses the device they already have, no cables, dongles or even the internet needed. FREEFLOW UNIVERSAL VENT MOUNT WITH FRESCHE SCENT CARTRIDGE Scosche Industries’ new Fresche range of mounts make the most of that finite space that is a vehicle’s dashboard by fulfilling two purposes with one thoughtfully-designed product. We designed a 2-in-1 mount that not only securely

extraordinary flexibility — and with its ultra-slim bezel, screen-space is maximized. The PC’s dual cameras allow you to take highquality photos and videos that can be turned into your next big project with photo and video editing software pre-installed on every device. Combine that with its powerful 10th Generation Intel® processor, and users get a device that can handle professionallevel editing without having to lug around a heavy CPU. Additionally, Galaxy Chromebook’s built-in pen is as intuitive as an ink pen on paper that supports inspiration whenever it takes place. GO:LIVECAST LIVE STREAMING STUDIO FOR SMARTPHONES The Roland GO:LIVECAST Live Streaming Studio for

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18 Feature: CES Smartphones allows streamers to enhance and manage live content on platforms like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Twitch, Weibo, TwitCasting and more while remaining engaged with their audience. The Roland GO:LIVECAST is quick and easy to use with plug-and-play setup. Simply connect a smartphone and headphones for sound monitoring and start streaming. GO:LIVECAST improves average built-in microphone smartphone audio by giving content creators the ability to connect to other sound sources—from microphones to electronic instruments. Through the companion app, users can access a variety of video features. Even content-creators without production experience can introduce new and exciting elements to their broadcasts to elevate content. The GO:LIVECAST app allows streamers to log-in and connect to their preferred platforms and start broadcasting directly, eliminating the need for other third-party streaming software. Streamers can also simultaneously monitor comments from their viewers directly in the app while managing their stream. The Roland GO:LIVECAST Live Streaming Studio for Smartphones is available January 2020 for $249.99.” HP ELITE DRAGONFLY G2 The world’s first business convertible with 5G, the HP Elite Dragonfly G2 with built-in Tile helps you find your device near or far even when your PC is turned off. The unbelievably light premium convertible weighs less than 1kg, and its light, sturdy magnesium chassis comes in Dragonfly Blue or Natural Silver. Visuals pop with the HP Elite Dragonfly G2 UHD HDR 400 panel option and up to 1,000-nit display, and users control what they share with the world with the HP Privacy Camera, HP Sure View Gen3 integrated privacy screen and HP Sure Start, a self-healing BiOS that protects against malware, corruption and rootkits. With up to 24 hours of battery power and an Intel Core I U-Series six-core processor, this powerful laptop is ideal for collaboration, virtual or face-toface interactions. Plus, with a speaker enclosure component made with 50 percent post-consumer recycled plastic, including five percent ocean-bound plastics, users can feel good about their environmental impact. JABRA ELITE ACTIVE 75T The Jabra Elite Active 75t is enhanced for durability and optimized for workout and fitness use. The Elite Active 75t is the latest in Jabra’s awardwinning portfolio of true wireless earbuds and brings the same great calls and music expected from Jabra. The Jabra Elite Active 75t is 22 percent smaller than its predecessor, the award-winning Elite Active 65t, and features an 89 percent increase in battery life (up to 28 hours with the charging case). The earbuds are built with a durable coating for dust and sweat

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

resistance and feature an increased IP rating from IP56 (of the Elite Active 65t) to IP57, making them waterproof, including a warranty of two years. Jabra Elite Active 75t will be available late February 2020 at Amazon, Best Buy and Jabra.com, MSRP $199 USD. The earbuds will be available in six colors: Navy (February), Copper Black (Amazon exclusive, February), Titanium Black (Best Buy exclusive, February), Grey (March), Sienna (April) and Mint (April). JUMPSMART 10-IN-1 - JUMP STARTER, FLASHLIGHT, POWER BANK, & TACTICAL TOOL The JumpSmart 10-In-1 combines a 8000mAh 4-Cell Battery jump starter, 5-mode flashlight, 2-port USB power bank, audible safety alarm, mini compass, and thermometer all in one device! The JumpSmart 10-In-1 is powerful enough to jump start most cars, trucks, SUV’s, boats, motorcycles, lawn mowers, ATV’s, and more, up to 7.0L gasoline engines, or up to 4.0L diesel engines. The Smart Jumper Cables have 10 built-in safety checks with audible alarms and visual safety indicator lights to warn of any improper connection and also includes a patent-pending mini flashlight for easy viewing when connecting to a battery in the dark. With the all new JumpSmart Genie, a dead car battery can be charged from inside the vehicle through the 12V DC outlet! The flashlight has a 495ft reach and features 5-modes: high, low, S.O.S., strobe, and red flashing, perfect for any walk, camping trip, or power outage. The power bank charges your USB devices, including phones and tablets using our patented SmartSpeed™ Technology boasting a powerful 2.4A output per port. The JumpSmart 10-In-1 is there when you need it in an emergency. L’ORÉAL PERSO L’Oréal’s Perso is an AI-powered, at-home device that stands only 6.5 inches high and weighs about one pound, featuring a streamlined, four-step process to deliver on-the-spot, personalized skincare and cosmetic formulas for increasing levels of customization over time. Perso’s 3-in-1 technology uses a uniquely designed motor system located at the top of the device with the capability to compress formulas from the cartridges at the base of the machine in an upward motion to dispense on demand skincare, makeup and lipstick formulas in a way that has never been done before – allowing customers to change their preferences and products daily from the comfort of their home. LENOVO SMART FRAME Lenovo Smart Frame is a smart digital photo frame that allows users to relive memories, rediscover photos and share favorite moments. Designed for the home, the Smart Frame is a FHD 21.5-inch frame with a matte screen finish and anti-glare layer. With its color tone sensor, Smart Frame will adjust its brightness according to ambient light in the room, creating a natural viewing experience. Users can also choose from hundreds of artwork from the free app to make a statement in the home and share memories with Google Photos and more cloud platforms – all for $399.

LENOVO YOGA 5G The Yoga 5G is the world’s first laptop with 5G, featuring premium style and smart features like an IR camera that senses your presence and enables faster, more intuitive interactions. The Yoga 8 5G is designed for people on the go, who want performance and connectivity with no compromise. Thanks to a convertible build combining aluminum and magnesium, this 2-in-1 offers premium style and weighs in at an ultraportable 1.25kg. Lastly, Lenovo streamlined the edges for a comfortable hand-holding experience in all modes, as you transition from laptop to tablet and back. With 5G connectivity via Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 8cx supported by modern standby and provides up to 24 hours of battery life. For portable entertainment - 14” FHD IPS touch display & user facing speakers on either side of the keyboard for louder audio optimized with Dolby Atmos. LG 86-INCH LCD 4K TV (MODEL 86NANO85) The 86NANO85 leverages the inherent characteristics of NanoCell and FALD technology, the TV brings all forms of content to life via accurate color expression, an impressive contrast ratio and a wide viewing angle.

With support for major HDR formats (Dolby Vision, HDR 10, and HLG), the TV lets users take full advantage of the growing range of HDR content on the market. Support for the HDMI 2.1 standard means the 86NANO85 can display HDR content from external sources at 120fps. With images displayed at a much faster rate, motion is rendered far more naturally – making all on-screen content appear far more realistic. Supporting variable refresh rate (VRR), the TV also ensures a seamless sync between game input


20 Feature: CES and images rendered on screen, providing smoother visuals and giving users more responsive, immediate control of their favorite games. With AI features such as built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, users enjoy an expansive home entertainment experience with conversational voice recognition, simple control of the TV and connected devices, and access to content from numerous providers.

LG G8X THINQ WITH DUAL SCREEN Designed for ultimate multitasking, unrivaled mobile gaming, sports buffs, streaming bingers and everyone in-between, LG’s latest smartphone doubles your screen real estate, so you can freely do two things at once without toggling between apps. Featuring two immersive OLED displays, a longlasting battery, probably the best selfie camera you’ve ever used, and two cameras on the back – this phone does it all. LG GRAM 17” (MODEL 17Z90N) The latest LG gram 17 is an outstanding ultra-slim laptop that defies all logic with its large 17-inch screen and incredibly lightweight 2.98lbs form. Its WQXGA resolution and premium IPS technology offer vivid images with top-of-the-line resolution, wide viewing angles and an immersion effect like no other. Its aspect ratio of 16:10 also assures amazing user experiences. The high-capacity 80Wh battery has a life of up to 21 hours (tested with Mobile Mark 2014 standards). Equipped with the latest 10th generation Intel core processors based on a 10nm process, the new gram delivers an enhanced performance to users. Courtesy of Intel Iris Plus graphics, performance is boosted by 70 percent compared to 8th Gen CPUs, whilst its DRR4 Dual channel memory can be expanded to 24GB. Supporting Wi-Fi 6, this industry-leading laptop provides an even more convenient internet service. What’s more, this latest gram 17 features Thunderbolt 3 to enhance the high-resolution display and transmit high-capacity data much faster. Certified by U.S. Military Standard 810G, the new gram 17’s full-metal body is made with magnesium alloy which permits an incredibly lightweight body totaling 2.98lbs. LG INSTAVIEW™ REFRIGERATOR WITH CRAFT ICE LG InstaView™ Door-in-Door® Refrigerators with

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

Craft Ice bring one of the biggest beverage trends into the home, automatically making slow-melting round ice (measuring 2 inches in diameter) without the hassle of old-fashioned ice molds. Another innovative feature is the InstaView tinted glass panel in the door, which allows users to knock twice to illuminate the interior and see inside to choose their favorite grab and go foods and ingredients before opening the door. The InstaView™ Door-in-Door® Refrigerator with Craft Ice also boasts smart technology features for everyday use with the LG ThinQ™ mobile app, which allows users to manage their LG smart appliances remotely; ensuring each user will know if the door is left open, as well as allow them to start making extra ice in the event of unexpected guests. The app also sets fresh food and freezer temperatures or turns IcePlus™ on and off. For added convenience, LG smart refrigerators respond to voice commands via Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant. LG PURICARE™ MINI LG PuriCare™ Mini is a portable air purifier that works to provide clean air for every moment. Weighing only 18.7oz., LG PuriCare™ Mini is light enough to carry in one hand and can be used almost anywhere thanks to its built-in battery. Once the personal device has detected the presence of airborne contaminants, LG’s powerful DUAL Inverter motor draws in allergens and ultra-fine dust while the Twin Tornado Dual Fan sends fresh air far and wide for fast, effective coverage. Whisper quiet, operating at 30dB, LG’s purifier won’t disturb anyone, making it ideal for the office, the library, or any area where silence is preferred. Having earned various certifications for its aircleansing capabilities, including Clean Performance from Intertek and Allergen Removal Performance from British Allergy Foundation (BAF), users can trust this device will keep the air in their environment clean. Additionally, the LG PuriCare™ Mini is compatible with the Bluetooth App for convenient smart control offering automatic notifications, remote control of purifier operation (airflow intensity), filter information, real-time air quality status updates, usage history, and battery level. LG SIGNATURE OLED TV RX (MODEL 65RX) LG 65RX SIGNATURE OLED TV is based on LG’s revolutionary rollable screen technology. Its premium design allows the TV to fit seamlessly in any interior, whilst the flexibility offered by its rollable screen provides new spatial possibilities outside of wall-mounting and the traditional TV stand/shelf.

The screen automatically adjusts its size depending on the content and usage scenario, creating a truly dynamic product that represents new value and an entirely new user experience. This state-of-the-art device is intuitive to use and can raise the comfort of users through functions that prioritize relaxation. It also boasts multiple AI platforms and an advanced voice recognition service that elevates convenience and interactivity. Because its screen disappears when not in use, the TV affords users the freedom to redesign their space without having to work around an imposingly large black screen. The freedom it offers extends to where the TV is placed – in front of a window, for example – and its ability to blend into its environment when appropriate. LG SIGNATURE OLED TV RX (MODEL 65RX) LG 65RX SIGNATURE OLED TV is based on LG’s revolutionary rollable screen technology. Its premium design allows the TV to fit seamlessly in any interior, whilst the flexibility offered by its rollable screen provides new spatial possibilities outside of wall-mounting and the traditional TV stand/shelf. This cutting-edge product showcases how incredible the UHD resolution looks when paired with an LG OLED display. The screen automatically adjusts its size depending on the content and usage scenario, creating a truly dynamic product that represents new value and an entirely new user experience. This state-of-the-art device is intuitive to use and can raise the comfort of users through functions that prioritize relaxation. It also boasts multiple AI platforms and an advanced voice recognition service that elevates convenience and interactivity. Because its screen disappears when not in use, the TV affords users the freedom to redesign their space without having to work around an imposingly large black screen. The freedom it offers extends to where the TV is placed – in front of a window, for example – and its ability to blend into its environment when appropriate. LG TURBOWASH 360º WASHER AND DRYER PAIR W/ THINQ AI LG’s TurboWash™ 360º Front-Load Washer/Dryer Pair is a game changing laundry system featuring an Ultra Large-Capacity washer powered by artificial intelligence (AI), which automatically detects fabric types and sets the optimal washing cycle for the best cleaning performance. This first-of-its-kind washer/ dryer ensures faster cycles and improved cleaning – spraying the drum with 5 jet nozzles: 2 more than previous iterations. Using AI, this first-of-its-kind washer optimizes washing through intuitive features; It assesses fabric weight and softness and then implements the most appropriate washing motions and pattern. To minimize vibrations, noise, and spin time, the washer uses an advanced spinning algorithm based on load size. The washer’s Auto Detergent Dispenser system detects a load’s weight and level of soiling and automatically dispenses the proper amount of detergent. With Smart Pairing, your LG washer automatically sends the optimal dryer setting for each specific load


Feature: CES

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of laundry directly to your LG dryer for optimal results every time. The washer and dryer are Wi-Fi connected allowing the user to switch units on/off remotely as well as monitor cycle times via their smartphone or voice commands through the Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. LG ULTRAGEAR™ GAMING MONITOR (MODEL 27GN950) Video game graphics are becoming more detailed and realistic every year, and recently the boundary between gamers and online content creators has blurred with gamers expanding their portfolios beyond simply gaming by creating large followings through online videos (YouTube) and streaming (Twitch) - and vice versa. LG UltraGear 27GN950 is the latest 4K gaming monitor designed to address these new trends. The application of Oxide TFT technology permitted the thinnest bezels on the market and an extremely fast and smooth frame rate of up to 160Hz in the UHD 4K monitor market. Its DSC technology supports a UHD 4K resolution at high refresh rates of up to 160Hz from a single DisplayPort connection, without the need for chroma subsampling. Nano IPS with 1ms support not only generates premium picture quality, it also enables an almost instantaneous response time. The outstanding gaming performance and picture quality of this monitor more than meets the needs of both gamers and professionals, for a monitor that excels across all kinds of genres and applications. LG V50 THINQ 5G The LG V50ThinQ 5G, LG’s first 5G smartphone, boasts top-of-the-line multimedia capabilities in a razor-thin, lightweight device for the new 5G era. By incorporating LG’s renowned mobile capabilities into the LG V50ThinQ 5G, LG brings this groundbreaking 5G phone to the forefront of consumer tech, applying practical innovations to key elements smartphone users both need and want most. MAGICGRIP EXTENDO The Extendo mount has a telescoping arm that extends and contracts from 5.34” to 8.87” so you

determine the best length for your situation/ environment. The arm also offers a 220-degree angle adjustment providing even more customization. The charging head rotates 360-degree, so you can view your phone in either portrait or landscape, or any angle in between. The base of the Extendo attaches to any flat surface using an adhesive mounting pad and suction-cup base. The use of the mounting pad not only ensures a secure hold, but also reduces “bounce” when used in a vehicle. While the MagicGrip charges your phone wirelessly, the mount itself needs to be powered, so each one comes with a 12V vehicle power adapter and charging cable. For home use, we recommend an 18W USB-C Power Delivery home charger. The MagicGrip Extendo Wireless Charging Mount will be available June 2020 at an MSRP: of $69.99. MASTER SERIES Z9G Sony maximizes the super-large screen experience with the MASTER Series Z9G 8K HDR TV. Step into the world of 8K viewing with richer color and clarity than ever before thanks to Sony’s built in X1 Ultimate processor. Coupled with new intelligent technologies like Backlight Master Drive with full-array local dimming, and 8K X-tended Dynamic Range PRO, the Z9G’s super-large picture is matched with exceptional detail and accuracy. Additionally, the Z9G series features Acoustic Multi-Audio for accurate and faithful sound positioning and X-Motion Clarity to minimize motion blur. MOBILINE MobiLine is an innovative video caller ID app with patent-protected technology. We leverage our technology to power human connections, redefining the traditional phone call. When you add Face Value to your most important calls, you’re taking the next step in video communication. See and hear what every call is about before you answer with MobiLine! MONSTER PRISM SMART 3D LED ART PANELS Illuminate your world with color! Monster’s Prism

Smart 3D LED Art Panels lets you create customizable art on your wall. Multiple color and white light options controlled via app and with Alexa or Google Assistant. Easily design your own glowing 3D wall art with customizable arrangements and stunning, multi-zone lighting effects. A design guide is included and options for additional Prisms in an expansion pack are available. Control all Prism lights at once or change each individually to create the perfect ambiance. Options to schedule and save custom mood scenes are available as well. Enhancing your living space has never been so easy.

NIKON Z 50 MIRRORLESS CAMERA The lightweight DX-format Nikon Z 50 mirrorless camera makes it easy to take creativity further. The new Nikon Z 50 packs a robust feature set complete with a 20.9-MP CMOS sensor, 209-point Hybrid AF system, flip-down LCD touchscreen for vlogging and selfies, and 4K UHD video packed into a lightweight and portable 14-oz camera body. Equipped with the revolutionary Z mount, the Z 50 delivers incredible sharpness, contrast, focusing speed, low light performance and image quality, whether capturing high-resolution still images or 4K UHD video. The Z 50 streamlines the content creation experience with new Scene Modes which automatically adjust settings to optimize performance for beginners. The Z 50 also boasts 120p slow-motion, time-lapse and interval timer capabilities, providing users even more creative freedom with their footage. What’s more, users can instantly share what they capture through a compatible smartphone using the camera’s built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity via Nikon’s SnapBridge app. ONDA Onda is a CES 2020 Innovation Award winner in Robotics. A breakthrough for women’s health, it is the first handheld, microrobotic massager to replicate the natural “come hither” motion of fingers to deliver a vaginal orgasm. Developed by women for women with a leading university lab, Onda has six patents pending in biomimicry, micro-robotics, mixedcompliant materials, mechatronic controls, and noise cancellation. It achieves human-like biomimetic motion in a miniaturized format by translating biological movement and anatomical data into mathematical models. Onda represents the smallest size to power ratio, ensuring 60+ minutes of run time,

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22 Feature: CES and comes programmed with the highest-rated, usertested presets. Price: $TBD.

ROOMME The personalized smart home experience of the future is possible with RoomMe, the first ever Personal Location Sensor (PLS) for the smart home. Rather than relying on basic motion events that today’s motion and occupancy sensors do, RoomMe leverages the unique Bluetooth signature of a user’s smartphone to identify who that user is, what room they are in, and automatically adjust settings such as entertainment, lighting, temperature, and more to that specific user’s preferences. RoomMe is not a replacement for an existing smart home system but rather an enhancement to existing or future systems capable of adding all new levels of occupancy intelligence to the smart home. RoomMe’s API can securely integrate with most smart home systems and drivers, both DIY and professionally installed. Currently, RoomMe works with many of the most popular DIY smart home systems, including Wink and HomeKit, as well as standalone devices, such as Philips Hue, LIFX, Sensibo, Bose, Sonos, and ecobee. RoomMe also works with the most popular professionally installed smart home systems, including Control4, RTI, URC, and Elan. Intellithings plans to continue to expand the list of systems RoomMe works with to give customers even more choice when it comes to enhancing their home. SAMSUNG 8500 FRONT LOAD WASHER Samsung’s new WF8500V Front Load Washer delivers high performance, takes the guesswork out of laundry, makes the process less stressful and saves time. Its advanced Wi-Fi connectivity, smart voice control features via Galaxy mobile phones, large capacity and wide assortment of wash cycle options insures a laundry experience that’s both personalized and powerful. This washer is composed of three engineering enhancements – BoostSpray, a larger drum size, and a Swirl+Drum pattern – that shorten the wash cycle while spinning out clothes that are just as clean as a longer cycle. Smart Control monitors, controls and provides intelligent recommendations for the best possible wash depending on colors, fabric, and soil level. Voice control is available through a Galaxy mobile phone. And Samsung’s SmartThings app can

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

control the washer from anywhere. The washer can accommodate big loads of laundry in its 5.0 cu ft. capacity, one of the largest in the category. SAMSUNG AIR PURIFIER The Samsung Air Purifier AX9500 combats a prevalent but largely unseen problem in the home: impure air caused by the gases, dust, chemicals and odors inherent in everyday living. Its combination of noise-free airflow, a sophisticated filter, connected technology and flexible design make it a strong addition to any home concerned about the flow and quality of its air. The Samsung Air Purifier offers the world’s first Wind-Free air purification system, dispersing airflow through a front-facing metal panel composed of 60,000 tiny holes. The purifier delivers an air current that is under 0.15 m/s – defined as “still air” with no discernable draft by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. And unlike other purifiers, the Samsung model emits no cold air draft or noise. In addition to emitting pure air, the Air Purifier captures dust particles through a multi-step HEPA purification system. A pre-filter captures large particles like dander, pollen and dust mites. The Ultrafine Dust filter removes the finest air impurities that can damage the respiratory system at a 99.97% level of efficiency. A carbon deodorization filter reduces the number of harmful gases like formaldehyde. The Air Purifier can automatically sense the level of impurities in a room and adjust its power level accordingly. SAMSUNG AIRDRESSER The Samsung AirDresser is a big step forward in laundry and a new way to care for clothes at home. Its exterior resembles a simple, attractive wardrobe unit with a fulllength mirror on the front. But its interior includes advanced features which refresh and sanitize all types of garments. With its six clothes care cycles, AirDresser is not your typical steam closet. It isn’t just for refreshing shirts and pants between trips to the dry cleaners. The AirDresser’s specialized cycles can handle a variety of fabrics and garments that are difficult to clean in a normal washer and dryer – from leather jackets to down parkas and cashmere all with very little effort it even produces less noise and vibration than the average machine when in use. The AirDresser is not just perfect for home use. It can easily be built into hotel closets and restaurants for travelers to take advantage of or can be installed in restaurant coat check rooms to prevent food odors from seeping into clothes, providing a value-add for patrons.

SAMSUNG FAMILY HUB FOR 2020 This year, Family Hub takes another big step forward. With the Family Hub 5.0, advanced meal planning is more streamlined than ever, meaning less time preparing meals and more time enjoying them. Family connections have been expanded to include closer integration with your smartphone. Entertainment now includes not just TV, radio and the Internet, but smart phone content as well. And completely secure access to hundreds of Samsung SmartThings-compatible devices is now right at your fingertips. The LED digital screen, a highly intuitive and personalized digital bulletin board, which tracks all aspects of family life. Embedded technologies like AI and Samsung Bixby voice activation make the experience easy and enjoyable. And software updates for all Family Hub devices from 2017 onward are now available. Family Hub is the true hub of the modern home; it keeps the family connected, organized and entertained whether that is meal prep for Sunday dinner or organizing calendars for the week ahead. SAMSUNG Q950 Featuring the Next Generation Quantum Processor 8K, the Q950 improves upon last year’s Q900’s AI upscaling capabilities that automatically upscale non-8K content to pristine 8K resolution. This year’s model uses a hybrid of machine learning and deep learning to present even higher quality upscaling. The Q950 has bezels only .06 inches wide for a stunning all-screen display that lays flush against the wall. The black matrix that separates the on-screen image from the bezel is nearly invisible to further prevent distractions from the viewing experience. It also features Samsung’s Ambient Mode – including the new Wall Generation feature – to make the screen blend almost transparently into the wall behind it or become a focal point of artwork, news headlines, and more. The Q950 also offers a local dimming technology – Direct Full Array Elite – to preserve the richness of black colors and guarantees antiblooming by controlling dark areas of the screen with LEDs. Its 100% color volume and peak brightness of 4,000 nits promises pristine, lifelike images and unprecedented detail. A new Adaptive Picture feature also selectively lowers or heightens brightness in details, not the whole image, based on ambient lighting conditions. SAMSUNG T7 TOUCH PORTABLE SSD Samsung’s Portable SSD T7 Touch, an external storage drive, delivers industry-leading transfer speeds and, for the first time, a built-in fingerprint sensor for improved security. Security is paramount to


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consumers and is at the forefront of the T7 Touch. The drive introduces new fingerprint recognition technology that can recognize up to four fingerprints, so for those sharing the drive at work, the T7 Touch optimizes project collaboration while keeping files secure – users can simply and quickly access data by holding their finger over the drive’s casing and an LED light indicates if the device is locked or unlocked. Only weighing about the same as two AA batteries, the T7 Touch can hold up to two terabytes of data, so content creators and professionals with a lot of data can count on the drive’s high capacity to store and access 4K video, photographs, video games and music files. SAMSUNG THE FRAME TV Samsung is continuing to evolve The Frame TV, which has redefined the expectations surrounding TV by creating a groundbreaking platform for art and design in the home. The 2020 edition of The Frame adds new enhancements to picture quality and new customization options to further transform the look and feel of your home. Even better, The Frame will be available as small as 35 inches and as big as 75 inches – resulting in a total of six different sizes for the perfect fit in the home. The Frame’s improved sensors on the bottom of the device help to optimize the image based on ambient light conditions. New in 2020 are the beige and burgundy bezels, and with accessories like the No-Gap Wall Mount and One Invisible Connection, all eyes will be on The Frame rather than any cables. At the same time, Art Mode 3.0 offers new features to get the most out of your Frame. With auto curation, you can get personalized recommendations based on your specific tastes from the more than 1,200 artwork options available. SATISFYER CONNECT Satisfyer Connect is a brand-new high touch app that features haptic programming, motion sensing, multidevice integration and an interactive platform where distance has no bounds. Satisfyer Connect gives users the ability to create new vibration rhythms and patterns - on top of pre-existing ones.

SHURE AONIC 215 TRUE WIRELESS SOUND ISOLATING™ EARPHONE Shure’s new AONIC line includes the AONIC 215 True Wireless Sound Isolating™ Earphones, featuring tremendous sound quality in a small package with exceptional comfort and a secure fit for an uninterrupted, first-class experience. All AONIC 215 True Wireless Sound Isolating™

Earphones come packaged with the True Wireless Secure Fit Adapter. This adapter also easily transforms any Shure SE Sound Isolating Earphones into true wireless. Equipped with Environment Mode, users can personalize how much they interact with and hear immediate surroundings via Shure iOS and Android apps, free apps that enables users to customize their own sound settings. To stay true to Shure’s signature sound, the Company’s team of acoustical engineers intentionally balanced the ambient sounds and acoustics found in the AONIC line to align with the latest Bluetooth® codecs, which now accurately deliver Shure’s legendary audio quality in a wireless format.

SMART MORTISE 2+ The igloohome Smart Mortise 2+ is a premium smart lock that provides the convenience of keyless access with the comfort of security. An all-in-one solution, it grants access via high-security fingerprint sensors, PIN codes, Bluetooth keys, and RFID credentials. It works in conjunction with the igloohome app, which allows for seamless property management from anywhere in the world. The smart lock also works offline thanks to our unique AlgoPIN technology, making it easy for users to generate time-sensitive PIN codes and Bluetooth keys for guests anytime, anywhere. There’s no need for the user to be near the lock to do this for it to understand that the access created is valid. Our technology allows for the granting of access remotely (eg. when the property owner is away from their property), even though our products work offline. This is done via synchronisation and cryptography, similar to the banking token’s OTP. Family members will not be locked out of the house again should they forget to bring their keys out. Busy professionals can give one-time PIN codes to cleaners so that they can tidy up the home even when the professionals are at work. Those who are travelling can allow a friend into their homes when they are away, to feed the pet, water the plants etc. Because our products work offline, there is increased reliability against wifi disruption or hacking.

SONY MASTER SERIES A9G Sony’s flagship MASTER Series A9G BRAVIA OLED 4K HDR TV delivers unbelievable picture quality in a very slim form factor. With the built in X1 Ultimate, the A9G provides 4K HDR clarity and color approaching that of a professional-grade monitor. Along with a super wide viewing angle, precise contrast, absolute blacks, the Pixel Contrast Booster providing more color and contrast in bright areas, Netflix Calibrated Made and IMAX Enhanced, the A9G shows images and colors as they truly are, and as the creator intended. Additionally, Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology creates sound from the entire screen, providing pictures and sound in perfect harmony.

SOUNDCORE FLARE 2 The Soundcore Flare 2 is a Bluetooth speaker featuring Dual 10W 1.75-inch drivers and dual passive radiators. It runs for 12-Hours via a 5,200mAh battery, and feature two beat-driven light rings on either side of the speaker. Up to 10 Flare 2 speakers can be linked together via wireless for a synchronized light show and a louder performance. The Soundcore Flare 2 will be available mid-late January, 2020 for $79.99. SWANN SECURITY TRACKER CAMERA The Swann Security Tracker Camera is the world’s first compact, non-mechanical pan-tilt security camera that includes Direction Detection. This technology uses Swann’s innovative Light Flow Detection to automatically track moving objects without physically having to pan or tilt. The camera outputs a split-screen view with an image on the top that’s 180 degrees wide, while a second zoomed-in image on the bottom follows the motion happening in the image on the top. The camera can be used indoors and comes standard with free recording to a 32GB MicroSD card.

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All of Swann’s wireless cameras are part of a complete security ecosystem built around the ‘Swann Security’ app. This gives you a unique ability to control wired and wireless devices from multiple sites, stream live video, receive notifications and know what’s happening at all times. With the Tracker Camera and the Swann Security app, you will enjoy complete security made smarter.

and scooter-commuter-pros alike. Unagi’s 26 lb. weight and patented stainless steel hinge system makes it ultra-portable. In addition, the brakes are completely electronic with a rear spoiler brake for SF-style hills and precision breaking, unlike some other scooters that also include manual hand brakes or disc brakes.

THE ATMŌS The Atmōs is a direct response to air pollution, a global problem that kills over 7m people annually-more than cigarette smoking! The problem worsens each day and a better solution is desperately needed. Aō Air’s patented “no seal” solution has been independently validated to provide up to 50x better protection from air pollution than leading products on the market today. The PostivAir™ systems provide clean, cool air for every breath. Aō Air is the first filtration product to inform users when they need protection, when they are protected, and what is in the air around them. Aō Air’s revolutionary design was recognized by Fast Company’s 2019 Innovation by Design awards.

VENUS SMART MAKEUP MIRROR WITH ALEXA BUILT-IN Venus is a brand new innovative Device as “MultiFunctional” Smart Makeup Mirror with 7” Touchscreen LCD with Alexa built-in(Smart Display Speaker),Camera with Built-in shutter, equipped with 360 degree omni-directional Sound Speakers, Bluetooth/Wi-fi, two microphones and Table Mood Lamp, LED Ring Lights for Makeup, High definition Mirror,Anti-Finger print & Tempered Mirror, integrated Skin Diagnostic, AR Makeup, etc.

UNAGI E500 SCOOTER The Unagi Model One E500 Dual Motor Scooter defies personal transportation expectations by delivering the lightest, most powerful premium scooter available today. Its innovative design and materials give riders the best looking and highest performing personal scooter with a unique blend of style, performance and function will get people where they’re going easily. At only 26 lbs with a one-of-akind patented stainless steel hinge system, its performance-plus-portability is unmatched. The pricing for the E5000, despite the battery and motor upgrades, will remain the same as the E450, to pass economies of scale back to the consumer. Powerful dual motors (250-watt at front and rear) deliver a top speed of 17 mph, and with 32 newton meters of torque to easily tackle hills with 15-degree inclines. Three drive modes (Beginner: first gear 9-11 mph; Advanced: second gear 13-15 mph; Professional: third gear, 15-17 mph) make it appealing to beginners

ZENBEATS APP Roland’s Zenbeats App is an intuitive and inspiring music creation app that runs cross-platform and is free to access on Android, ChromeOS, iOS, Windows, and macOS devices, allowing anyone to be creative— anytime, anywhere. The acquisition of Open Labs’ award-winning Stagelight app serves as the foundation for Roland Zenbeats, highlighting Roland’s ongoing investment in empowering artists, bringing the joy of creative experiences to everyone. With the latest update - Zenbeats 1.1 adds multitimbral subtrack support as well as support for the Roland A-88MKII MIDI 2.0 Keyboard Controller. Everyone from beginners to beatmakers and electronic musicians can create, share, and collaborate on songs with their friends using Roland Zenbeats, and the app is designed for all screen types, from mobile devices to notebooks and desktops. Kids, teens, and adults can easily begin making beats and entire songs with Zenbeats’ interactive and fun built-in lessons, while more experienced creators will enjoy exploring the app’s expansive composition, collaboration, and production features. Pricing options for Zenbeats include Free, Unlock, and Ultimate.


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The 12 Weirdest Gadgets Of CES 2020 From toilet-paper-fetching robots to a superpowered cyborg suit, these are the weirdest and wackiest gadgets we had the honor of discovering during CES 2020. IMAGE CREDIT: FASTEESH

By Kate Kozuch - Tom’s Guide

W

e saw a slew of cutting-edge technology at CES 2020. Alienware’s Concept UFO, OnePlus’s Concept One and Impossible Pork are just a few of the best products unveiled at this year’s show. But of the thousands of smart home gadgets, robotic mechanisms, computers and sex toys on display, some tech proved... weirder than others. From toilet-paper-fetching robots to a superpowered cyborg suit, these are the weirdest and wackiest gadgets we had the honor of discovering during CES 2020.

CHARMIN ROLLBOT

SAMSUNG BOT CHEF

Charmin’s RollBot never wants you to struggle for more toilet paper when none is within arm’s reach. Controlled via Bluetooth, this vehicle for your TP makes it easier to get a fresh roll once you’ve run out. You essentially beckon it to your throne at your most desperate times of need. There’s no word on when this bizarre little bot will roll into stores, but cheers to a finally seeing device dedicated to unexpected nature calls. Said no one ever.

Imagine having an extra pair of hands in the kitchen. Except they’re attached to a set of robot arms stationed beneath a kitchen cabinet. As weird as such an assistant might look, Samsung’s chopping and coffeemaking Bot Chef could very well be a glimpse into our future robot-assisted kitchens. Samsung didn’t announce price or availability, but we’re guessing If you can afford the Bot Chef, you’d probably be able to afford a real one.

Y-BRUSH Two-minute teeth cleaning is such a drag, amirite? FasTeesH’s Y-Brush wants to save you time with its wacky sonic toothbrush that promises a full polish in just 10 seconds. That’s because the mouthguard-looking gadget’s 96 bristle clusters can clean half your mouth at once. Y-Brush is one of few CES products you’re already able to buy, but

IMAGE CREDIT: CHARMIN

IMAGE CREDIT: FUTURE


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TWICE.COM | FEBRUARY 2020

IMAGE CREDIT: PRINKER

went hands on with S-Pod and thought it was an absolute thrill to ride. Unfortunately, we don’t have a price or release date, but this definitely won’t be cheap. IMAGE CREDIT: SAMSUNG

IMAGE CREDIT: MODOBAG

we’d definitely consult with a dentist before investing in this $125 system.

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gadget’s FDA-compliant cosmetic ink lasts 1-3 days and washes off with soap. Using the Prinker companion app, you can choose from preloaded designs or create your own. Pass the applicator over your skin and voila: you’re tatted. Prinker S costs $269 and is listed on Amazon.

MODOBAG IMAGE CREDIT: ATMOS

If you regularly find yourself late for flights and running through the airport, Modobag might be your new best friend. When flipped on its side, the motorized suitcase transforms into a speedy mini-scooter. We think squatting a foot off the floor makes the rider look ridiculous, but CES-goers loved taking it for a spin on the show floor. They probably didn’t like the $1,495 price as much.

ATMOS FACEWEAR

Samsung’s Selfie Type turns any surface into a smartphone keyboard. Using the Galaxy’s selfie camera plus AI to track your hands, Selfie Type lets you tap on an invisible, full size keyboard as if a real one were there. It sounded like a gimmick at first, but at CES it seemed the tech actually works. We don’t expect to see this pop up in the next Samsung phone, but there’s no reason to think it’s far off. IMAGE CREDIT: KOHLER

IMAGE CREDIT: SAMSUNG

Atmos Facewear is a ridiculous looking facemask that feeds clean air into your mouth and nose. Though the clear contraption doesn’t seal to your face, the company says its one way outflow prevents polluted, outside air from being inhaled. We fear a future where Atmos is required, both because of its distracting design and intended purpose.

SAMSUNG SELFIE TYPE

SEGWAY S-POD SAMSUNG BALLIE

PRINKER S The Prinker S temporary tattoo printer is perfect for people who want quick ink without the commitment. The handheld

KOHLER MOXIE At last year’s CES, Kohler’s Alexa-enabled toilet swept the title for weirdest tech. This year the company returned with Moxie, the IMAGE CREDIT: TOM’S GUIDE

Samsung seems to think we’re ready for an AI croquet ball to pester us around the home. It says Ballie the robot is able to know you, support you and take care of you, which isn’t at all creepy. Ballie can also control your connected smart home devices, remind you to exercise and offer companionship. Again, definitely not creepy. It’s unclear what more Samsung has planned for Ballie, including what one will cost and when it will be available.

Segway showed up to CES this year with the wildest wheelchair we’ve ever seen. The S-Pod self-balancing vehicle looks like it came straight out of Wall-E. It travels up to 24 miles per hour and is designed for enclosed spaces like airports and malls. We


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IMAGE CREDIT: TOM’S GUIDE

smart speaker shower head. And while it’s not quite as captivating as a talking throne, Moxie makes a capable shower DJ. That is, if you’re comfortable having microphones in the stall with you. Can we collectively agree that not everything needs to have Alexa?

are going to think you’re cosplaying as Cyborg from the Justice League. Well, let’s just see if they keep saying such rude things when you’re using your robot arms to fling those pathetic meat sacks in the air like you’d toss a pizza pie.

ORIGIN BIG O

GUARDIAN XO EXOSKELETON

The Origin Big O is so wacky that it actually started as a joke -- Origin simply wanted to prove that it could cram a PS4, an Xbox One and a Nintendo Switch into a gaming PC and show it off to the world. But customers demanded that it became a real thing, and Origin delivered. The consumer version of the Big O

Let us stipulate that Guardian XO exoskeleton from Sarcos is both practical and cool. Strapping on a full body suit that lets you lift 200 pounds like you were a circus strongman? Sign us up for that. But let us also stipulate that if put on that exoskeleton, people

is a bit more practical (you get either an Xbox One or PS4 built into your PC for $2,500), but it’s still delightfully ridiculous. Still, despite how over-the-top the Big O is in, it actually provides some practical benefits for gamers who stream from their console or simply want to save space in their gaming nook.

IMAGE CREDIT: SARCOS

Excerpt: Beauty Gets A High Tech Facelift At CES 2020 Health & Beauty were just one of the new categories introduced at CES 2020 By Robin Raskin

C

ES has long been a showcase for new innovation. This year saw over 3,000 new product launches including everything from self-driving cars to robots and big-screen TVs. It will also be remembered as the year that CES got a little more beautiful as dozens of companies showcased new products focused on combining technology with new ways to enhance skincare, makeup, hair, and wellness.

3D PRINTING MEETS THE FACE One of the most radical products showcased was Opte, from Proctor and Gamble. Think of Opte as a handheld 3D printer for your skin.

As you pass the Opte device over your skin its built-in camera scans for age spots, dark spots, red spots, and other pigmentation issues. Next, it dispenses a fine mist of makeup that matches your skin tone, covering the discolorations. The effect is to camouflage the imperfections without coating your entire face with layers of foundation. The unit costs $599. Makeup refills cost $100. Not an inexpensive purchase, and since it only covers pigment problems, acne and dark circles are left untouched. AmorePacific also announced a hydrogel mask pack manufactured using 3D-printing technology to fit the user’s face.

AI POWERED BEAUTY Combining mobile phone technology with

beauty know-how led to new introductions from L’Oreal, LuLu Labs, Perfect Corp, Revieve, Neutrogena and others. These products aim to provide customers with their own beauty expert by starting with a selfie of the face and adding a dose of augmented reality and artificial intelligence. L’Oreal’s Perso, to be released later this year, starts with a mobile app that uses L’Oréalowned ModiFace technology. AI is used to analyze overall skin condition including deep wrinkles, fine lines, the appearance of dark spots, and pore visibility. Next, the Breezometer adds information about geolocation. It looks at the environment: weather, temperature, pollen, UV index, and humidity. Finally, the app takes a personal inventory of the user, gathering information about their issues including fine lines, dark spots, pigmentation, pore size, radiance, and dullness. The combined data points are processed to form a personalized blend of skincare (SPF, serum, and moisturizer). The phone sends the information via a Bluetooth connection to Perso where its robotic inners mix the liquids from three cartridges and dispense the personalized skin solution. The point is pretty clear. In a world where beauty has become commoditized and products oversaturated, being able to reach your customers directly with personalized plans and recommendations works.


TWICE.COM | FEBRUARY 2020

Special Report: XX

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Headphones TWICE SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT:

New Samsung Galaxy Buds+

Top Airpod Alternatives: Lower In Price, Big In Sound Experience

PHOTO BY DANIEL TRUTA/EYEEM/GETTY IMAGES


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New Samsung Galaxy Buds+ May Have Better Battery But No Noise Cancellation

IMAGE CREDIT: SAMSUNG

Those familiar with our two-star review of the inaugural Samsung Galaxy Buds will know that Samsung has much work to do in order to truly establish itself amongst the true wireless competition. Will the rumoured new features be enough to stop us summarising that you should “steer clear” of Samsung’s truly wireless buds? We truly hope so. There’s clearly a lot to like on paper – if those sources are to be believed. As soon as we get our hands on the Galaxy Buds+ for a thorough review, we will of course give you our full-fat, unabridged appraisal. Until then, the knowledge that the Galaxy Buds+ are due for a big reveal in less than a month (alongside the Galaxy S20 smartphone and the new Galaxy Z Flip foldable smartphone) will have to suffice.

They’re arriving on 11th February By Becky Scarrott - What HiFi?

I

n the run up to Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event on 11th February, we’ve seen no shortage of leaked information on the new Galaxy S20 smartphone, but information on the second generation of its true wireless headphones has been comparatively scarce. Before Christmas we learned the next-gen Buds could arrive with a much bigger battery, suggesting that could be to power noise-cancellation. Now, however, it seems their rumoured bigger battery could simply

be to prolong the earbuds’ battery life 12 hours (no bad thing of course). As reported by SamMobile, anonymous “reliable sources” have suggested the Galaxy Buds+ won’t come with active noise cancellation – bad news for Samsung fans looking for an Apple AirPods Pro alternative. The good news? The company has apparently made improvements to the overall sound quality, while the strong design of the originals isn’t going to change much. The Galaxy Buds+ will allegedly have four microphones – double that of the originals – in the name of improved call handling, too.

Bowers & Wilkins PI3 Review Brilliant wireless buds from B&W Tested at $199 By What Hi-Fi? Staff

OUR VERDICT

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In the market for a pair of talented wireless earbuds and don’t mind a neckband design? You should definitely consider the Bowers & Wilkins PI3s

here’s arguably no tougher task in hi-fi than breaking into the headphones market. Where many manufacturers have tried and failed, Bowers & Wilkins has made a fine fist of it in recent years. Given the company’s heritage in audio and speaker design, it’s perhaps not a huge surprise, but success was never guaranteed. Much of B&W’s attention has focused on over- and on-ear models. The brand has had a number of hits, with wired and wireless models regularly achieving five stars, but its in-ears haven’t had quite the same impact –

FOR ++ Clean, detailed presentation ++ Solid, weighty and tight bass ++ Flexible design and fine build

SCORES • Sound 5 • Comfort 4 • Build 5

AGAINST -- Not IPX rated -- Lack of eartip options

IMAGE CREDIT: BOWERS & WILKINS

not least because you can count the number of models it has launched on two fingers. Could the Bowers & Wilkins PI3 help make inroads into this market?


Special Report: Headphones

TWICE.COM | FEBRUARY 2020

AirPods Pro Owners Claim Firmware Update Has Made Noise Cancellation Worse Are your wireless Apple earbuds suffering? By What Hi-Fi? Staff

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firmware update has lessened the effect of the Apple AirPods Pros’ noise cancellation, some users say. In a Reddit thread, owners are complaining that since the update, one or both earbuds fail the ear tip test that tells you whether you have a good seal. After trying different sets of ear tips, they also say the active noise cancellation (ANC) isn’t as effective as when they first bought them. “I changed the tips on mine and found a comfortable fit that definitely helped with

COMFORT At $199, B&W isn’t aiming for the budget headphones market and this is reflected in the design and finish. The PI3s use Bowers & Wilkins’ Dual Driver technology, where one driver is used for highs and mids with a separate one for bass. Each driver gets its own separate, dedicated amplifier. This makes for attractive if slightly chunkylooking earpieces. B&W has opted for a neckband design for the PI3s, rather than gone down the true wireless route. The band is comprised of

noise-cancellation, however it still cannot beat how jaw-dropping [sic] good it was when I first got them,” writes user Storm_d. “For example, the ANC right now seems to do a not half-bad job at removing the ambient sound such as air conditioners, but definitely struggles with getting rid of lesspredictable sounds like cars passing by in the distance. “It’s a similar effect to just having the AirPods Pro set to ‘off’.” Review site Rtings supports this, saying that after re-testing, it “did indeed notice a drop in noise isolation performance,

coated silicone and rubber that is soft, smooth and quite soothing to the touch. It’s flexible too, which makes it easier to fit under jackets and clothing and less prone to catching and unsettling the earbuds. The finish is something we’d normally associate with headphones aimed at gymgoers and runners, but while it feels quite grippy and the wing tips in the box help with fit, the PI3s aren’t IPX rated. However, B&W claims they are ‘resistant to light rain, splash and sweat’. Besides the Blue finish of our review sample, they’re also available in Space Grey and Gold.

BUILD The neckband has the in-line battery pack and power button on the left side, with the controls and mic on the right. On the battery pack you’ll find a micro-USB port for charging and an indicator that tells you the charging status of the headphones. The in-line controls are nice to use with decent-

IMAGE CREDIT: FUTURE

primarily in the bass range. This means that with ANC turned on, these headphones won’t do nearly as good a job blocking out the low engine rumbles of planes or buses as they did before this update.” It doesn’t appear that it’s all bad news, though, with Rtings claiming that the firmware update also results in improved frequency response and bass accuracy. Apple pulled one of the affected updates (known as 2C54) for unknown reasons, but some users are claiming that the issue started even earlier, with the 2B588 update. Apple isn’t the only company accused of worsening performance with a firmware update. Both Bose and Sony users have complained of similar problems, the latter with the Award-winning WH-1000XM3 headphones.

sized buttons including a large textured button for the main play/pause and skip track function. It’s a standard double press to skip forward and a triple press to skip backwards. Battery life is eight hours, which is good for this class. A 15 minute quick charge gets you two hours of playtime. There’s no noise-cancelling tech built into the PI3s, this is reserved for Bowers & Wilkins step-up model, the PI4 ($350). Bluetooth AptX Adaptive is supported, which should ensure higher quality audio from smartphones and tablets, and removes the potential for any lip-sync issues when it comes to watching video content.

VERDICT Apart from the limited number of eartip options, there are few downsides to the B&W PI3s. There is some cable noise to contend with, but this isn’t exactly uncommon for products of this type and we wouldn’t consider it a deal-breaker.

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32 Special Report: Headphones

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

Best Apple AirPods Budget And Premium Alternatives By What HiFi? Staff

Cambridge Audio might be better known for hi-fi electronics, but its first venture into the world of true wireless headphones has been a very successful one. The Melomania 1s come in under the price of the Apple AirPods, and although the tech isn’t quite as snazzy, the sound quality is excellent. Not only that, you get an impressive nine hours of battery life per charge which rises to 36 with the supplied carry case.

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ith great battery life, the option of a wireless charging case and hands-free “Hey Siri” functionality, you can see why the Apple AirPods are so popular. But what are the best AirPods alternatives? If you’re looking for a sportier pair, or a cheaper one, or one that takes them for sound quality, we’ve rounded up the best AirPods alternatives for every taste and budget, so you’re guaranteed to find a pair that suit. All these pairs of wireless earbuds come with a charging case for topping up battery life. They can also be used to control your smartphone or tablet through physical buttons or in some cases touch-sensitive surfaces. If you’re not blown away by the AirPods design, aren’t convinced by the latest AirPods, or just don’t use Apple devices but still like the idea of true wireless earbuds, these options are for you. cancelling. The tech works remarkably well for a pair of in-ears, isolating you from the outside world and allowing the excellent sound quality into your ears unhindered. Battery life (with Bluetooth and noisecancelling activated) is an impressive six hours per charge, with the supplied charging case bumping this to 24 hours.

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Bose SoundSport Free

Bose’s in-ears are top of the podium when it comes to sporty alternatives. Specifications

Connector: N/A | Cable length: N/A | In-line remote and mic: N/A | OS support: Android/iOS | Bluetooth: Yes | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: 5 hours (15 hours with charging case)

Reasons to Buy ++ Weighty, full-bodied sound ++ Deep, powerful bass ++ Even tonal balance

Reasons to Avoid -- Wireless connection could be better

Sony WF-1000XM3

The best AirPods alternatives out there, bar none.

These Bose in-ears sit comfortably without invading your ears and there are controls for playback and volume too. Not only that, they sound great too, delivering plenty of bang for your buck. The downside? We found they tended to drop out every now and again. The SoundSport Frees are still a great alternative to the AirPods.

Specifications Connector: n/a | Cable length: n/a | In-line remote and mic: n/a | OS support: Android/iOS | Bluetooth: Yes | Noise-cancelling: Yes | Battery life: 6 hours (24 hours with charging case)

Reasons to Buy ++ Rhythmic, entertaining sound ++ Accomplished noise-cancelling ++ Impressive battery life

Reasons to Avoid -- No volume controls -- No aptX HD support

Impressive tech, a comfortable fit, excellent battery life and awesome sound quality. These Sonys tick all those boxes and then some, making them the best AirPods alternatives on the market right now. They’re also the only true wireless in-ears we’ve seen that sport active noise-

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Cambridge Audio Melomania 1

A brilliant budget pair of AirPods alternatives.

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JBL Reflect Flow

If you’re after sporty alternatives to the AirPods, these JBL’s make a lot of sense.

Specifications

Specifications

Bluetooth: Yes | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: 9hr | Charging: Micro USB | In-line mic and controls: Yes

Connector: N/A | Cable length: N/A | In-line remote and mic: N/A | OS support: Android/iOS | Bluetooth: Yes | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: 10 hours (30 hours with charging case)

Reasons to Buy ++ Punchy, detailed sound ++ Solid Bluetooth connection ++ 9hr battery life

Reasons to Avoid -- Can be tricky getting the right fit

Reasons to Buy ++ Good detail ++ Strong bass depth ++ Long battery life


Special Report: Headphones

TWICE.COM | FEBRUARY 2020

Reasons to Avoid -- Can be beaten for dynamics -- Carrying case is a bit big

JBL’s $129 Noise-Canceling Headphones Are The Cheap Bose Alternatives You’re Looking For Noise-cancelling at a nicer cost IMAGE CREDIT: JBL

JBL is a heavy hitter when it comes to wireless sports earbuds, and given the AirPods can be hit and miss for exercise, you might want to consider the Reflect Flows. These true wireless buds are very good indeed, especially if you want a bass-heavy sound for the gym without resorting to cans. The 10-hour battery life (or 30 with the case) means you’ve no excuse to finish that 5k run or marathon for that matter.

By Kate Kozuch

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Jaybird Vista

These excellent AirPods alternatives will suit active lifestyles. Specifications

Connector: N/A | Cable length: N/A | In-line remote and mic: N/A | OS support: Android/iOS | Bluetooth: Yes | Noise-cancelling: No | Battery life: 6 hours (16 hours with charging case)

Reasons to Buy ++ Vibrant, entertaining sound ++ Hefty bass ++ Superb fit

Reasons to Avoid -- Could be more insightful

The Jaybird Vistas fit is superb, with the SportFit integrated silicone eartip and fins providing both comfort and stability. They’re also IPX7 water- and sweat-proof and even crushproof, so should be able to withstand a stampede if you happen to drop one.

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ose’s noise-cancelling cans are some of the best wireless headphones, but come at a high cost. JBL’s Tune 750BTNC, released today, offers a cheap alternative with bumping bass and active noise cancellation. Priced at $129, the 750TNCs are considerably cheaper than the $399 Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, our favorite noise-cancelling headphones. But JBL’s new pair doesn’t skimp on features: it claims to pack powerful bass and 15 hours of battery life in addition to ANC. The JBL 750TNC’s 40mm drivers should provide a deep thump, while active noise cancellation lets wearers drown out noisy surroundings. It doesn’t seem to support as many ANC levels as the Bose 700, but that’s one of Bose’s justifications for premium pricing. With the JBL 750TNCs, you’ll have handsfree access to voice assistants like Alexa,

Google Assistant and Siri. You’ll also be able to switch between Bluetooth sources with a multi-point connection. But the Tune 750BTCs only support Bluetooth 4.2, rather than the Bluetooth 5.0 standard that’s become common for new wireless headphones. Bluetooth 5.0 offers preferable transfer speeds, further pairing distances and sucks up less battery. JBL’s choice to use Bluetooth 4.2 might explain the 750TNC’s very average 15 hours of playback with noise cancellation turned on (it’s 22 hours when ANC is off). By comparison, the Bose 700 should last 20 hours with ANC on. As for the design, the Tune 750BTCs fall in step with JBL’s fun, playful aesthetic. They’re available in black, white, red and blue. Whether JBL’s cheaper take on ANC headphones will be worthwhile is to be determined. We’ll have to put the Tune 750BTCs through our tests to find out.


34 Feature: RCA

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

Celebrating 100 Years At RCA: Interview With Claire Villeneuve TWICE recently caught up with Claire Villeneuve, Head of Trademark Licensing, Technicolor to discuss the exciting 100-year anniversary of RCA. By Grant Morgan

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WICE: Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about RCA, its history and future. What an accomplishment to be around after 100 years! What are some of the biggest highlights in RCA’s history? Claire Villeneuve: To start off, David Sarnoff, founder of Radio Corporation of America in 1919,

1919

Claire Villeneuve, Head of Trademark Licensing, Technicolor

pioneer of radio and TV in the USA, introduced radio communications connecting people, cities, towns, states and countries. RCA created the first nationwide American radio network, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and pioneered the Black & White TV in 1929 and later Color TVs in 1954. Other major highlights for RCA include:

• RCA Introduced the 7-inch 45-rpm “single” record in 1949, bringing music quickly to the younger generations, • RCA opened a state-of-the-art recording studio in Nashville in 1957 to record famous artists such as Elvis Presley, • RCA launched its first communications satellite in 1958, following the first satellite launch, Sputnik, in 1957 by the Soviet Union, • RCA’s revolutionary technology the “slow-scan television cameras (SSTV)” was used to capture Neil Armstrong


Feature: RCA

TWICE.COM | FEBRUARY 2020

• RCA now has electronic products such as SmartTVs, Tablets, Headsets, mobile phones, home appliances such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, and more! TWICE: What is the global reach of RCA products today? CV: Today, RCA products are sold primarily in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Latin America and South America. Our products are rolling out in Europe and Asia now. TWICE: What is one of the highlights of the RCA centennial year celebration? CV: RCA has partnered with Pentatonix, the US iconic a-cappella band and part of RCA Records label, to celebrate our 100 years of innovation. An anniversary song to a super fan has been performed during the 2019/2020 concert tour and more magic moments to come.

landing on the moon during the APOLLO mission’s live TV broadcast in 1969, • In 1998, RCA and DIRECTV

demonstrated the first satellite transmission of High-Definition Television (HDTV) programs at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas,

TWICE: Owen D. Young was recently inducted into the Consumer Technology Association’s Hall of Fame. Are there other notable RCA alumni and their contributions you’d like to remind us about? CV: Great question! The Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame was founded by the Consumer Electronics Association (today called CTA) in 2000 and honors leaders whose creativity, persistence, determination and significant contributions helped shape the industry and made the

2019

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36 Feature: RCA consumer electronics marketplace what it is today. The first class of 50 inductees was in 2000, and David Sarnoff was one of the first 50 inductees! Each year another group of inventors, engineers, business leaders, retailers and journalists are inducted into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame and in 2019 Owen D. Young (1874-1962) joined David Sarnoff as significant technology leader of the century.

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

can’t imagine a world without access to people, places and information. Because of business leaders like David Sarnoff, whose creativity and persistence were relentless, we are connected to the world in the palm of our hands today.

David Sarnoff

TWICE: What are RCA’s highest priorities in consumer electronics right now? CV: Costs and services are big driving factors today. RCA prides itself on offering consumer electronics with enhanced features, such as Android or Roku, at affordable prices. RCA is also proud to bring families and friends together and help loved ones stay in touch. TWICE: What Was David Sarnoff’s greatest contribution to the consumer electronic industry? CV: David Sarnoff’s goal was to bring people together. David grew up in a time where news was no closer than a ride on a horse to another town or by post that could take weeks. Today, we

TWICE: What is a fact about RCA that would surprise people? CV: That RCA was one of the top suppliers of tablets in North America in 2018. TWICE: Are there any new industries we can expect to see RCA expand into in the near future? (i.e. health and wellness, wearables) CV: At RCA, we are striving to enter new businesses all the time.

Consumer Electronics is a tough and competitive business on every level. We are evaluating our opportunities and investing in new territories or products regularly. Consumer lighting, smart phones, home automation, automotive and electric mobility are hot categories today. TWICE: What do the next 100 years look like for RCA? CV: RCA will continue to bring families together and celebrate life’s Magic Moments!


38 Feature: Wearables

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

Apple Watch Connected: What To Know About Apple’s New Gym Program Apple’s new Apple Watch Connected program makes it easier for Apple Watch wearers to track workouts and earn perks By Kate Kozuch - Tom’s Guide

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ver wish you were rewarded for making it to the gym? Apple’s new Apple Watch Connected program, announced today, wants to make it easier for Apple Watch wearers to track workouts and earn perks when they frequent certain fitness facilities. As its name suggests, the Apple Watch Connected initiative is built around the Apple Watch. The company’s latest fitness endeavor integrates it wearable with gyms to improve fitness tracking and offer goalbased rewards. When you visit a participating gym, your Apple Watch should work seamlessly with any GymKit-enabled exercise equipment. Four major U.S. gyms chains are participating at launch, although more will enlist in the program in the future. There are no fees for gyms to earn an Apple Watch Connected certification, although they must meet certain criteria. If you use your Apple Watch for fitness, you might want to consider joining an Apple Watch Connected gym, given one is in proximity. Here’s everything you need to know about the program so you can start earning benefits for your sweat.

IMAGE CREDIT: KANUT PHOTO / SHUTTERSTOCK

WHICH GYMS PARTICIPATE IN THE APPLE WATCH CONNECTED PROGRAM? The four gyms offering Apple Watch Connected experiences are Basecamp, Crunch Fitness, Orange Theory and YMCA. Starting January 23, select locations will offer benefits for its members who own Apple Watches. Benefits include discounts for memberships when workout goals are met and the ability to book classes directly from an Apple Watch.

Pay, which would let members purchase things like water or clothing using their wrists. The goal here is giving gym-goers the option to ditch their phone during workouts. Each gym has to offer a “earn with Apple Watch” promotion, meaning its Apple Watch-wearing members will receive tangible rewards for hitting exercise goals. Crunch is giving weekly credit stipends, while Orange Theory will deal Apple and Nike gift cards. Basecamp Fitness is letting you work off the price of an Apple Watch Series 5 GPS model by taking three workout classes a week for one year.

HOW DOES A GYM BECOME ELIGIBLE?

GYMKIT: HOW DOES IT WORK?

Apple has set specific guidelines for fitness facilities to become eligible for Apple Watch Connected. First and foremost, the gym must have both an iPhone and Apple Watch app that allows users to monitor fitness and see class schedules. The gym also has to accept Apple

An optional perk Apple Watch Connected gyms can offer is GymKit support. GymKit machines, like stair-steppers or ellipticals, are able to sync a workout to an Apple Watch. This should provide more accurate fitness data when using stationary equipment.


Feature: Health

TWICE.COM | FEBRUARY 2020

Coronavirus Online Dashboard Shows Spread Of Disease Around The World A new online coronavirus dashboard brings together data from multiple health agencies to provide a clear picture of the outbreak By Mark Spoonauer - Tom’s Guide

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ith so much misinformation spreading online about the deadly coronavirus, it’s good to know that scientists are working hard to cut through the hype and deliver just the facts. The Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) has been synthesizing data from multiple sources that have been studying the coronavirus outbreak, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the centers for disease control and prevention in the U.S., China and Europe. The result is an online coronavirus dashboard that displays the total confirmed coronavirus cases (2,794 at last count), the confirmed cases by region and the total number of deaths, which is sadly 80 as of Jan. 27. This coronavirus dashboard also includes a map, so you can see where new cases are being reported. In a statement posted on its website, the CSSE said it created the online dashboard to “visualize and track the reported cases on a daily timescale…The dashboard is intended to provide the public with an understanding of the outbreak situation as it unfolds, with transparent data sources.” The initial outbreak of Coronavirus began in Wuhan City in the Hubei Province in China. The WHO was informed of the outbreak on December 31, 2019 and by

January 23 there were more than 800 cases. Infected air travelers are believed to be responsible for the spread of the virus outside Wuhan. According to a CNN report, China has initiated emergency procedures as the number of confirmed cases has soared past 2,700. Wuhan itself is effectively under quarantine with “all routes in and out of the city closed or highly regulated.” Nearly all celebrations for the Lunary New Year holiday have been cancelled and authorities are urging people to not hold large family gathering. As reported by Reuters, a study by the Imperial College London estimates that each

infected person has spread the Coranvirus to two or three other people. And Chinese officials have confirmed that the virus can be spread before any symptoms appear, which can make containing the outbreak quite difficult. In the U.S. the fifth case of coronavirus was confirmed on Sunday in Arizona by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All of those infected had recently traveled to Wuhan. For its part, the CSSE said in its blog post that it was currently “In the process of conducting additional modeling of this emerging outbreak” and will update its post with the results soon.

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Feature: Streaming

TWICE.COM | FEBRUARY 2020

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NBC’s Peacock Streaming Service Set To Take On Netflix And Disney+ NBCUniversal unveils Peacock and Peacock Premium streaming services to rival Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ IMAGE CREDIT: NBCUNIVERSAL

By What Hi-Fi? Staff

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ollowing in the footsteps of Apple and Disney, NBCUniversal has unveiled its shiny new streaming service. Peacock – named in honour of the famous NBC logo – aims to stand out from the crowd by offering a free, ad-supported TV shows. Peacock Free launches on 15th July in the US, serving up 7,500 hours of programming, including next-day access to current seasons of first-year NBC shows, complete seasons of classic TV shows, as well as Universal movies and episodes of SNL Vault and Family Movie Night. That free-for-all feast of TV might sound like a bold move, but it should see Peacock attract a ‘yuge’ audience from day one – and generate an immediate surge of advertising revenue. NBCUniversal chairman, Steve Burke, said he hopes to make about about $5 per month in ad revenue from every Peacock Free viewer. It’s not all peace and love, though. There will be two paid tiers called Peacock Premium: a $4.99 per month version with ads, and a $9.99 per month tier without ads. So, what do you get for your money? Live sports, mainly, including non-televised Premier League soccer games, Ryder Cup

golf and the Tokyo Olympics. It’s a strategy that mirrors Amazon, which has experimented with live sport streams via its Prime Video streaming service (Netflix and HBO+ are yet to trial live sports). Not a fan of British soccer or birdies ‘n’ bogeys? Premium subscribers get to watch NBC’s Late Night shows before they’re broadcast. Those who fancy an early night can see The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 8pm ET rather than the usual TV

time of 11:35pm ET. Peacock Premium also has some new original series in the works, including Intelligence starring former Friends star David Schwimmer, and Girls5Eva, produced by Tina Fey. With TV broadcasters haemorrhaging viewers to YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, Apple and now Disney, Peacock’s free version could turn the tide. It aims to capture 30 million subscribers by 2024. We shall see.


42 Industry: People

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

CEDIA Announces Executive Committee And Appointed Director Approvals Buchanan, Capecelatro, and Weinstein named appointed directors to the CEDIA board. By Residential Staff

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EDIA has announced that the 2020 Executive Committee has received approval from the CEDIA Board of Directors. In a separate vote, the board approved three appointed directors. The members of the 2020 CEDIA Executive Committee are: • Rob Sutherland, Chairman, Inspired Dwellings Ltd., London, United Kingdom • David Weinstein, Chairman-Elect, Lutron Electronics Co. Inc., Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, USA • Melanie Malcolm, Secretary, Bespoke Cinemas, Leeds, UK • John Buchanan, Treasurer, Meridian Audio, Huntingdon, UK • David Humphries, Immediate Past Chairman, Atlantic Integrated, Rockleigh, New Jersey, United States (Ex-officio, non-voting member) In addition, CEDIA’s board of directors has approved the appointment of three directors. Appointed directors are selected from among all member types (manufacturers, service providers, home technology professionals,

etc.). The three appointed directors joining the CEDIA board are:

JOHN BUCHANAN Buchanan was named chief executive of U.K.based Meridian Audio Ltd. in 2014. His previous experience includes seven years of managing the John Buchanan company’s commercial teams in the U.K. and U.S. and the global, field-based sales staff serving its international distributor network. Buchanan served on the board as a director in 2018-2019 and has also been named treasurer for 2020.

ALEX CAPECELATRO Capecelatro is founder and chief executive officer of Denver-based Josh.ai. A former research scientist for NASA, he previously worked for Fisker Automotive, an electric car Alex Capecelatro manufacturer, and is the founder of two social software products “At the Pool” and “Yeti.”

DAVID WEINSTEIN Weinstein serves as vice president of residential sales for Pennsylvaniabased Lutron Electronics Co. Inc., leading sales across multiple consumerfacing channels. Prior to David Weinstein Lutron, he worked for Yusen Associates in Connecticut, rising through the ranks to become president. Weinstein has been on the board since 2017 and served as secretary in 2018 and treasurer in 2019. He was appointed chairman-elect for 2020. Rounding out the board are the following directors: • Peter Aylett, Archimedia, West Sussex, UK • Jamie Briesemeister, Integration Controls, St. Louis, Missouri, USA • Michael Cogbill, ETC, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA • Albert Mizrahi, SmartLab, Mexico City, Mexico • Bill Skaer, Bill Skaer and Associates LLC, Mesquite, Texas, USA • Joe Whitaker, The Thoughtful Home, Clayton, Missouri, USA • Amanda Wildman, TruMedia, Ada, Michigan, USA • Tabatha O’Connor, global president and chief executive officer of CEDIA, is an ex-officio, voting member of the CEDIA board. • Briesemeister, Malcolm, Skaer, and Wildman were all elected to the board in October. For more information, visit www.cedia.net.

ProSource Elevates Nine Members To Power Membership Level Five New Members added in Q4 2019 By Grant Morgan

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roSource announced the elevation of nine ProSource Custom Integrator (CI) members to the Power membership level, bringing the total

number of Power elevations to 13 in 2019. The addition of five new CI members in the fourth quarter brings the total number of new dealers for 2019 to 33. New members in the fourth quarter contributed to total new revenue of more than $113 million in 2019.

“Our growth strategy in 2019 has exceeded our expectations of the number of CI members meeting the standards set for achieving the Power membership level,” said Dave Workman, CEO and President of ProSource in a statement. “We are delighted


Industry: People

TWICE.COM | FEBRUARY 2020

43

David Glass, Retired Walmart CEO And Visionary Leader, Dies At 84

under-appreciated CEO in the history of business. The results of the company and the choices he made set the company up for a long run into the future. He would often say, “we are just getting started.” The reason some under-appreciate his impact was his humility.” David Glass “Despite all his success,” McMillon continued, “he managed to give all the credit away. He would credit our it forward. He did so with a deep sense of associates and rightfully so. But, without his humility while maintaining the values and wisdom and good judgment, his intuition principles dad founded the company on. that led us to blaze new trails, his iron will More than anyone beyond Sam Walton, and the love he had for all of us, Walmart David Glass is responsible for making would not be the company we are today. He Walmart the company it is today. On behalf led us into the food business, expanded of the Walton family, I want to express our beyond U.S. borders, helped teach us how to appreciation for David as a leader and as a partner with suppliers and innovate friend. He will be deeply missed.” through technology. In an April 29, 1996 Glass was honored with numerous retail article from Fortune magazine, the reporter and business awards over the years, said Walmart’s “core business appears including being named “most admired CEO” mature; its chain of Sam’s Club stores is in 1993 by Fortune Magazine, and inducted flagging; and its future, says the CEO, lies in into the Retail Hall of Fame in 2000 and into food retailing, a brutally competitive arena. the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame. Maybe David Glass is brilliant. What almost Doug McMillon, President and CEO, killed Sears and Kmart, after all, was their Walmart Inc. also shared his condolences managements’ resistance to change.” While and thoughts of Glass in a recent statement. the article seems to bet against us, the “Those of us who watched him closely reporter sure did get one thing right: David frequently tell each other that he is the most was brilliant.”

Glass passed away on January 9, 2020 from complications associated with pneumonia.

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lass joined Walmart in 1976 and served as the retail giant’s CEO from 1988 to 2000. After his retirement, Glass became the owner of the Kansas City Royals and continued to make himself available to Walmart executives and board of directors for guidance and advice. “I am deeply saddened to learn the news of David Glass passing,” said Rob Walton, former Chairman of Walmart, in a statement. “For many years, my dad worked hard to recruit David before he joined us in 1976. Little did we know then the monumental impact he would have on us and the retail industry. David’s knowledge of the grocery industry, his financial acumen, and his embrace of technology were invaluable as we rapidly grew the business. When we lost Sam, David provided a steady, visionary hand the company needed to lead

The Surface Duo is one of the most anticipated phones of 2020, and it just got teased again By Jesus Diaz - Tom’s Guide It seems that the Microsoft Surface Duo is solid enough right now to be a daily device — at least for Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella. And most probably for many others too. Read more at https://bit.ly/2SorPTZ.

by the growth in new membership in 2019 and optimistic that our growth in 2020 will continue to meet our high standards.” “The volume of growth in the Power member level category demonstrates our commitment to providing the opportunity to grow within the ProSource family of members,” added Sherry Dantonio, ProSource’s Director of Membership. “We are excited to welcome all of our members to the 2020 Summit in Las Vegas in March.” With the approval of the ProSource Board of Directors, the following CI members were

elevated to the Power membership level: • Audio Video Extremes, Waite Park, MN • Digital Installers, Long Beach, CA • First Priority Audio, Pompano Beach, FL • Hive, Tampa, FL • Home Technology Experts, Southampton, NY • Integrity Sound, Lakewood Ranch, FL • Main Line Sound & Video, Wayne, PA • Stereo and Video Center, Tyler, TX • TVS Pro, Salt Lake City, UT

The new CI members are: • Brilliant AV, Costa Mesa, CA • Home Technology Solutions, Matthews, NC • Home Video Library, Portland, OR • Invision Home Theater, Concord, CA • Merkle Audio Video, Fort Wayne, IN Information on becoming a ProSource member is available from Sherry Dantonio, Director of Membership, (562) 810-1706, Sherry.Dantonio@ProSourceinfo.com.

IMAGE CREDIT: BRIAN SOZZI

Microsoft CEO Shows Off Surface Duo, And It’s ‘Darn Slick’


44 Industry: People

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

Jerry Honea Announces Retirement From Nationwide Marketing Group

named chief operating officer / executive vice president in 2008. Following the MEGA-Nationwide merger in 2017, Honea was tapped to lead the combined furniture and bedding division, which today serves more than 3,300 retailers with over 7,600 locations. Jerry Honea “I have always enjoyed what I do key bedding vendors and created the first because I believe it makes a real difference buying group program for Tempur-Pedic in the lives of families who own or work in mattresses. His passion, integrity and small retail stores,” Honea says. “Helping support are without equal, and he will be others by bringing them more benefits and deeply missed.” competitive advantages so that they can After graduating from Harding University survive in the marketplace – that’s a with a bachelor’s degree in business wonderful vocation to have. And helping to administration and management, Honea build and grow first MEGA and then spent seven years working for an Nationwide – I take a lot of pride in that. independent furniture retailer in Conway, “But, as much as I love what I do, now is Arkansas, managing the store’s buying and the time for me to step back so that I can merchandising programs. Later, he worked spend more time with my family, especially for Ethan Allen and then Dillard’s, where he my father and my wife’s parents, who are in first oversaw the furniture and bedding declining health,” Honea continues. “I will departments for 27 retail locations and later always be grateful for the people I’ve met served as store manager for the Memphis, and the friends I’ve made within the Tennessee, location. furniture and bedding industry, at MEGA In 1998, Honea joined MEGA as the and at Nationwide. They are the best people director of furniture and mattress, and was to work with, and I appreciate them all.”

Retirement is effective February 28, 2020 By TWICE Staff

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erry Honea, senior vice president of furniture and bedding for Nationwide Marketing Group, announced today his retirement, effective February 28, 2020. “Jerry is a furniture and bedding icon whose vision and leadership have transformed the buying group industry as we know it,” said Tom Hickman, Nationwide’s president and chief member advocate in a statement. “While he is probably best known for helping MEGA Group USA grow from a handful of members to one of the nation’s largest buying groups for independent retailers, that is just one of Jerry’s many accomplishments. He also helped develop the channel’s first private-label brands with

Melissa Stenson New Vice President Of Member Experience For Nationwide Marketing Group

doing for nearly 20 years, advocating for our members and their business success. We’re excited to officially welcome her to the family.” In addition to her new role, Stenson will continue working with Sterling Events Group to organize Melissa Stenson PrimeTime. explore new ways to increase member engagement and improve the overall member experience. “This new role makes doing more for our members – and doing it better – my sole focus,” said Stenson in a statement. “We only win when our members win, and every regional supervisor for ITA Group in West Des single employee is responsible for helping Moines, Iowa, and as director of operations for our members succeed. I’m excited to work Sterling Events Group. with stakeholders across the company to “Melissa has long been an integral part of the ensure that we are all doing just that.” Nationwide team, helping us create a worldNationwide Marketing Group works on class experience for our members and vendors behalf of thousands of independent at PrimeTime and other key events,” said Tom appliance, furniture, bedding, electronics, Hickman, Nationwide’s president and chief specialty electronics, custom installation and member advocate in a statement. “This new rent-to-own dealers helping them grow their role within Nationwide Marketing Group will businesses and thrive on their own terms. allow her to expand on the work she’s been To learn more, visit nationwidegroup.org.

Stenson to explore new ways to increase member engagement and improve the overall member experience By TWICE Staff

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ationwide Marketing Group (NMG) recently announced that Melissa Stenson has joined the organization as vice president of member experience. Previously the senior meeting planner for Sterling Events Group, Stenson spearheaded coordination of Nationwide’s industry-leading PrimeTime tradeshow and conference. She previously served as a program manager and


Industry: People

TWICE.COM | FEBRUARY 2020

Trevor May Named VP Purchasing, US & Canada For D&H Distributing

and purchasing at D&H in a statement. “We’re happy to see his position continue to expand as D&H grows, and as we work to create more superior business experiences for our partners.” Most recently, May was overseeing D & H’s company-wide Trevor May purchasing team, implementing tools to assist in exceeding customer fill-rate requirements and being first-to-market in markets, and also across North America,” delivering the newest products and said May in a statement. “I look forward to technologies to thousands of D&H’s loyal seeing that translate to greater value for the customers. He is tasked with further company’s community of partners.” improving the partner experiences and “As Trevor’s tenure has progressed at D&H, ease-of-doing business with D&H. we’ve been impressed with his ability to D&H partners can call (800) 877-1200 or visit optimize purchasing operations, to deliver www.dandh.com to speak to their account products to our customers on-time and when representatives and for information about the they need it, resulting in an industry-leading company. For details on D&H’s new, expanded customer experience,” said Tim Billing, headquarters at Tech Drive in Harrisburg, visit senior vice president of vendor management www.dandh.com/techdrive.

May’s duties expanded to oversee purchasing and inventory-based duties across North America

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&H Distributing announced it has promoted Trevor May to the position of Vice President of Purchasing, US & Canada today. May joined D&H in 2017 as Executive Director, Vendor Management to oversee D&H’s housewares and consumer electronics business, after a decades-long career with several major national retailers. “I’m thrilled to continue leveraging my skills as part of the talented team at D&H, extending my role across both the IT and CE

Sonos CEO Responds To Backlash, Will Continue To Update Legacy Products Let’s try this again. By Joe Maring, Tech Radar

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onos found itself in the middle of the spotlight this week, and not for the right reasons. The company issued a press release announcing that it would be ending support for some of its legacy speakers come May 2020, and this got a lot of people worked up. Following a few hours of relentless backlash, Sonos has issued a follow-up statement to clear the air on a few things. For starters, Sonos wants to make sure you know that its legacy speakers won’t be bricked in any way. Big software updates will no longer be sent out once May rolls around, but you can still use them as you are right now. Per Sonos CEO Patrick Spence: “We are not bricking them, we are not forcing them into obsolescence, and we are not taking anything away. Many of you have invested heavily in your Sonos systems, and we

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: • Sonos recently announced that it would be ending support for some of its older speakers in May 2020. • Following a lot of backlash, Sonos reassures that legacy speakers won’t be bricked in any way. • It’s also working on a way to split your system between old and current devices.

intend to honor that investment for as long as possible. While legacy Sonos products won’t get new software features, we pledge to keep them updated with bug fixes and security patches for as long as possible.” Similarly, Sonos says that it will “work to offer an alternative solution” if it “runs into something core to the experience that can’t be addressed.” On top of that, Spence says that the company is working to let users split their system between old and new speakers and use them without any issues. “Secondly, we heard you on the issue of legacy products and modern products not being able to coexist in your home. We are working on a way to split your system so that modern products work together and get the latest features, while legacy products work together and remain in their current

state. We’re finalizing details on this plan and will share more in the coming weeks.” Speakers like the Sonos One, Beam, Move, etc. aren’t being affected at all by this policy change. This only refers to Sonos’ original Play:5, CR 200, Bridge, Connect/ Connect:Amp, and Zone Players. The devices were all released between 2006 and 2009, making them 11 years old at the youngest. If you do have one of the legacy speakers mentioned above, Sonos is offering a 30% credit for each one you replace for a new model. I’d argue the company has handled the situation as best as it can, but that’s obviously not the general sentiment among users. Here’s to hoping the new statement can settle things down a bit.

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46 Industry

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

Control4 Smart Home OS Now Integrates With SubZero Group, Inc. And Genie, Premium Appliance And Garage Solutions With demos in both the Control4 Tiny Smart Home and The New American Home 2020, designers, builders, and architects can explore a range of connected living solutions By Ashley Collazo

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ontrol4, the smart home brand for SnapAV, demonstrated elevated home technology control and personalization with Control4 Smart Home OS 3 at the International Builders’ Show, Jan. 21-23, 2020 in Las Vegas, NV. Introducing new

integrations with top appliance brand SubZero Group, Inc. and smart garage door opener manufacturer Genie, builders and designers caught demos of popular smart home scenes in the Control4 Tiny Smart Home at the Control4 booth, and in The New American Home located in Henderson, Nevada. Control4 OS 3 connects both new and

existing devices from an ecosystem of over 14,000 products, such as lights, shades, thermostats, TV, speakers and streaming services, and much more. New integrations with Sub-Zero Group, Inc. and Genie enable notifications, remote management, and scene automation from the Control4 App, touchscreens and mobile devices. The growing ecosystem allows homeowners to have devices added to their Control4 system, where they can seamlessly view and set the temperature of their refrigerator, remotely close garage doors and gates, alongside other entertainment, convenience, security, and comfort experiences. Show attendees can experience Control4’s design and technology synergy in the Control4 Tiny Smart Home and The New American Home. The demo homes have been seamlessly outfitted to meet consumer design expectations, with an elegant and intuitive control experience with few clunky devices or wiring visible. With Control4 OS 3 inside, both demos feature distributed audio, HVAC control, centralized lighting, automated shades, and more, showing how designers and homeowners can collaborate with a Control4 technology professional to transform a new build or renovation.


48 Industry

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

Vizio TVs 2020: First-Ever OLED TV, Better 4K TVs And More IMAGE CREDIT: VIZIO

Here are all of Vizio’s 2020 TVs, from OLED to P-Series Quantum X

Vizio 2020 TVs, the P-Series Quantum X promises the best 4K LCD performance the company has to offer. Vizio says the set’s maximum 3000 nits of peak brightness and 800 nits of full screen brightness will bring dynamic images to life. Its full-array LED blacklight holds 792 local dimming zones, meaning we can hopefully expect deep blacks and commendable contrast. Coming in 65-, 75- and all-new 85-inch sizing, the Quantum X is Vizio’s big-screen set to watch. The standard 65- and 75-inch P-Series Quantum, though not as bright as the Quantum X, will receive the important premium features like the ProGaming Engine. And neither the P-Series Quantum nor Quantum X should break the bank if last year’s pricing is any indication.

VIZIO M-SERIES QUANTUM: WILL THE BEST BUDGET SMART TV GET BETTER? P-Series Quantum X

By Kate Kozuch - Tom’s Guide

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izio has grand ambitions for its 2020 TV lineup: it stars a slew of futureproofed 4K panels and the brand’s first premium OLED TV. While the Vizio 2020 TVs won’t see store shelves until later this spring, we imagine a few of these refreshed models could land on our best TVs list alongside premium players like Samsung and LG. We have the early details of every 4K smart TV and OLED set Vizio plans to bring to the table, plus a look at Vizio’s new voice remote, updated SmartCast 4.0 platform and new ProGaming Engine. When the Vizio 2020 TVs specs and pricing information becomes available, we’ll update this story to reflect what you’ll need to know if you’re eyeing a new set this year. Here’s everything we know so far about the Vizio 2020 TV lineup.

VIZIO GOES OLED, UNVEILS PROGAMING ENGINE Vizio is looking to move up from its mid-tier status with its first-ever OLED. Coming in 65- and 55-inch sizes, we expect the Vizio OLED’s performance to be characterized by

near-perfect blacks and premium contrast. The 44-millimeter thin TV will pack Vizio’s new ProGaming Engine, meaning game console performance will benefit from variable refresh rate technology that automatically adjusts the panel’s refresh rate to match the source device. It also supports AMD FreeSync and 4K gaming at up to 120 Hz. Right now, price is the big question we’re waiting for Vizio to answer about its OLED. Existing OLEDs in these sizes are rather costly, posing a potential shift in Vizio’s affordable reputation. Perhaps Vizio will deliver the valuepriced OLED many have been for.

VIZIO P-SERIES QUANTUM: MEET THE MASSIVE 85-INCH QUANTUM X Among all the

OLED

Getting into the Vizio 2020 TVs budget tier, the M-Series Quantum is slated to receive a slew of upgrades. Already our favorite budget smart TV, the Vizio M-Series Quantum is receiving picture quality improvements, plus the same quantum dot color and ProGaming Engine as the pricier models. The 65- and 55-inch M8 versions will have 90 local dimming zones, while the 50-inch M7 will have 30 (2019’s M7 had 15, for comparison). The M7 won’t be as bright at the M8 either, which has a peak 800 nit brightness. Yes, even the Vizio V-Series is getting


Industry

TWICE.COM | FEBRUARY 2020

Vizio 2020 TVs SmartCast 4.0

LG’s New ThinQ Washer Can Sense Fabrics So You Never Ruin Your Clothes It can sense what clothes you toss in and adjust its cycles accordingly IMAGE CREDIT: FUTURE

HDMI 2.1 The V-Series sits at the bottom of the Vizio 2020 TVs ladder. It won’t have the quantum color, local dimming control or ProGaming Engine of the models above, but it will be a lot cheaper. That’s not to say the Vizio V-Series is an all-around budget set. It will still support Vizio’s latest SmartCast platform and 4K with full-HDR compatibility. Like every other Vizio 2020 model, it will even feature HDMI 2.1 with eARC, for supporting uncompressed audio formats. The V-Series will be available in 40-, 43-, 50-,55-, 58-, 60-,65- and 70-inch variants when it becomes available this year.

SMARTCAST 4.0 AND NEW VIZIO VOICE REMOTE SmartCast, Vizio’s proprietary smart TV platform, will jump from version 3.0 to 4.0. The new version promises personalization and performance upgrades for Vizio sets from 2016 and sooner. Here’s how to update your Vizio TV if it’s eligible. Though SmartCast 3.0 supported Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri, 4.0 brings an easier pairing process for Google Assistant compatible devices and Alexa compatible devices via the SmartCast mobile app. The OLED and P-Series Quantum models of the Vizio 2020 TVs will also come with a new voice remote, making it possible for users to navigate content by speaking. All of the details above are based on Vizio’s available information. We anticipate Vizio will share more about its 2020 TVs before their expected spring launch. We’ll be updating this page with new information as we get it, so check back regularly to stay up to date on all the new Vizio sets coming in 2020.

49

By Mike Prospero - Tom’s Guide

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henever I volunteer to do laundry in my house, my wife tells me to wash my clothes separately, so that I don’t mess up her delicates by accident. LG’s new ThinQ frontloading washing machine and clothes dryer will potentially eliminate any pre-sorting mishaps, by using a combination of AI and sensors to adjust its various washing cycles on the fly. And, if you have the matching dryer, the washer will automatically transmit its data to the dryer, so your clothes don’t accidentally end up a size too small. Both the washer and dryer will be available in North America in the first half of 2020, though pricing has yet to be announced. Like a typical washer, the LG ThinQ features a variety of presets, such as Heavy Duty, Bedding, Delicates, Permanent Press

and so on. However, when the washer determines the type of fabrics in the machine—through sensors embedded in the drum, as well as the size of the load— it will tailor that preset accordingly, based on accumulated data from LG. The washer will also determine how much detergent is needed to properly clean the load. The washer has a Wi-Fi connection, so it can send information about the load to a dryer. It also allows homeowners to create a custom washing cycle on LG’s ThinQ app, which they can then download to the machine. The Wi-Fi connection can also be used in conjunction with Amazon’s Dash Replenishment service to order more detergent, as well as LG Proactive Customer Care, which helps alert owners to potential issues with the washer or dryer.


50 Industry IMAGE CREDIT: TOM’S GUIDE

FEBRUARY 2020 | TWICE.COM

February, 2020 • Volume 35 • Issue 2 www.twice.com CONTENT VP/Content Creation Anthony Savona Senior Editor Grant Morgan, grant.morgan@futurenet.com Contributors: Michael Balderstone, Joe Osborne, Joseph Palenchar

iPhone SE 2 Set For March Release Date

The low-cost iPhone will pack iPhone 11 power and is heading into production soon By Philip Michaels - Tom’s Guide

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n yet another sign that the iPhone SE is about to make a comeback, Apple’s production chain will reportedly swing into action next month to begin assembly on the iPhone SE 2. That’s the word from Bloomberg, which posted a report that assembly of the new iPhone SE will begin in February according to “people familiar with the matter.” Bloomberg’s Apple reporting is very wellsourced, so this is as good as a confirmation that the iPhone SE 2 is a go. Rumors of an iPhone SE 2 have swirled for years now, but they really picked up steam late last year, as analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecast a new low-cost phone for Apple that would arrive sometime in early 2020. This new Bloomberg report places the iPhone SE 2’s launch well within that time frame. With assembly starting in February, a new phone could be ready for its debut as soon as March, the report claims. The original iPhone SE was unveiled in March 2016, not that Apple takes its cues from fouryear-old product rollouts. The report on iPhone SE 2 assembly work confirms a lot of the most popular rumors about this upcoming phone, namely that it will appropriate the design of the iPhone 8 and its 4.7-inch screen with Touch ID. Some

rumors had suggested a 5.5-inch version of the SE, muddying the rumor mill waters, but that model — if it exists — will be part of Apple’s fall iPhone 12 launch when the company could unveil as many as four new iPhones. The original iPhone SE featured a 4-inch screen that mirrored the iPhone 5s’s look. So fans of truly compact phones may be a little disappointed that the rumored SE 2 will be a little bit larger. Still, that’s more compact than the 6.1- and 6.5-inch sizes featured on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro Max, respectively. With the screen size inching upward on the new iPhone SE, it sounds like the focus on this version of the phone could be more on its price. Slowing iPhone sales growth last year has spurred Apple to find ways to lower the price on some models — the iPhone 11 debuted for $50 less than the $749 iPhone XR that preceded it, and Apple said during its October earnings call that the iPhone 11 had quickly become the most popular model. (We’ll find out how popular during the holiday shopping season when Apple announces earnings a week from now on Jan. 28.) There’s no definitive rumor on how much an iPhone SE 2 would cost, it could replace the iPhone 8 at that same $449 price or that it could recreate the original SE’s $399 debut cost.

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