NEC & Partners Launch Program to Drive Adoption of Residential Energy Storage

Photo of NEC's residential storage unit.

NEC’s residential storage unit

It seems that a great green wave is sweeping over Japan as the government and several businesses partner to drive adoption of, and set standards for, the residential energy storage (RES) system business. In a separate post, we reported on a story out of Japan of an effort by Toshiba, Hitachi, and the Japanese government to persuade the IEC, an international standards setting commission, to set an international standard for RES systems based on their proposal.

And on the same day that this was reported, separately the NEC Corp. announced that they have partnered with Orix Corp. to roll-out a national program (in the domestic Japan market) to lease NEC residential energy storage systems to consumers. Although these systems are not new, they have struggled to grow their share of the market – largely because the systems tend to be expensive.

But that’s all about to change… Continue reading

3vNet Hires Training Manager and Training Company

3vNet LogoIn a rash of fast-paced announcements, it is clear that 3vNet continues to push forward with their rapid business ramp-up. Newly independent from former parent, Russound, the company has moved quickly to establish their own identity with an all-new website and several new executives joining the organization. On Monday, we learned that 3vNet has hired Timothy Dunigan as Manager, Training and Education.

But wait, there’s more… Continue reading

Former Harmonious Head of CEDIA Delivers Disruption – Launching ube Today

BREAKING NEWS – ube Launches Today at DEMO

For several years Utz Baldwin worked to further the cause of the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA), first as a member and – from 2008-2011 – as CEO. As the head of the CEDIA, Baldwin worked hard to ensure that the organization was aware of, and responsive to, the needs of its members and other associated stakeholders. However, ousted from the organization in 2011 under circumstances that were never fully made public, Baldwin seemed to disappear from view…until now.

Now, Baldwin is back…and his new company, with the happy-go-lucky name ube (pronounced yoo-bee)…is launching what they promise will be market-changing “disruptive technology”… Continue reading

Sharp, Struggling to Survive, Provides Banks with a New Plan; Ratchets Up Painful Cuts

Photo of Sharp booth at CESSharp Corp., once a high flying superstar of Japanese manufacturing might, finds itself engaged in a multi-front battle for survival as it seeks to replenish its depleted capital reserves. Recently, the company had announced that it was negotiating a partnership deal that included the sale of factories and a capital investment from Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. But these talks stalled when Sharp’s share price dropped to a value less than half the agreed-upon level.

Now, in a series of announcements, the company has submitted a new plan seeking the support of its banks by “upping the ante” in its restructuring plans, more than doubling staff cuts, selling off company assets, and offering several Sharp-owned properties as collateral – including its headquarters facility.

Sharp’s new plan cuts deeper and will be more painful…but is it enough?… Continue reading

CEDIA’s Seer was Right – Driverless Car Moves One Step Closer to Reality

Photo of Dr. Michio KakuAt the CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis earlier this month, the event’s keynote presentation was by the well-known physicist, author, and TV personality Michio Kaku who presented his rather dramatic view of the future – complete with a rash of technology predictions. Kaku’s presentation covered a lot of ground including military technology, the home of the future, the office of the future, future medical technology, and even the future of car technology.

Today, we found out that at least one of Kaku’s predictions is coming closer to reality, faster perhaps than even he imagined… Continue reading

Batteries Big Enough to Run Your Whole House from Rosewater Energy Group

Photo of Joe Piccirilli of Rosewater Energy Group

Joe Piccirilli, Rosewater Energy Group

At this month’s CEDIA Expo, no sooner had I finished an interview on the show floor when I saw what looked like two huge caskets standing on end and side-by-side. That’s a little dramatic, they didn’t really look like caskets, just two huge rectangular racks standing about eight-feet up in the air. Curiosity drew me to Rosewater Energy Group’s booth where I discovered an old friend: Joe Piccirilli (formerly of AVAD and Sound Advice).

Those monstrous boxes (actually a little over 7-feet tall, the display base they were shown on made them look taller) really contain a lot of technology and take power conditioning to a whole new level.

See why Rosewater’s “Storage Hub” was even more impressive than it looked… Continue reading

Energy Squad Wants to Help Integrators to Catch the Green Wave

Photo of Energy Squad Founder Jonathan Stovall

Jonathan Stovall, Energy Squad Founder

Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest. When I ask business owners and executives to tell me why they started their business, you’d be surprised at the mushy gobbledy-gook I’m often offered in response. So when readers at the CEDIA Expo pointed me in the direction of the Energy Squad booth – I was skeptical. Was this another tech head playing with toys who’ll be here-today and gone-tomorrow?

Boy was I in for a surprise… Continue reading

AudioXperts Korners the Market

Photo of AudioXperts President Eli Harary Showing KornersThe recent CEDIA Expo was, as usual, dominated by hundreds of companies engaged in a seemingly endless and often mindless rash of line extensions – effectively burying us in a sea of products of uninspiring incrementalism. This year, however, thanks to the diligent effort of many of’s and ALERT’s  readers and followers that we saw at the show – we were often pointed us in direction of some hidden gems. Thanks to you, we were successful in uncovering wisps of innovation from a few new or reincarnated companies.

One such interesting start-up, whose launch we recently reported on here, with a follow-up story here, is AudioXperts. At Expo, AudioXperts showed us an interesting new product concept they call Korners.

And Korners may just represent the first successful attempt to bring peace in our industry’s biggest and bloodiest war… Continue reading

Expo Keynote: TV Personality Delivers a View That’s Fun, Futurisitic and Funny

Photo of Dr. Michio KakuThis year’s Keynote Presentation at the CEDIA Expo earlier this month was given by well-known physicist and television personality, Dr. Michio Kaku. Kaku is undeniably well-qualified to talk about technology…and the future. And although the official title of this keynote presentation was “The Intuitive Home of 2016,” – like all great keynote speakers, Kaku ignored that topic and spoke on one closer to his heart – the physics of the future.

And what a wild future he envisions… Continue reading

NuLEDs Gets a New Spark…Or Should We Say, A New Sparky?

Photo of Mike DetmerNuLEDs, Inc., an LED lighting specialty company launching a new Power-over-Ethernet, IP-addressable LED lighting system, announced late last night that Mike “Sparky” Detmer is joining the company as its new Global Vice President for residential and light commercial markets. Detmer’s appointment is part of the company’s aggressive new ramp-up as it prepares to launch its latest PoE LED lighting solution, expected to hit the market in just a few months.

Is Detmer just the spark NuLEDs needs?… Continue reading