Features That Will Bring Your Home into the 21st Century

The modern world is so exciting and innovating, which makes it a fun thing to be a part of! Modernizing your space can be a great way to increase efficiency and the joy you get from spending time in a home you love. As you look to bring your house into the 21st century, there are many things you may consider adding, but the eight listed below are some of the best new features!

Porch Cameras

One modern feature that has been popping up on more and more houses in the past couple of years is the porch camera. These cameras can run independently or can be part of a doorbell system that alerts homeowners of who is at the door. These cameras are a great security measure that can help to decrease the likelihood of a break in or packages being stolen from a doorstep. These cameras are quite affordable and easy to install on your own which makes them a security feature that is definitely worth having in the modern world. Since these cameras will be doing a lot of work for you, it is worth it to choose the porch camera that best fits your needs.

Smart Thermostats

One of the most important parts of staying comfortable in your home is being able to regulate temperature as needed. A smart thermostat makes it much easier for you to keep the temperature comfortable in your home. A smart thermostat is a very convenient tool that helps you keep track of your energy use and work towards increased efficiency. It can also be controlled from your smartphone, which means you don’t have to get out of bed to turn on the heat on a cold evening and you can make sure you aren’t heating your home when no one is there to appreciate it.

Energy Efficient Features

Increasing your efficiency overall is a great way to modernize your home and keep your utility bills as low as possible. One easy change is upgrading your windows, so they are more efficient and don’t let air in and out of your home. Making sure to insulate around windows and doors can also increase efficiency. As you incorporate more energy efficient features into your space, you can enjoy the more consistent temperatures and the decrease in your utility bills that you will experience.

Smart Kitchen Features

The kitchen has become increasingly important in modern homes, and as you add smart features to your kitchen space it will become more functional and comfortable. Some of the best things you can do to improve your kitchen is simply managing your space well and increasing your storage. You should always do this with design in mind so that you don’t miss out on the benefits it brings. Custom cabinets add value to your home, and automated cabinets can add additional functionality. Your kitchen should also have updated appliances that increase your convenience and efficiency in your kitchen space.

Sustainable Power Sources

While many homes are still dependent on the general electrical grid, it is important to consider other means of generating power. Solar and wind power are both great sustainable options that can modernize your home and decrease or eliminate your dependency on the grid. These systems do come with initial costs but there are tax breaks available that can decrease your overall spending and help make the purchase more attainable. Once you have installed a sustainable power source you will immediately see the benefits as your utility bills decrease and your carbon footprint is improved overall.

Heated Flooring

Radiant heat is a modern convenience that can make winter mornings much more comfortable. Some people choose to install radiant heating in their whole home while other homeowners simply use heated flooring in their bathrooms. Another option is to install radiant heating under your driveway to prevent snow and ice from building up. No matter how you decide to use radiant heating, it can greatly improve your comfort in your home and make your space feel more modern. With radiant heating in your bathrooms, you can have toasty floors to help you get out of bed on the coldest of winter mornings. Radiant heat is actually very affordable both to install and to run in your home.

Open Spaces 

Open floor plans are very popular, and they are likely to stay that way well into the future. This doesn’t mean that every space needs to be open, but it is nice to have plenty of entertaining space combining the kitchen and dining room together. A well-designed open space can make a home feel more welcoming and can greatly improve your ability to host parties and have guests over. Creating an open floor plan may require you to use beams to support the weight of your home, but those beams can be a beautiful design element that will stand out to your guests in a visually appealing way.

Sleek Design

Design is important to every home and a sleek design speaks to a modern aesthetic that is important in this generation. This type of design depends on built-in storage that allows loose items to be hidden away only to be taken out when they are needed. No matter how you are using your space, having sleek design elements can help it to feel more modern and like it belongs in the 21st century. Choose design options that fit with your personal style and enhance the look of your home as it currently stands. That way every design decision will work together to make your home more beautiful.

Whether you have a brand-new home or a home that has been around for decades, there are things you can do to make the space even more modern. As you increase your modern conveniences, you will feel more comfortable and satisfied in your space. And, when the rest of the world catches up on all these amazing conveniences, you’ll have been enjoying them for years already!

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Retail Sectors That Need Specialized POS Software

If you’ve never heard of a POS system, you’ve probably still used it without knowing. Point-of-sale software helps businesses to accept and keep track of sales from customers digitally, rather than the old cash register method. The digital computers that cashiers use at retail stores, for instance, are a type of POS software—but for some industries, specialized systems are needed. If your business is one of the following, you should look into POS software specific to your products!

Gun Sellers

One of the reasons gun sellers can’t use any plain old POS system is because of the many forms and background checks they need to complete in order to remain in compliance with the ATF. Some POS systems actually do offer electronic background checks so that you don’t have to keep track of a lot of paper, and most have management software that can handle other services you may have as a gun seller—rentals, range fees, and repairs, to name a few. As the best gun POS software options, like Cumulus, even have features to safeguard your store against ATF audits or scrutiny, keeping accurate records and reports for you to keep compliance.

Pharmacies

Talk about the POS equipment and software you need to run a pharmacy. Speaking of compliance, another industry that has a lot of oversight is the pharmaceutical industry, namely by HIPAA as well as PCI. Besides streamlining this process, specialized pharmacy POS software also provides many payment options, secure transactions, and digital inventory management. Inventory management software can interface with dispensing systems, essentially ensuring you keep your shelves stocked at all times. It even can keep track of competitor prices through wholesaler product load and price file updating!

Car Repair

Auto parts retail is a lucrative market, but can be hard to achieve effective inventory management without good software. Auto repair POS systems can help speed up the ordering process and manage inventory so parts are always in stock. Register tools that provide every type of sale—whether on the phone, in person, or online—are very important, as are easy-to-use search options so that you can get to the exact part your customer is looking for quickly and efficiently. Ones designed specifically for auto repair can even generate seasonal order prediction.

The basic POS software systems available are only increasing as the years continue. For specific retail industries, however, basics won’t do. Before buying the most popular brand, look to see if there is specialized POS software for your industry!

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Home Security Systems That Every Homeowner Should Have

It’s always a good idea to protect your home. Having some kind of security system in place is the best way to do this. While there are many options to consider, there are certain systems everyone should have.

Smart Cameras

Having smart cameras around your home can help you to monitor your home when you aren’t around. New technology has made it easier to customize your cameras to fit your needs. For example, some cameras allow you to zoom, tilt, or pan so you can have a better view of the area surrounding your home. With smart cameras, you can access the video feeds instantly to see what’s going on. One of the most popular smart camera options is a smart doorbell. These cameras allow you to see who’s at your front porch. Overall, smart cameras are an easy way to stay secure and they can be integrated into your other security measures.

Home Alarm Systems

An alarm system is another essential to have as a part of your security system. Alarms can inform you of any immediate problems in your home. There are many types of alarms you can use. Some will sound off if there is a break in and the sudden noise can deter burglars. Silent alarms can also be triggered and they can notify police immediately. In addition to alarms, you can add other measures to protect your home. Motion-activated lights can work well with a security system. They can help to alert you or to deter anyone attempting to break in.

Other Threat Protection

While most home security systems are primarily focused on deterring burglaries and break ins, some home alarm systems can protect you and your family from other threats. For example, these alarms can detect any dangerous materials in your home including smoke, carbon dioxide, and fire. There are even systems that can detect water leaks in your home. Having these types of alarms can warn you of any impending danger so you can get out of the house or take measures to fix the problem.

 

Being safe in your home is important and you also want to make sure your home is protected while you’re away. Having a security system for your home can protect you and your family. There are many options available, so take some time to determine what would work best for your situation.

 

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Industries That Represent the Future of Technology

Technology is an ever-expanding industry. Innovation has led to many new developments that have improved life for everyone. However, certain industries stand out in their innovation and benefit. These industries are worth following.

 

Biotech

Biotechnology is not a new technology. However, it has grown incredibly in recent years. Biotech is anything that involves cells and the manipulation of those cells. Typically, you might consider genetically modified foods. These foods are modified to improve how they grow and taste. Of course, biotech isn’t just limited to food. It is used in medicine to develop new pharmaceuticals such as vaccines that help to eradicate or lessen the burden of certain diseases. Biotech is also used in environmental work, manufacturing, and even gathering data. Biotechnology is an industry that is likely to grow in the future.

 

Internet Technology

With the rise of the internet, there have been many new advancements. Internet technology is one of these. This field deals with anything that involves information and communication on the internet. Thus, it encapsulates a wide range of processes. Examples include ecommerce, web browsers, email, hardware/software, Internet service providers, Bluetooth devices, and more. Bluetooth and other connected devices are one aspect of internet technology that has seen a lot of growth and will likely see more. Connected devices may generate $11 trillion of value by 2035. The internet is still relatively new, so there is a great deal of potential for how internet technologies will develop in the future.

 

Digital Security

People spend a great deal of their time on devices and the internet. While there are many benefits to using the digital space, there are also many dangers. Digital security is an industry that is worth noting as it helps to protect individuals while online. This technology helps you protect your information and can even fend off attacks on your data or devices. Since technology is always changing, digital security will need to continually adapt to fight off any new threats. This is an industry that will continue to be important and it will likely see a lot of growth.

 

Technology will continue to evolve and expand to fit the needs of society. These industries are highly beneficial now and in the future and it is a worthy endeavor to pay attention to them. As they continue to grow, society continues to move forward.

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How to Start Designing Your Indie Game

Creating your own game might sound intimidating, but don’t let that stop you from trying. One of the best parts about creating your own indie game is that there are lots of programs and tools available for you. Knowing about these tools can help you be successful in creating your game.

Pick Good Software Tools

The first place to start is in selecting your software. The type of software you use is highly dependent on the type of game you want to create. If you are looking to create a text-based game, you might want to look into software programs like Quest or Twine. Stencyl on the other hand is great for non-text-based games. There are even programs that are specific to creating RPG games. In addition to the type of game you are making, you also need to be mindful of budget. Fortunately, some programs are free.  

Use Free Assets

One of the benefits of making your own game is you have total creative control. You can create anything you want. However, that doesn’t mean you need to create everything from scratch. Using 3D assets is a great way to create the world of your game without having to make everything yourself. Under certain circumstances, you can access 3D assets on Unity or Unreal Engine. Some platforms offer free access to assets. Do some research to find platforms that work for you.

Learn the Language

When creating your own game, you will likely need to learn some sort of coding language. Many of these languages are already associated with the software you will be using. Understanding the coding language can help you create the game without much outside help and you can understand the inner workings of the game. This will also come in handy when you need to make any fixes after the game has been launched. There are a variety of coding languages ranging from the basic HTML5 to the more complex C#. Make sure you are aware of what language your program is using and do your best to learn it enough to efficiently design your game.

Creating your own indie game is an exciting endeavor, but it does come along with its own challenges. If you make yourself aware of the proper tools though, you can easily overcome these challenges. Do some research about the best programs and tools available to you as you design your game.

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How Mobile Apps Have Transformed Personal Finance

It is no secret that technology is becoming a major selling point in most industries. The convenience of a device that can do everything you could ever want is much more desirable to people. For instance, personal finance has changed dramatically in the last decade, making everything more convenient and accessible to more people.

Democratized Stock Trading

Stock trading is a great example of this change. Instead of the wealthy elites primarily having access to the stock market, the Internet and mobile apps have opened the stock market to anyone. The markets are shifting, and more working-class and middle-class families are investing in the stock of companies they enjoy.

Apps that have given this “power to the people” have many different names. One is aptly named Robinhood. While this provides the market with extra money, it also opens people up to scams if they are not careful. Some apps will have small classes people can pay for to better understand how the stock market operates, bringing more wealth to more people.

Mobile Banking

Mobile banking has also shifted the financial dynamics. Millennials number 73 million in the United States, and they favor mobile banking options. This push isn’t unique to the younger generations, however. People of all ages want access to their accounts and financial resources no matter where they are.

This expectation of digital banking has brought with it more pressure for traditional banks to adapt or fall. While you may need to visit your local bank for specific needs, people just don’t need to visit them to do basic transactions like they used to. Mobile banking is just more convenient and useful in the moment.

Cryptocurrency’s Rise

There is no doubt that the rise of mobile apps has also fueled the idea of cryptocurrency. People have been talking about “digital money” over the last decade, but it has now become a reality. Bitcoin has surged in popularity and is easy to access for more people. It is basically a kind of stock that a lot of people are buying into because of its digital appeal.

But Bitcoin isn’t alone. There is a growing number of cryptocurrencies hitting the digital market. This trend will likely become more popular with time, but it is hard to say what the ramifications of its development will have on the world.

Mobile apps are shaping finance as we know it. They will likely continue in their aim to make the individual’s life easier. It is a great thing for everyone.

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How 3D Printing Will Revolutionize Home Building

What once was considered to be fantasy is now very real. 3D printing technology has improved in leaps and bounds over the last several years. Each year, discoveries are made that enable us to 3D print even more things. One exciting area of development has been in the realm of 3D printing houses. This new technology can provide so many benefits to mankind.

Lower Costs

The cost of a home has been growing rapidly for decades. This makes it more and more difficult for people to be able to afford a home that meets their wants and needs. However, with 3D printed homes, much of the manual labor is removed from the cost of building a home. This will lower the cost of housing. With lower housing costs, the poorest parts of society will be able to save more of their money to spend on other important items. Overall, this can bring about a massive positive change for our country’s economy.

More Customization

Previously, the idea was that you could make houses faster and cheaper if you just made them all the same, or at least, mostly the same. This allowed construction companies to train workers on just a few different setups and then send them to work doing the same tasks repeatedly on each house in a new development. However, with 3D printed technology, that will no longer be necessary. You don’t have to spend hours training a 3D printer on each new job. You just need to upload a new design. This only takes a few milliseconds. This can allow homebuyers to custom design their homes to their own desires.

Cut Construction Times

One of the worst parts about building your own home is the time that it takes to complete it. Many people avoid building their own home for this very reason. They can’t afford to build a home without selling their current home, and they can’t afford to live in a rental or hotel until their new home is finished. With 3D printing, the construction time for homes can be significantly reduced. 3D printers do not need to go to the bathroom, take breaks, eat food, or sleep. They don’t even get tired! As long as an operator is around to observe the operation of the 3D printer, the printer can work around the clock 24/7.

Add to Existing Homes

Building additions to current homes can be a bit of a pain. However, with 3D printers, this could become a relatively easy process. There are many things that you could do. You could build a guest house. You could build a garden fence. You might be able to print to order a deck for your home with your ideal features. There truly are so many possibilities for home additions when you use 3D printing. The best part about it would be the speed and low manpower at which it would be done. While we are grateful for the work that builders perform, no one likes having builders traipsing through their house while trying to complete a project.

Stronger Designs

An interesting aspect of 3D printers is that they allow us to manufacture certain designs that would otherwise be impossible. It also allows some current designs to be constructed as one whole rather than a bunch of different pieces attached by bolts, nails, and screws. This has revolutionized the way that some things are built. These design changes have led to building components that are both stronger and lighter. In fact, not only are some 3D printed concrete walls lighter and stronger, but many are also better at providing thermal insulation than conventional concrete walls. This all goes a long way to making your home safer and more efficient.

Lower Carbon Footprint

Because of the previously mentioned improvements in construction design. 3D printed homes use less concrete than an identical home built from conventional methods. Concrete production is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. By using 3D printing to construct homes, you can reduce the amount of concrete that you use. This will in turn reduce the carbon footprint of your home. This technology is one of the great innovations that not only makes our lives more convenient, but it does so while benefiting the environment instead of hurting it.

Less Waste

When you see a home being built by conventional methods, you’ll notice that there are usually several large dumpsters nearby. That is because building a home generally involves a lot of waste. There is excess concrete, excess wood, excess fastenings, and so much more. With 3D printing, there isn’t the same problem. The 3D printer doesn’t need to throw away scraps because it doesn’t cut things to fit. It simply makes things that fit perfectly. 3D printer technology can also accurately measure how much material is needed for a job. This will allow the machine operators to prepare only the material that is necessary to get the job done.

Job Changes

One of the great concerns about automated technology is that it will harm the blue collar workers. However, this isn’t necessarily true. 3D printing homes is not going to eliminate the need for workers, it is simply going to change the tasks that they perform. It is going to take a lot of work to set up and take down the printers. There needs to be operators for the machinery. There also needs to be people that work on the designs of the homes and so many other things. Furthermore, 3D printers can’t do everything. They can’t lay wires or install plumbing. They also can’t do the finishing touches like painting, tiling, carpeting, and drywall. There will still be a lot of work for others to perform.

So, if you get the chance to have your home built by a 3D printer, don’t shy away from this futuristic technology. Choosing to use the 3D printer technology could result in your home being built faster, better, cheaper, and more customizable than other alternative options. That is a big win-win for everyone.

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How the Internet of Things Will Impact the World

The internet of things otherwise known as IoT refers to smart technology like cell phones, vehicles, electronic appliances, and many other smart devices that connect to a wireless network.  The continued development of IoT is intended to make everyday tasks easier and more automatic. With the evolution and our use of technology we will see IoT changing not only the world we live in, but our day to day lives.

Households

The emergence of new IoT will impact households. We have already seen how smart devices can turn on and off our lights while telling us the next day’s weather. Imagine your house being fully automated, adjusting the temperature and locks for windows and doors based on the sensors that you are not home. Appliances will do household work for you like monitoring the food stores in your refrigerator then creating and placing a grocery order for you.

Wireless connections, data analytics, and technology continues to get faster and more reliable. A smart home will help conserve energy and utility costs all while customizing the home directly to your preferences.

The Economy

Like the concept of running a smart home, IoT can impact our economy for good. As the world moves to more automated technology, the ability to save money also increases. By 2035, connected devices will generate up to $11 trillion of value. These devices will work together to help conserve energy and make sound projections based on supply and demand of all other connected devices. The connection of these devices has the chance to promote a thriving economy with extremely high confidence ratios.

Travel

Integration of IoT will also affect our ability to travel. Transportation systems moving to green energy will help our environment. Driverless cars will also cut commute time down for work or travel. With fully automated cars, there will be no room for human error or distractions which will result in less accidents and congestion. Time spent traveling can instead be used for productive or relaxation purposes leading to a more satisfied individual. Even the concept of airplane travel has endless possibilities for comfort and safety improvements.

The Internet of Things has endless possibilities for how it can fully automate and improve our way of life. We have already seen significant changes since the internet became readily available.  IoT will continue to affect our homes, our work and how we travel as computerized systems connect and advance.

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Too Tech Savvy for School: How Technology Is Making It Easier to Get an Education

Some postsecondary educators may consider technology as a distraction in the classroom. They might sometimes view mobile phones and technology as a necessary evil. But rather than tolerating it, educators can harness the power of digital devices and use technology to increase engagement, spark innovation, encourage collaboration and enhance student learning.

In itself, educational technology may not be effective in teaching and learning. Thus, it may require guidance from an educator and a purpose, especially related to the curriculum. The advantage of technology is that it may be effortlessly integrated into the course material. When used with purpose, education can be transformed from a distraction to a useful teaching tool.

Ability to Learn on Your Own Time

Unlike the traditional classroom, students who are struggling with new concepts may fall behind. With online assignments, however, students can advance at their own pace. For instance, those who need extra help can take their time and practice outside the class with additional coursework and guided exercises. This feature is also essential for learners who may want more challenge.

The always-on nature of technology allows students to access resources online on-demand and from anywhere. The educators can use the platforms to gauge which student might require extra help. The self-paced learning also helps students acquire digital skills and become technology literate. These additional skills will be valuable in the workforce, especially in the medical field. If you’re interested in the medical field, there are several health industry careers made available through online education.

Better Research and Information Sources

As long as they have an internet connection, students have access to information 24 hours a day. A student can find almost anything online, and he or she can gain access to essential data for research in its most updated version. For students, technology means access to everything in any discipline or research area. They can access research materials and educational apps, open resources from leading universities and interactive edutainment systems.

Although technology offers an endless pool of resources, students may require instructions on how to find credible and relevant resources. Additionally, students may need directions on how to provide attribution to these resources properly. Students can use technology to connect with online groups and virtual communities in real-time.

Improved Student Engagement

Education technology can assist in making learning in a specific field interactive and collaborative. This can help students better interact with the course material. The interaction will eliminate the need for students to memorize facts aimlessly but, rather, learn by doing. A student can do this by participating in tech-enabled or online group discussions, such as virtual labs, and virtual field trips and playing educational games.

For this online platform to be truly engaging and collaborative, it should be interactive. Animating a math challenge introduces a new perspective compared to using a pencil and paper. The interactivity in online platforms provides a better learning experience.

Although technology has been viewed as a threat, integrating it into teaching will offer new approaches for student engagement and interaction with the course material. Thanks to technology, education can be accessed from anywhere other than being confined to the walls of a classroom.

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How to Protect Your Private Medical Data Online

With technology becoming a key tool in many practices, patient data is being stored digitally more and more. It’s important to keep your medical information safe, which can be increasingly difficult to do in the digital age we live in. Here are three ways you can help keep your online medical data protected online.

Be Proactive

Since most of your medical information will be stored and handled by your doctors, it’s very possible your data might be in danger and you wouldn’t even know it. While not always intentional, medical fraud through the mishandling of patient data isn’t as uncommon as most people would expect. Do your research when switching to a new doctor, check to see if there were any recent data breaches that made headlines or any medical fraud cases. Doctors should protect your confidential information, and if they fail to maintain a proper doctor-patient relationship, it is probably time for a new doctor.

Be Wary of Apps

Medical apps can seem to be very helpful at a glance in keeping track of your medical information, but with the large number of apps to choose from it can be difficult to know what’s safe to use. There’s a surprising lack of regulation regarding what apps are allowed to do in terms of data collection, especially when it comes to the Android platform. Always read through the terms and conditions, and see what exactly the app requests permission to access. Many free apps purely exist to leech your information for marketing and sales purposes, and not just your medical information either. Apps offering medical advice can also be an issue, as many straight-up take advantage of the user and provide some serious misinformation.

Protect Your Internet

With appointment scheduling, record requests, and many other services transitioning to online availability, ensuring your internet and computer remain spyware-free is another way you can protect your medical records. At a minimum, you’ll want both a strong antivirus software as well as malware protection software on your computer, since these will generally prevent attacks on your computer and your data. You’ll also want to make sure that your web browser is always kept up to date, and use a browser known for its security. Newer versions of web browsers have fixes for security loopholes that malicious software can take advantage of.

By keeping these things in mind, you can help keep your private medical data safe, as well as other personal data. While these tips are specifically geared towards protecting your medical data, they can be applied to your personal data in general as well.

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