Home Control Center Technically Speaking - Episode 9
The Control Center

Technically Speaking - Episode 9

Whether you are traveling, working or relaxing at home, we know speed, choice and control matter to you. In each episode of Technically Speakingtech expert and host Andru Edwards highlights his favorite tech products in each of these categories to help make your life that much easier. Here are his picks this episode:


What it is: Turn your non-touch laptop into a touchscreen
Available at: www.air.bar

The AirBar earned a CES 2017 Innovation Award for its ability to turn a normal laptop into a touchscreen by emitting an invisible light field over the laptop’s screen. It senses touch so you can pinch, zoom, tap, swipe and navigate your computer faster.

GoTenna System

What it is: Off-grid system that gives you GPS and texting capabilities with other GoTenna users in range
Available at: www.gotenna.com

No service? No problem. The GoTenna System pairs with an app on your smartphone and acts as an antenna to allow you to text other GoTenna users in range and use GPS even if there’s no cell phone, satellite or Wi-Fi service. So you can be 100 percent off the grid, but still connected to your travel buddy.

August Smart Lock System

What it is: Turn your smartphone into a smart key
Available at: www.august.com

You are the key master with the August Smart Lock System. It’s the latest in home security technology. The compatible app turns your smartphone into a mobile command center allowing you to lock and unlock your door, create virtual keys for guests and keep a 24/7 log of who comes and goes. And with instant notifications, you are in control no matter how far away from home you may be.

How do Andru’s picks hold up in everyday life? Three National Emerald Club road warriors tested out the AirBar in their daily lives and gave us their feedback.

“I was amazed at how well this worked. You can scroll easily and even enlarge and shrink the screen. It was incredibly easy to use. Plug it in, stick the magnets to the screen and poof, you have a touch screen! I expected to be able to touch buttons and scroll, but was very surprised to be able to also enlarge and shrink the screen with my fingers. I used it on the old laptop I unexpectedly had to use while lecturing, so it’s a great way to get extended use out of a less expensive laptop.”

- Carla A., Evansville, Ind.

“It is easier to use on an airplane because I don't have to use the touch pad or worry about an external mouse. I like the fact that this is a bit easier to use than the touch pad, although it takes a bit of time to get used to. But in the end, it isn't as sensitive or accurate as an iPad or iPhone.”

- Jenni D., Dublin, Ohio

 “I don't need to bring a tablet for touchscreen functionality anymore! I liked how easy it is to hook up to the laptop and remove when not needed. Some things are easier to do on a touchscreen and this does the trick. I set up the AirBar and used it to open a few files with my fingers rather than the touchpad, then opened a paint program and created a simple piece of art by hand. It inspires creativity - art projects are fun on the touchscreen.”

- Chris S., Melrose, Mass.