Erin Lawrence from TechGadgetsCanada.com joined us as discussed some current reviews of the iRobot Roomba s9+ partnered with the Braava jet m6 to ensure your house or apartment is always clean! We also looked at the Google Nest Hub Max and compared it to the Amazon Alexa for ease of use. Finally, we talked about Smart Christmas lights and what you can use to change the mood of any room. I think you will enjoy the show.
Full show notes, transcriptions, audio and video at http://theAverageGuy.tv/hgg426
WANT TO SUBSCRIBE? http://theAverageGuy.tv/subscribe
Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E/1UTC at http://theAverageGuy.tv/live
Podcast, Home Gadget Geeks, lights, google, devices, vacuum, smart, vanlife, robot, irobot, Roomba, Braava, nest, Google Nest home, mop, christmas Erin Lawrence
Keep up with Erin at https://TechGadgetsCanada.com
She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/erinLYYC
She is on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/erinlawrencetv
Recent gadget reviews from Erin:
iRobot Roomba s9+ vacuum and the new Braaja jet m6 mopping robot.
Google Nest Hub Max with built in Nest Cam spy camera
Smart light holiday hacks:
Jim Collison [0:00]
This is the Average Guy Network and you have found Home Gadget Geeks show number 426 or recorded on December 12 2019.
Jim Collison [0:23]
Here on Home Gadget Geeks we cover all your favorite tech gadgets that find their way into your home news reviews, product updates, and conversation. All for the average tech guy. I’m your host Jim Collison broadcasting live from the average guy TV Studios here in Mike winter is upon us, no more fall. It’s done the we had this wind the other day. In fact, when I left for London, we had wind advisory that like it was like 100 miles an hour. blew the leaves everywhere. I felt like all the work I’d done in the fall all screwed up our house, your yard.
Mike Wieger [0:51]
Well my yards fine. I got all the leaves up, but I was supposed to be out in a deer stand hunting that day as a Sunday. We were down at the farm and I just called it like we’re heading back to Omaha. I am not sitting out in a deer stand strapped to a tree 12 feet up in this wind.
Jim Collison [1:07]
Erin, you guys have a bunch of snow on the ground are you guys How you guys doing up there?
Erin Lawrence [1:11]
We have quite a bit of snow. We had a big dump of snow about a month ago it kind of stuck around we had another one and then just yesterday we had another unexpected one. So I think it’s going to be a white Christmas here.
Jim Collison [1:21]
That’s good. That’s not always a bad thing we get maybe once every three or four years here in Nebraska is a white Christmas and that’s not always a bad thing when we get a blizzard Christmas Eve like cancelled Christmas Eve services. But that morning, you know, and we have foot or 18 inches of snow on the ground and it was beautiful. And I was just like this is Christmas. So sorry if you live in Australia, you’ll never have a white Christmas but you can have them if you come up here to the United States. Of course. We’ll post the show a whole bunch of show notes tonight because Erin has been kind enough to provide the links for those. You can get them all out at the average guy.tv
Jim Collison [1:58]
Don’t forget you can listen to us live on our mobile app when you’re traveling for I could have used that except I wasn’t there to do the show last Thursday. Mike, did you go live on Twitch? Is that? Is that what you did on Thursday? Yeah,
Mike Wieger [2:08]
well, I streamed on mixer for just a little bit. And I think I had a few them stop out and see it. So
Jim Collison [2:14]
well, thanks for filling in for me, will in the post show. So if you’re a regular listener in the post show, I’m going to kind of give a London update. So that’ll be available on Patreon. You can go to the average guy, TV slash Patreon. But kind of the separate feed for that you don’t need to be a subscriber. I’ll just make it public. And you can go out there and get that we’ll do a London updates a little bit on some beer and I’ve got some new cigars I want to talk about as well. But if you want to download the app, the average guy TV, no go to HomeGadgetGeeks.com and that will get you the app Android and iPhone as well.
Jim Collison [2:45]
Big thanks to Samantha or Sammie, like my daughter. She came on last week two weeks ago actually did a bang up job. And it’s a really good episode. So if you didn’t catch it, it’s not there’s no tech in it. It’s just her and I talking about her her future in journalism. We talked a little bit about broadcast journalism, how she sees cable news networks and how she views her job as a journalist. And then I asked the question is podcasting journalism and we talked a little bit about that. So if you haven’t gone back to it 425, HGG, four two five at the average guy, TV
Jim Collison [3:18]
Erin Lawrence is with us tonight. And of course, big friend of the show. Erin, I’m going to owe you a Home Gadget Geeks t shirt. I think this is maybe eight 910 times you’ve been on I I’ve kind of lost track. But welcome back.
Erin Lawrence [3:30]
Thank you. Thanks for having me. And Christmas is coming, Jim. I’m just saying,
Jim Collison [3:33]
Okay, well, maybe maybe a T shirt. Should be coming your way with pride. Wow, that is so awesome. By the way. I know we always say this, but a huge thanks to you for just being like I just call you and like hey, can you come on the show? And you always say yes. And you’re always a great guest. So thanks for being kind to us. As you know, we’re just too tech podcasters here in Nebraska and but I always get really good comments when you’re here. So thanks for doing
Erin Lawrence [4:00]
Oh, thank you and thank you for the invitation. Honestly, I like I like talking to you guys a lot and your audience is really great, super engaged and interesting. So it’s always fun for me too
Jim Collison [4:09]
they’re they’re super fun indeed. Hey, give us a quick update. How’s how’s the van thing going on? Like, have you have you acquired anything new in the process?
Erin Lawrence [4:17]
If in fact I did, we got stumbled into a really great deal on a 2017 Ford Transit. So we had a 2007 dodge sprinter that we customized that went so well we stumbled on to this great deal on the newer Ford so unexpectedly bought a second van and have started customizing that as well. Things are a little slow right now because it is cold and snowy here. You
Jim Collison [4:46]
have so you can pull it into and work on we
Erin Lawrence [4:49]
do have a garage but it’s it’s not over height. So we can’t actually on both the vans we have over height so we can’t actually pull them in. And at that point with the door open it. There’s no way warmth happening. So just to kind of just just put it on hold a bit, but I’ve got some new solar gear coming. We talked about putting solar panels on the van. So we’re going to do that again. We’re probably going to try and put some propane into this one, which we didn’t do in the last one. propane stove, propane heater, probably air conditioning, which we didn’t have in the last one. And what am I forgetting? Most solar and
Jim Collison [5:25]
does have a window in the side because that was a problem, right? It was kind of a it was kind of a tunnel.
Erin Lawrence [5:31]
This This one doesn’t have a window in the side, but it does have two windows in the back, which I’m okay with. And we might yet try and get a window installed. We’ll have to see but yeah, we’re, we’re pretty excited. I’m waiting for it to warm up. I hope we get a few warm days over the holidays so we can get a few things in we need to get a spray foam. We’re going to get it insulated, which we did with the last one. And that seemed to keep things nice and toasty. Yeah. So yeah, it’s really fun how the
Jim Collison [5:58]
tech workout you had some lights you have faint you had a fan that would pop up you had some you know chargers, you’re working off a battery. I don’t think you had enough batteries in there just to be honest. Like, there was just it was kind of small to be honest. We saw the pictures. Totally. Yeah, I’m a little undersized for what I thought you but did it work for you guys when you were going out and
Erin Lawrence [6:17]
does the single battery that we have in the sprinter is is usually good for kind of almost 24 hours. So that’s one of the things we did learn that we would probably put in a second battery and maybe a third in this new van. And we did 200 watts of solar in the original van and we’re probably going to up it to 400 watts of solar. We also got this really great gadget which I didn’t even know these things existed. It’s essentially an AC powered generator. So it’s from a company called energy and it’s called the light can power box. So you can plug this looks like a generator in and you can run all your tech off You can charge your phones you can run a heater off it just depends on wattage and amperage which I’m still learning about but you can also power it not only off the AC you can power it off the cigarette light charger in the vehicle or off solar power. So we’re going to get a solar it’s called a solar suitcase which is one of those things that just sort of opens up three or 400 watts of solar panels, plugs into this device and keeps it charged all the time. So making some significant power upgrades and the next bad down
Jim Collison [7:33]
good what’s the retail on something like that? I mean with this set you back that’s the can’t be cheap
Erin Lawrence [7:37]
on the solar I think the solar panels Gosh, I want to say they’re around 100 hundred and 50 bucks per panel and our each of our panels is about 100 watts. The light can power box is probably closer to like eight 900,000 bucks I think and like the battery and that is replaceable. So once you Get through all of your charging cycles on a battery like that in theory, you can replace it. So it should last a good long time. We’ve been we’ve been playing with it and toying with it. We have it’s been too cold to get out for much. But yeah, we can’t can’t wait to try out all this new, all these new toys all this new tech.
Mike Wieger [8:19]
So the idea that you’re going to keep both vans or eventually sell the first one. what’s what’s the plan? Airbnb? The one Yeah. Hey, I even think about that. Is there a service for that? I’m sure there is.
Erin Lawrence [8:29]
There is. And we did it last summer and had the van rented out all summer. So I think we got it for one weekend, in the end, how to rent it out, which was part of the reason we thought hey, if we keep this first fan while we do the second van, we can rent the first fan out and then see where we get to. So yes, to answer your question, there is an Airbnb for van life. There’s a couple of them. There’s one called outdoor xe and another one called are Vz both.com i think i dorsi.com RVC calm and you can put in your parameters. Do you want a trailer? Do you want a fifth wheel Do you want, you know, a small compact van, and you can rent them out by the night. So we did that with the first fan and had great success and people really liked it. It was really fun to share the whole van life experience with people like us who had never really tried it before, you know, a year ago and it went really well. So we’re gonna see see where we get to this next year
Mike Wieger [9:30]
whenever the fleet you’re gonna have like a whole fleet of and they’re just gonna keep rolling the money into the new one, right?
Erin Lawrence [9:36]
Don’t laugh because Yeah, definitely.
Mike Wieger [9:42]
Jim Collison [9:43]
you know, it sounds great. And it’s fun right? Something to work on something to keep you distracted in something to try out some of this new I mean, think of all the solar tech but you get to kind of try out with this and see how it works cuz you had an extender, right? You had a cell phone extender in there as well.
Erin Lawrence [9:59]
Yes, right amplifier. Signal amplifier. And we’ve tried a couple of different versions of those, you can get them built in or temporary so that you can kind of just stick them on with a magnet and use them where you need them. And those actually work really great. Like all this stuff I didn’t even know existed. And I was like, boom, solar and like, How good can it really be? And then you hook up the solar, it’s like, oh, no, it keeps everything like fully charged all the time. And it’s been really good. We’ve been really happy we’ve been getting stuck from that company. I think I just mentioned it called energy. And there’s their stuff is really durable. The products are really well made. So we’ve been really happy with it. And so to your question about the additional batteries, they also carry batteries. So I think we’re going to order up a bunch of new batteries for energy probably in the next couple months. And yeah, we’ve been happy with it.
Jim Collison [10:50]
I think there’s some math that goes along with usage and you really don’t want the battery to go down below a certain amount as you’re using those. So Kind of over Kennedy overpower what you think it’s not like your cell phone where you take it down and bring it up but you want to keep the battery bank pretty full I think in most cases and I’ve heard in some cases do not even want to get it below 50%
Erin Lawrence [11:14]
Yeah, that’s what we’ve been reading and my husband has been very good about you know, when it does snow as it has been here, he’s out on the Sprinter van with he bought a like an extra long mop with not not the mop head, but like a flat mop kind of thing. And so he gets out and he pushes the snow off the solar panels so that you know that everything stays charged up. And he bought a trickle charger for it. So if we ever do, you know, get into a spot where it’s just the weather is not cooperating, it’s too cloudy or too much snow. We just plug in the trickle charger and that keeps everything topped up really nicely.
Jim Collison [11:50]
super great. And so we’ll follow you those if folks are new to the channel, maybe they’re hearing you for the first time. They want to follow you on these van builds. where’s the best place to do that?
Erin Lawrence [12:00]
I would say start with the blog which is tech gadgets Canada calm and we also share this on youtube.com slash Erin Lawrence TV and Twitter and Instagram at Erin l yyc.
Jim Collison [12:13]
Cool. Yeah, it’s it’s getting popular. So, Mike, you got into a little trouble for following the van life right? That’s kind of wondering what’s going on? Is it Instagram?
Mike Wieger [12:24]
Yeah on the Instagram we talked about hashtag van life last time and fantastic definitely worth of follow but there’s we were talking about before we started before we went live. There’s almost kind of like a hippie movement behind this as well. It’s kind of part of it right like live off the land live in your van 24 seven. Well, there’s also a trend of people showing how they bathe and so usually they’re skinny dipping in like a lake right next to their van and my wife was like, Why are there always like people bathing in a lake? or Instagram? Like I swear it’s something weird. I’m here for the bands. I’m not here for skinny dipping women. Are they all ridiculously good looking though. They are and usually their their their backsides bear. So yeah it’s yeah yeah. Oh, well if they weren’t I don’t think my wife I don’t
Jim Collison [13:12]
let me fire my to follow so interesting byproduct of a conversation we had back in the summer so I’m Erin as we think about Christmas and we kind of have you on early every year to kind of think about that and I the first thing the first couple things I want to talk about is something every Christmas I think about like because okay my house, I’m the guy who vacuums so when the kids moved out, we divided and conquered kind of house chores, and who’s going to do what and and so I took over all the watering of the plants and all the vacuuming. And so every Sunday I vacuum the house top to bottom, but I vacuum now is top to bottom. And so with the with the advent of robot, you know, we’ve talked with you about Robot mowers for the last I don’t know, three four years right? These aren’t that new but there’s been some a lot of innovation around the the Roomba the iRobot the these vacuum cleaners that do this in the house and I struggle with it every year because it’s a $500 bill right it’s four or $500 to get the really good ones I think Yeah, yeah. Okay, so more
Erin Lawrence [14:21]
and it’s and it’s going up Yeah, because they’re getting smarter
Jim Collison [14:24]
well right and there’s there’s now one that has its own base station and it right that came out last year I think at this time and it just charges and you know the the junk for you. So you spent a little time on your site and these links will be in the show notes. So folks want to come out and see the work that Erin’s done on it, but you’ve looked at both at the iRobot Roomba the S nine plus as well as the and I have no idea how to pronounce this. bra
Erin Lawrence [14:48]
bra bra Bravo jet. I think I actually type Oh, sorry, that’s my job
Mike Wieger [14:58]
Baja. So I want I’m not even reading anymore close the right word.
Erin Lawrence [15:02]
That’s the surfboard mopping.
Jim Collison [15:05]
is starting to kick in. Let me just
Mike Wieger [15:08]
I’m drinking water with my excuse.
Jim Collison [15:09]
Yeah, you’ve looked at you looked at both of those. Let’s kind of start with the mop. piece. And you know, we talked to you back I think back in the spring and you’ve been tried one of those kind of mob style that clean the window, right? When? Yes, right. We did that. Yeah. So have you been trying these out? Are they are they getting better? I mean, is it is it? Are they actually doing their job?
Erin Lawrence [15:29]
They’re getting a lot better. And I would say the key thing now, which makes a lot of sense to me is that the mop talks to the vacuum. So the thing about a robot mop is, it’s great provided you Jim have done the vacuuming in your house. Otherwise, it’s just getting gummed up with you know, pet hair and dust and everything else. So what they’ve been doing is figuring out how to get these two robots to talk to each other. So the good thing about the robot mop which is the Bravo jet and Six and that’s by AI robot. They’re kind of like the giant of robot floor cleaning devices, if you will. So they figured out a way to get these two devices to talk to each other. So if you want to mop your floor, you can send the sweeper, the vacuum out first. it sweeps up the whole house for you. And then when it’s done it basically tag teams the mob, the mob goes out and mops everything down. So to your point, yes, there were robot mops before. Yes, there were robot vacuums before, but now they’re literally a team. Like I think the next phase might be. They combine into one magical device that does everything. But for now, they work in tandem, they work in coordination and that’s, that’s pretty neat to see. Because it it works.
Jim Collison [16:50]
You would you would think the two separate devices would probably be the best way to do this. Right? There’s one is using liquid The other is is really just trying to pull want as much dirt as possible? And that may be seen? I don’t know as I look at it, although I’ll probably be proven wrong some engineering student will figure out how to do two for one will flip over. They always keep them pretty small to are these units. Are they? Are they remaining small? Have you seen them getting bigger? What are you seeing as far as these units go?
Erin Lawrence [17:19]
I would say the vacuums are probably about the same. They you could say they’ve gotten bigger because now you’ve got the dustbin that comes with it. So whereas you used to have the robot vacuums that had a little almost like a drawer that you would pull out and it was full of the dust and the dirt on the hair and everything else. You dump it in the garbage. Now they come with a dust been attached. So it’s the actual base station is a lot bigger and it does take up a lot more real estate. But tucked inside it is a vacuum bag and when the vacuum is doing its work, it goes out if it’s full, it’ll send itself back to the base station. Empty the robot into the base station and then go back out and keep doing its job if it’s not done your whole house. So the vacuums are, I would say similar in size but the base stations are bigger to accommodate, you know that that extra service that they’re providing, I guess you could call it the mops are also bigger. I tried out the I would call it the original Bravo jet mob probably about three years ago. And it was fairly small. I mean like smaller than a lunch box fairly compact. And you know, it’s really kind of just doing one room like it’s doing your kitchen or it’s doing your bathroom and then it’s sort of done. But now the mop is a lot bigger and on on the blog and the video review that I did I put them up side by side and you can actually see there is quite a size difference in them. The mopping pads seem to have gotten better they now make reusable mopping pads for the mop which is very convenient. There they are for the for those who can see the screen It’s quite a significant size difference. And the other big thing about both the mob I would say and the vacuums nowadays is they’ve got a lot more brains. So these devices are able to map out your entire home your entire main floor, know where boundaries, barriers, obstacles, sofas, walls are. And that allows you to sort of go back in afterwards, you can label your map. And then because it’s voice connected, of course, you can tell Google to go mop the living room and the kitchen or go sweep all the bedrooms and they’re that smart now that you can fine tune the cleaning power of them to that degree. Now how
Mike Wieger [19:49]
accurate because that’s what I’ve been noticing is the marketing around these things has kind of shifted towards the mapping technology. Right And is it Have you found it does a pretty good job and I’ve always wondered, you have to almost tell it was shorter floor plan or does it overtime kind of give you the floor plan based on what it bumps into.
Erin Lawrence [20:07]
So what it’ll do, it takes my mind took probably four or five days to do. But the first few times it goes out. And this is true for both the vacuum and the mob. It basically is just running its own little, you know, fact finding mission. So every time it bumps into something, it registers that and what it does over those first four or five days is it creates this. I mean, it doesn’t even look like a map. It’s just this really weird shaped space. And what you have to do afterwards is sort of go in and try and figure out okay, well, this big space over here must be the bed in the master bedroom. And there’s Oh yeah, and there’s the dresser. Okay, so this is the master bedroom. And here’s the island in the kitchen and here’s the table. So okay, this is the kit and you kind of have to put it together. It can be a little hard to interpret. If you’ve got A lot of furniture or you haven’t picked up your obstacles, or
Jim Collison [21:04]
you have cannot leave toys everywhere. Exactly,
Erin Lawrence [21:07]
yeah. So it does a really good job and you can figure it out. And then you go back in and label it afterwards. And, you know, because it’s constantly learning, so say you left a giant box in the middle of your living room for some reason, it’ll figure it out. Afterwards, if the box disappears, it’s like, oh, something’s changed here about this map. So it’s constantly learning. But once you’re able to add those labels to each of the rooms, you can control it, you know, what’s so much more precision and it’s, it’s really cool. It does a really good job.
Jim Collison [21:42]
So where maybe a couple years ago, I mean these these did an okay job. I’m showing the map currently on the screen. It almost looks the map. You know, I’m kind of used to the, you know, when you think about the map of a house, it’s you know, walls and stuff. This actually kind of looks like some islands in the South.
Erin Lawrence [22:03]
Yeah, it looks a bit like a doughnut. But I mean, if you think about it like the way for those who can see it, obviously, if you, it’s almost like it’s on an angle, right. So because we’ve got stuff around the edges of the walls, it cuts into it, and creates this really weird shape. But that’s just showing you that it knows where all the furniture that’s placed against the walls are or you know, where walls or peninsulas or islands are. And the other thing they’ve added to, which I think is really smart, is there’s something called keep out zones that you can add to these devices. So let’s say you’ve got pet dishes that the robot is constantly bumping into and spilling. Or you’ve got, you know, a rag rug by the front door that it’s constantly getting caught up and you can actually go in now to your map and draw sort of a keep out area around whatever The either the mop or the vacuum will just stay away from that. So if it was ever our old vacuum would get caught up on this we had this one sort of register in the floor, the vent and it wasn’t quite flush so sometimes the vacuum would get sort of caught in it and then it would shut down. Now you can go in and say just just avoid this little small area so it never gets near it so it’s not as much of a problem anymore.
Mike Wieger [23:24]
I’ve got to try it out I’m really excited I’ve been wanting to for a while I think I’m gonna wait though to my boys get a little older and they’re not leaving all of their color all their toys on the floor right now puzzles everything and I’m sure but you know I ever since they came out with a model, like you said with the base station that acts almost like a vacuum bag because you know, we we vacuum we are religious about vacuuming once or twice a week. But just we have a dog who’s a massive shedder and you do one room and our big vacuum is entirely full. So yeah, let me look how that has a lot of capacity and really makes it worth it because before it would probably only go to do a question Order of the room with the way our talk sheds, so yeah, this has me this has been wanting to go on trying again.
Erin Lawrence [24:06]
Yeah, they’re ridiculously convenient
Jim Collison [24:09]
with the new units do you feel like I always felt like when people do reviews are like this is good for kind of light cleaning and I’m still probably vacuuming a once a month or you know, kind of whatever Are we still in that? You know, are we kind of still there with these were they’re good for kind of just the you know, the surface stuff but you still you still feel like you have to go back and vacuums every so often.
Erin Lawrence [24:36]
I mean, I think you do anyway because there’s always going to be spaces these devices can’t get into, you know, whether that’s your baseboards or the spot under the couch or, you know, the little space between the bedside table in the wall. You’re always going to need to do that stuff anyway. But what I find these are good for is you know, Mike, you said it pets. You know, we’ve got two dogs and can send these robots out three or four times a week while we’re at work so it doesn’t bother us and it keeps the overall cleaning down to your question with the mob you know if if the dogs tracked in a ton of mud, is this going to scrub it all off? No. But you know that’s that’s the kind of spot cleaning you’re going to have to do yourself anyway. For us what we realized is we weren’t you know, we’re both busy we weren’t keeping up with the floor cleaning as much as we probably should having two dogs. So with the ability to send the vacuum out three or four days a week and the mop the same. I think we just feel better about the fact that our house is cleaner with the dogs and us tracking stuff in and the winter weather and the mud and the water and everything else. It just keeps for me It keeps the overall housework down.
Mike Wieger [25:56]
I’m just waiting for the first traditional vacuum come ready to come out a marketing campaign around like hashtag save the lines because for us, it’s we love the vacuum lines in the carpet, right. And it’s the same thing with the modeling where I when I was deciding between my big riding lawn mower or a robot mower, I was like I just love the look of lines. And I think that I think a marketing campaign could be very successful once these things get big enough that it starts to really eat into the profits of the traditional vacuum companies. Yeah, it would be so hard for me to get rid of because I’ve just been trained since I was a little kid to make perfect vacuum lines right? Oh, wow. Super. Yeah, it was something my mom taught me and my wife is very appreciative that my mom just in group and you know it from a young age and my wife was the same way so works out well. We love our vacuum lines. era and the the mop itself is always the Bob said have been out not been very good, just to be honest. For at least in the reviews that I’ve seen with the bigger mop and we’re showing a picture on YouTube of kind of I’m assuming this is after one time maybe of mopping the floor or right So I
Erin Lawrence [27:00]
would say that’s after doing our entire main floor.
Jim Collison [27:03]
Okay. I’m satisfied that you see that as a pretty good result.
Erin Lawrence [27:10]
I do and because, like I say it’s it’s not picking up, you know, a big muddy footprint. It’s getting all that extra little dirt and stuff that you don’t necessarily see. You know that if you wash the floor once a week, sure, like you’re going to pick all that up and stuff, but it’s it’s the stuff that you don’t see. So I was actually I was really surprised at how much it did pick up because I had that impression to especially the first mop I tried a couple years ago. I was like, there is no way this is picking up squat. And then you turn them up over and you look at the cleaning pad. And it’s It’s horrifying. It’s it’s quite mucky, it’s quite dirty. There’s all kinds of hair and fibers and everything else all over it. And it’s just like, you know, that’s that’s what on your floor between between regular washings. And to your point, by the way, about the vacuum lines, this is something I noticed between my earlier tests of the robot vacuums and the newer vacuums. Whereas before, I think robot vacuums in particular used to clean sort of your whole room or your whole floor. By virtue of the fact that at random, they’re just kind of going around everywhere. And eventually, they sort of make it to almost every spot in the house. Now they’re a lot more linear and deliberate. So you can see this in the video reviews that I did for the new robot vacuum, the Roomba, s nine plus in particular, and even the Bravo jet em six mob, they go in straight lines. So they’re kind of going and then they’re touching the wall or touching the furniture and then they’re turning around and coming down the other side beside it. Whereas before they were just sort of bumping into everything. Now it’s a lot more deliberate It it the smarts inside these robots show is a lot more, I think
Mike Wieger [29:05]
it’s probably a lot more efficient that way to write that area over there. It’s not just me by random that I hit it again, I’m actually gonna go out and pursue that area.
Erin Lawrence [29:13]
Jim Collison [29:14]
Okay. Erin, you said in your video you have. Did you have some there? See if we can, I’m assuming this is it running the show coming off the carpet?
Erin Lawrence [29:27]
Yeah, so they do.
Erin Lawrence [29:30]
They’ve got a great ability, which is what we’re seeing right now is to avoid chords so they can run over chords and basically spit them out. Whereas again, previous generations would have just tangled them up and you know, brought it to a stop. So, now they’re a lot smarter now. You know, they’re able to avoid a lot of these issues, I would say.
Erin Lawrence [29:53]
And I totally just forgot your question.
Jim Collison [29:55]
Oh, do you have any video of it being on a carpet
Erin Lawrence [30:00]
goes, it goes pretty seamlessly from carpet to floor. And yes, there is carpet in here, I can’t remember where exactly it is
Jim Collison [30:09]
scanning through the video,
Erin Lawrence [30:10]
it’ll do. It’s actually got, I guess you could call it a power boost. So once it gets up from the floor onto the carpet, it’ll actually kick the motor up higher, because it wants to get all that junk out of the carpet fibers. So you’ll hear it sort of kick up and when it’s doing the carpet, it’s got a lot more suction power than it does when it’s just doing say floors or tile.
Jim Collison [30:34]
You know, when we showed that video just a minute ago, it wasn’t long ago, we couldn’t do streaming here on YouTube Live and show a video at the same time and it have it be any quality and that that actually worked somewhere. I know. Somewhere in the technology maybe it’s streaming art we changed over and that that actually looks that actually look pretty. Yeah, no I haven’t I I’ve actually avoided video. In the podcast because of how bad it has been, you know, it starts causing the video to jitter a little bit. I’m assuming those in the chat room who are watching live I probably looked just as good as if they were watching it on YouTube. You guys can let us know. But that was this I just ran around like, oh, wait a minute, I’m trying a video and I looked at it I’m like, Man, that actually looks pretty good. So somewhere in there, we just we just cut over. Um, you mentioned price and like that the just the vacuum is a grand is that right is about $1,000.
Erin Lawrence [31:31]
More Yeah. Then again, Canadian versus US dollars, I think the the S nine plus with the called the clean disposal base. You can get the robot separately without that base and just unmute yourself. But if you want sort of the whole package, the new robot with the base, it’s about 1600 Canadian dollars.
Jim Collison [31:55]
So that’s about $50 American
Mike Wieger [31:59]
Jim Collison [32:00]
sorry. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Yes, our Canadian friends always hammer me on that all the time.
Erin Lawrence [32:07]
You guys do get a good deal.
Jim Collison [32:08]
So maybe 1200? Probably, if it’s 16 there, it’s probably 1200 here I think 1000 1200 bucks. Mike, is that enough? Like, okay, you’re the perfect candidate for the spike, because busy kids dog, like at the $200 price point, does that change? Does that change your mind? Ah,
Mike Wieger [32:28]
it’s still a little too high, you know, only because and I’ll tell you this, I actually don’t think I’m the perfect candidate. Just because of the kids because there are so many toys all the time we do try and pick up every night but then, you know, how often does that happen? Right? So it would be tough. I think you would start running into a lot of things. I don’t know it’s getting I definitely want to try it out and see. Here’s the thing. I think if I had one for a week, I would buy one right I think once I saw it in action had the convenience of it. I think we would, we would really enjoy it. But without having like that initial hook to get me in. Still a little high in price. I think they’ll come down, right? That’s still pretty pricey. It’s almost like kind of new tech price. At least it seems. Yeah.
Erin Lawrence [33:15]
Well, you can get some of the older models in particular for a lot less. I mean, you can certainly get a basic room but like we were talking about them. They’re a little more random. They’re a little less smart, a little less deliberate. They’re not tag teaming them with the mob. Yeah, but you can get those for a couple hundred bucks. Now.
Mike Wieger [33:31]
Jim knows me though. If I go I go all in and I go, you know, so So Jim knows Next week I’ll say yeah, gravlin is awesome. I
Jim Collison [33:38]
know you’re gonna buy one use it for a week and then sell it like more than I bought more than you paid for it. Yeah, nice. Yeah, that’s the way we this way Wieger works he he gets into something he calls me Hey, you got to do this. So by the time I finally figure out what he’s doing, he’s already out sold his stuff for more than he bought it for and is moved on to the alright Ham Radio. Mike. Are you still doing it. I’m clicking. My little tactile thing I play with live exception. We’ve been on ham now for six months.
Mike Wieger [34:07]
That’s a long time. You know, Jim, the joke was, I was talking to hand I’m like, do you realize like I’ve been podcasting with Jim, this is the longest I’ve ever done anything. Like, I’ve been with you for five years now. That’s I mean, in my lifetime, that’s longer than I’ve ever done it soccer I guess when I was I think longer than you’ve been married. It is it’s longer than I’ve been married. It’s longer than I was in undergrad, obviously four years after law school.
Jim Collison [34:32]
Yes, it’s the longest I have done. You heard it here first. Like, like,
Unknown Speaker [34:37]
Jim Collison [34:41]
That’s that’s, that’s that’s pretty
Mike Wieger [34:43]
good. I’m seeing a divorce come in the future. I think because I keep telling him I’m too busy on the weekends to see him.
Jim Collison [34:48]
That won’t break as long as I’m seeing other podcast husband.
Mike Wieger [34:51]
Jim Collison [34:53]
I’m actually thinking Hannah’s blocking me at this point. She’s like, hey, you’re spent you spent too much time with them is it is already He’s, he’s getting you into bad habits, like a lot of beer, and he cigars and all that other stuff.
Jim Collison [35:05]
She’s talk blocking you. You know, that’s your that’s how you’re doing?
Jim Collison [35:12]
Yes, she is indeed. Well let that one rest. My. So my wife got a note on her phone. She is a Google phi user. And they’re giving all Google phi users the new nest. I think it’s the nest. Because that’s a Google product now, right? Yeah. So they’re Yeah, they’re all getting the low end kind of the nest devices. The Nest what is now everything is
Erin Lawrence [35:38]
the mini Mini.
Jim Collison [35:40]
Yeah, I am magine. It’s the entry level, which is pretty interesting. They didn’t ask they just got a note on their phone and they say, Hey, we’re sending in one year way. Joe had been had said to me earlier, he wanted me to review one so he’s I think he’s dropped shipping this one. I am kind of interested in the Google product and of course, Erin, you reviewed these we have the I have the the Amazon hub for the five minutes. And we kind of like it. As a matter of fact, my wife just asked me this week Hey, should we get one of these for my mom so that we can do drop in video? Which Yeah, that’s a perfect and if she does that I may get one for my mom just to be honest. So we can drop in video with her. We could do video on the computer, but she has a hard time figuring that out. You tried out the Google nest hub Max, how’d you like it?
Erin Lawrence [36:31]
I like it. I like it a lot. Google’s Google’s products are Google nest products are like the form factor alone is really nice. This one, the nest hub Max is a 10 inch screen with a stereo speaker. So looks beautiful. Sounds great. And the sort of key differentiating factor about the Google nest hub Max is that it’s got a Nest Cam built in so Great for doing video calls if that’s what you want. But it also gives you the ability to look in on your room. So you can use it as a security camera and no one would know. So if you ever need to keep an eye on your kids or you’re out of town and just want to you know, see what’s going on at home that’s the extra added feature with this one so it does everything you would expect your Smart Home digital assistant smart speaker thing to do, you know, set timers and alarms, ask questions, answers, recipe conversions, news briefings, all that kind of stuff. But it’s got this extra camera in it and it works really well. The camera quality is really good.
Erin Lawrence [37:42]
Yeah, it’s kind of a nice added feature.
Jim Collison [37:44]
It looks like a beautiful device. I mean, I get the 10 inch size. It’s like having an iPad basically. But a lot but a lot cheaper. Right. What What do what are these retailing for
Erin Lawrence [37:57]
the max is selling for about 300 Canadians. Right now, okay, and the smaller version, which I think is about a seven inch screen, which is the Google nest hub is about 170. So, I mean a bit of a price difference depends what you want is, is the camera worth upgrading? And do you need a much larger screen on the hub Max? So yeah, kind of
Mike Wieger [38:25]
do I do love that screen for because we have one we have the smaller version without the camera in it. And I love it in the kitchen. I always thought you know, Alexa, sorry, I just triggered everyone. Lady I always love in the kitchen for measurements and things like that, but man, being able to ask them and they talked about in the commercial, right? Like how do I slice a lemon right? How do I do whatever and having it just instantly pop up a YouTube video and show you it’s really useful. I really like it. It plays YouTube TV, it does all those things, the one we have in our kitchen, and then actually the reason it gets the most views is because we have a curated automatic Google Photos playlist that plays Oh, great. So anytime that our faces me, my wife and my boys show up in a picture and our thing, it’ll show it on there eventually. And that is actually my father in law who come and just sit in front of thing for like an hour, and he’ll just swipe through. Oh, nice. He just he thinks it’s one of the coolest things. Yeah, and I was not I didn’t know how I would feel about the screen or if it would get much use. And it I use it now more than I do a lady in the kitchen. We have both right next to each other. The a lady for us plays obviously better audio cuts, the full sized echo device compared to the smaller Google but the Google max with those stereo speakers, is the sound pretty decent.
Erin Lawrence [39:46]
The sound quality is great. The Hub Max is is not that far off the original Google Home Max, which was sort of the really big speaker version like the Semi Pro version, almost right? So it’s a bit smaller than that. And it’s got the screen on it. The audio quality on these devices, like whether it’s the Google devices or honestly, the LED devices, is is really good. Like, they sound amazing. I just I tried the Google nest mini a few weeks ago. And I thought, you know, compared to all of these much larger speakers, this is going to sound like crap. And I tried it out, you know, put on a bunch of music and I could not believe how good it sounded. I’m of late, I’ve been really impressed with the quality of a lot of the things that I’ve been testing out. I would say about four or five years ago, I went through a phase where I felt like everything I was testing, it was just crap. And people were just throwing stuff onto the market. It wasn’t ready for prime time. You know, nothing worked as it was supposed to the quality was subpar. And I feel like a lot of the manufacturers and you know, Google and Amazon among them have just raised the bar on on everything and, you know, they say you’re getting a good speaker, you’re getting a good speaker.
Mike Wieger [41:06]
Okay, that’s good to know. Because I’ve been thinking about maybe trying out more of the Google devices and given them a shot, our house is littered with echo devices. And maybe maybe given the switchover could be something pretty cool, although I’ve been playing a ton lately, with the echoes ability to do routines. So yeah, a good night routine. And having her go through a whole list of things that she does, has been has been pretty cool, too. I’ve been playing around with different skills and playing music. And I’ve been trying to listen to music as we fall asleep, see if it helps us sleep better. And the routines is pretty cool. I’m sure Google has something very similar to it. But those those sort of things. And along with Apple’s Siri, which also has that same sort of routine skills ability now where you can build your own automation with Siri has been has been pretty cool.
Erin Lawrence [41:58]
Yeah, there’s they’re getting so much smarter.
Jim Collison [42:00]
You’re you’re using both I’m assuming in the house. Do you have a preference on what do you what do you What’s your go to now?
Erin Lawrence [42:07]
I would say, probably up to about a year ago, it was Alexa without a doubt and foreign away. Google’s really stepped up. So I would say I went through this. I think I went through this about six months ago. And I was like, okay, are both assistants still kind of on par with each other? And I would say they are I mean, they can both recognize so many of the commands now. And they’re so responsive. I would say nine times out of 10 on either device, I’m getting a valuable response out of them. I’m going to say this with some sadness, because I am an apple user and I really do like, I love my iPhone. I love my MacBook. But Siri makes me sad Siri, I just find is not as not nearly as responsive or as smart or as intuitive as either Google or Amazon’s devices. So I’ve played with sort of Apple’s homekit A while ago and with with one of their smart speakers, and it was okay. And then I just sort of left it behind. And I’ve really I would say, I’ve pushed forward with both Google and Amazon. And I’ve had really good results. I’m probably due to try out the the apple home kit. See, see how it’s doing these days with Siri. But
Mike Wieger [43:33]
that yeah, if you use shortcuts with Siri, good new app or use an iPhone? I guess I should.
Erin Lawrence [43:38]
It is not fun. Yeah.
Mike Wieger [43:39]
Okay. I think I had not, you know, they announced this about a year ago, I think with shortcuts, being the ability to build in automation. And if you go into the gallery because they have pre built ones that people can submit and go look at what they’re doing and then look at the actual scripts that they’re running, how they built it. It’s ingenious. The things you can do now a shortcut so I really started playing with it. Now it’s a different use case for me I have my my Google and my a lady at home. Like those are speakers I’m not gonna have the home pod everywhere, those are way too expensive. But for an out and about in the wild when you’re out of your home, Siri has become a super powerful tool. With shortcuts. Even the ability of like it knows as soon as it connects to the Bluetooth in my car without I don’t have cardplayer thing. I haven’t automation where it starts playing my latest podcast, open up ways get directions to work and only do that if it’s within a certain time period, right? Because if I, if I do that the middle of data want directions to work, but in the morning, that’s what it’s going to do every time it connects to my car Bluetooth. And just so little things like that people have been doing a lot with RFID tags, because they opened up that ability. So they get home and they just tap their phone as they walk in the door and it triggers all sorts of automation. So it’s for me it’s more of a great out and about assistant and it’s gotten a lot better. Now Grace has a lot without needing to play with it. Right, because Google just has that data. But Apple has really opened up its abilities and everything in the gallery, the gallery of shortcuts. So I think you have to go out and get the app. It’s no longer just included. But it’s from Apple called shortcuts. And just fun to play with it. Yeah, it’s a good reminder, because I tried, if this and that integrations to get ways to open as soon as I leave my home area, you know, okay, 99 times out of out of 100. When I’m leaving my home area, I’m going to work. So that’s a pretty safe assumption to say, hey, when I leave the home area, I just want you to open ways and navigate tour because what I really wanted to do is tell me, don’t take the Interstate, you know, because I have really two options to get to work the Interstate, or 10th Street, like it’s 13. And
Jim Collison [45:49]
a lot of mornings now are in the last year that interstate commute for me has, it’s jammed up three out of four times. And so ways is become more important. could be like, No, no, don’t go that way. Take 13 Street. And so I tried using it this and that doesn’t work very well. I tried, I need to try shortcuts because I think that that may be the way to
Mike Wieger [46:13]
try it. And then the thing that I in my brain when I still think of Siri and these, I think of an assistant where I need something right now. And I ask it something, right, where when I’m when you’re looking through the gallery on shortcuts, there are things like, hey, every morning, email me my calendar, so look at my calendar, and just send me an email with a PDF, or you can have it texted to you, right? What are my main things I have today? And it just, it can do all these automation that don’t really require you to even have any input. But it’s things that in and like I said, the or there’s a there’s a What is my availability, so I can say, hey, check my availability for next Friday, and then send a meeting invite to ErinLawrence, who with my availability, and the background script that these guys have developed in this app is super cool. We’re going to check your calendar when am I available set puts takes that information parses it puts it in a text message sends it to you and all sudden within a second you have my availability for that day without us being connected and Outlook or their traditional calendar clients so just yeah give it a shot it’s a good reminder to kind of check these things out so that and then routines for a lady things that just beginning been getting a lot better that I’ve been enjoying playing with.
Erin Lawrence [47:22]
I will definitely check that out
Jim Collison [47:23]
a couple of comments from the chat room let’s let’s not forget about them Kevin is oh by the way new feature on stream yard so now when I bring in comments, it doesn’t cover up the bottom personnel and moves everybody up so the guys is stream yard are crushing it. Kevin says they do sound good. We were talking about the these these devices. They are all chasing Sonos for sound quality. And I think there’s some real truth to that, you know, persona sets the bar is the kind of the leader in that. And then of course, Kevin says, but of course Amazon Google committed a fraction of the price of that. to Joseph, he says, I have one of the older Lenovo may Google assistance and the sound quality is really really good. Not so much but but pretty close. Kevin
Erin Lawrence [48:08]
Sonos has the smarts built in now to I think you can access both Google and Alexa
Jim Collison [48:14]
using a Sonos trying to kind of your choice of that other Jim says, I have the echo show eight and we have the show five and I think that’s the one we’re going to buy for our parents. Comment on the way I like the the shutter for the camera and that is that’s the lowest tech thing in the world. It’s just a piece of plastic but that is a good right over the right over the camera. We have not ended up using our show a five for very many things. But it really like having the added feature even for timers having the camera via the screen. And and then I know I’m a little in the early in the show to mention this but when we’re making hellofresh meals with it, many of the many of the steps Take timers. And so it’s multiple timers rolling on that. And then you can say, show me my timers. And if you’ve if you’ve named them right, you know, hey, the potatoes got 15 minutes, or it’s got 10 we’re finding that to be really, really kind of helpful and convenient as far as being able to have that screen. Mike, we don’t watch YouTube on it. I don’t although you can’t I don’t think you can watch YouTube live on an Amazon device. Right?
Mike Wieger [49:26]
So non Amazon and I don’t know how to do it on Google my own The only person in our house who knows how to do it is my almost two year old is that somehow knows. Even youngest one. Somehow, without fail. He gets up there and he swiped some way and he’s watching YouTube TV, but I have no idea how he does it. But
Jim Collison [49:43]
yeah, yeah, yeah, I don’t I don’t find us watching it a lot. For media consumption. I kind of want it on a bigger screen. And you know, there’s kind of other ways to do that. But I am find it terribly convenient. Let’s ask, let’s ask her what she feels about this. So I’m going to say hey, Alexa, How do you feel about the Google nest hub Max?
Amazon Alexa [50:06]
Here’s something I found from the article google home on Wikipedia, a second smart display called Google nest hub.
Jim Collison [50:12]
All right, Alexa stop. So there you know we stop there there’s you know, there is this you know, and I wasn’t expecting anything but you do kind of get the we’re still in this spot where you’re getting some they’re going to the search engine looking for some kind of relevant something or other that’s on it. The drop in capabilities ErinHave you done much where you’re talking you using up like you would use a telephone or communication device.
Erin Lawrence [50:42]
I was trying to use it in our house. Our house isn’t that big, but I thought it was super convenient to be my husband’s home office is in the basement and mines upstairs. So you know, I would try and drop in on him. And I’d be trying to complete the call and like what is going on? So Go downstairs and he’s got it unplugged his his whole thing about these devices is like they’re listening to us. They’re watching us. So when I was testing out the the Google nest hub Max, I’d come out, you know, in the morning and the screen is facedown on the on the table. So I’m like, what are what are you doing to my device? He’s like, oh, there’s a camera in there. I gotta, like, well, there’s a shutter like you can just shut it off. No, no.
Jim Collison [51:25]
So good thing is why it’s the tech journalist.
Erin Lawrence [51:28]
I know it was working when they were plugged in, but when he sort of grows weary of, you know, the device listening to him, he just unplugged it and so it’s it’s a little harder to drop in on people when the device is unplugged, but otherwise it works fine.
Mike Wieger [51:44]
I added an echo auto to my car and speaking of dropping in there’s also the announce feature which was really cool. So you can say hey announced that I’m on my way home so in the car, I can just say that cool and it announces it at home because I know that whenever when I leave Hannah is already home with the boys and She’s usually thinking about dinner getting stuff ready and just let her know that I’m on my way and the boys think it’s really funny that all Where’s yet and it just kind of breaks in and announces that without having to do the whole drop in call start call and call it right one quick command right? Or Hannah can do us a great scare she can say announced and it all to all the ones in the house Hey, dinner’s ready, you know, come to the kitchen or whatever. And oh, great, it works pretty well, especially I think if you have older kids who may be up in their rooms, and it all corners of the house, being able to do that, especially in our house is littered with those tiny little dots.
Jim Collison [52:29]
And you can do that with with the app to go to the app and set the announcement and send it to everything. That’s that’s a cool way. You know, I do find maybe it’s just because I’m getting old, but I’m having a hard time keeping up. Like there’s so many great capabilities and you’re like, I don’t even know I could do that. I mean, I knew I could do the announcement thing, but
Erin Lawrence [52:48]
that’s the first I’ve heard of announcements. I’m just sitting here going like, Wow, that’s a game changer.
Jim Collison [52:54]
That could be you know, especially if you’ve got them, you know, set up correctly. In theory, you know, If you you, you connect a family, you could do these. It doesn’t have to be in the house, right? You can drop in on so and so’s and go, and they can answer it. The green lydell will do, I’m assuming Google has some similar functionality. And it’s built in it’s too. So they’ll connect together as well. So
Erin Lawrence [53:18]
they’ve got Google Google duo, which is is sort of their video calling feature, same same kind of functionality.
Jim Collison [53:25]
I think we’re probably going to be a dual family starting here pretty quick. I been looking at the Google devices just because it’s like, I should probably get one or two to kind of mess around with. And so I think, I think that Christmas time, you know, there’s now is the right time to buy. I don’t know about you guys, but there were so many good Black Friday deals this year that, you know, a Cronus I’m a big oconus user. They kept dropping their price like every three days. And I was like, dang it. Why did I buy this back in early November? I could have gotten it for like $1 At some point,
Erin Lawrence [54:01]
you I was just in the grocery store Jim and like not an hour ago, and they’re giving them away if you spend, you know, 200 bucks on groceries, you get the Google nest Mini. And I was just flood the market. I thought you know what that’s that’s, that just shows you how prolific these are becoming that they want them in absolutely every, every home and every room,
Jim Collison [54:21]
the the Amazon devices, you can plug them into the walls, and you know, they’ve just got just listening posts ever. I always wondered, you know, as a kid, and I was watching Star Trek, right, and they in some of those episodes of Star Trek, and they would have a situation where they needed to go back and play something that had happened in the past. So they taste a computer, you know, play this thing, and then it would show and I was like, how do they do that? There were no cameras, like, you know, and now I know they were Amazon devices.
Mike Wieger [54:51]
Right? That’s been a court case already. They Yeah, or wanted to go back and access the audio from a crime that was committed and all the details but The courts had a battle over Can you know, did Amazon need to release that data? Can they release that data? And it was a it was a big thing.
Jim Collison [55:08]
Mm hmm. Erin, it’s the season of lights. It’s Christmas time. And you’re actually like you covered the lights better than anybody, which is great. I think you really like lights. I think we finished the deck finally. And for folks who’ve been listening to me for a long time, they know this was a six year project that I embarked on. This is a lot worse than Gilligan’s Island. I was rebuilding that deck for a long time. And if you’re laughing, you’re old. And the the, and I’ve been thinking about putting some out door, like whew, or like, you know, because you can change the colors and you can do that. And then I kind of start looking at the price tag, right and you kind of think, Oh, I need about 200 feet of lights. That’s going to be $100 in Lights right but there are some interesting lights out there. What do you like? What are you seeing and what’s kind of rising to the top when we think about decorative lights for the housing for you right now?
Erin Lawrence [56:10]
Oh yeah. Um, well Philips Hue who I actually really like I think they probably do Smart Lighting better than anyone. They’ve got all kinds of outdoor lights and indoor lights for that matter but outdoors if you want something for your deck, they’ve got sort of these light strips. And the one I got for our deck is actually quite long. So you’re talking about you need a longer run this one, I can’t remember off the top of my head, how long it is, but runs the whole length of our deck. They’ve got spotlights now. Ring is also the makers of the video doorbells. They also have some outdoor lights. Now their lights aren’t color changing. They’re more sort of security lights that connect to the cameras. But you know they’ve got a whole line of lights film He does some really cool stuff life hacks is also another company that’s doing a lot with Smart Lighting. And you know, you can get the light strips so you can put them around the windows, you can coil them up under, you know, a piece of furniture under the couch. They can change colors, you can set all the timers for the so they can, you know, come on as soon as it’s sunset, in a Christmas pattern, like you can make them red and green. You can make them orange for Halloween. So, I mean, I’ve got, gosh, I’ve got Smart Lighting all over the house. I mean, you can do this with the light bulbs too. So and of course because they all connect to Google and Alexa, sorry a lady
Jim Collison [57:43]
or your friend.
Erin Lawrence [57:43]
You can ask for you know turn on my lights red and green. And they’ll do it or turn them blue. You know, depending on what, what kind of decor you want to do for the holidays or turn everything to candlelight. So it’s just a really nice way I’ve always found smart lights. A really nice way to set the mood and yeah I mean for the holidays it’s just a natural
Jim Collison [58:06]
Yeah, I we we bought I just bought some Christmas lights last year at the end of Christmas you know you go you get there normally 20 bucks you get them for like 17 cents. You know how that goes. So I bought those in and you know the green and I just stapled them up there and actually just you know, on one side I put frosted on the other side I put non frosted whatever you call those native, I don’t even know what to call and what would you call those lights that don’t have anything on them. Like native seska so in man it’s in it we put them up underneath the railing and it just adds so much on neons to it. But it would be fun to look at maybe putting some rope lighting underneath there completely that you could do some some controls when you’re trying to set mood or trying to change colors or stuff is that complicated. to do is a pretty easy is that it all in the app? Is that something I can pick up pretty fast?
Erin Lawrence [59:05]
Definitely. It’s It’s all in the app now. And you can also add tricks. Mike I think mentioned IFTTT or do we call it if
Jim Collison [59:14]
you want to call it
Erin Lawrence [59:15]
where you can have your smart lights setup so if it’s going to snow tomorrow in my house for example the lights all turned blue. So if I wake up in the morning and all the lights are blue, I know it’s scheduled to snow tomorrow which is
Jim Collison [59:27]
everyday, everyday nice
Erin Lawrence [59:30]
Erin Lawrence [59:31]
So using the controls in the app is super simple. It’s pretty easy to set timers or to a lot of them have like a sunrise or a sunset function. So you can have your lights come on, you know at sunrise an hour before sunrise an hour after sunrise. Shut off or sorry at sunset shut off you know at sunrise kind of thing. And at the same time you can program what brightness Do you want them to come on at? What colors do you want them to come on at? exactly which lights Do you want to come on. So, you know, familiarizing yourself with the apps are the interfaces. They’re all pretty user friendly. And it gives you so much flexibility to just, you know, create and you can create those routines like we were talking about earlier, too. It’s like, you know, set set the Christmas routine or Happy Holidays, whatever you want that routine to be. And, yeah, they’re fun. I really like smart lights. I really liked them.
Jim Collison [1:00:27]
I am showing the Philips Hue white and color ambient, this is their outdoor strip a seven foot section and it’s $87 am I missing something or is that going to be pretty much standard again, like, I wouldn’t say that. Okay. Yeah, and I wouldn’t need I really have the deck has 12348 foot section, so I would need four of those. So that’s a $380 setup, which even in Canadian dollars mortgage, I know You know,
Erin Lawrence [1:01:00]
but if you think about it, if you were going to go to Home Depot and buy the equivalent of light fixtures and wire and junction boxes and do all your wiring and you know, and then it’s probably not smart. So I don’t know, I I feel like the cost would be fairly comparable. And you know, if you use the traditional lights are getting none of the smart functions, you can voice control them, you can’t control them with the app and a lot of cases. So, you know,
Erin Lawrence [1:01:33]
it’s, it’s what you want them to do, right?
Jim Collison [1:01:35]
Yeah. And maybe there’s some other options for me as well. And I’m not saying you know, you always go the cheapest options, but you know, here’s some colored light robe. This is 33 feet. Whoa, 100 LED $15 Now, I’m not saying you go this route, probably I’m sure it comes in a Chinese bag and it you know but
Erin Lawrence [1:02:04]
the comments with perfectly matched hooks Jim I don’t even know what that means.
Jim Collison [1:02:08]
There you go first of all I super impressed that you can even read the words are you are you watching us on your like 50 inch TV is that what you’ve got going on?
Erin Lawrence [1:02:20]
I did just get a 55 inch LG OLED TV but no I’m not watching that.
Jim Collison [1:02:25]
I thought maybe you were you were all your all your review gadgets have been deployed? Well, I’m, you know, I’m kind of thinking like, you know, there’s probably some middle ground but that being said, Man 17 sent Christmas lights and I’m not far away like we’re 13 days from Christmas as we record this right now, and I’m like, hey, there’s always those after Christmas deals and definitely I will probably go pick up just some green and try to match them as close as I can. The store I bought him at last winter is already gone out of business. So haha I don’t know if I’m going to get those exact lights again. But shopko where I got my earbuds those they went out of business. So I don’t know, but it it is kind of great and I’ve got the the deck lights around and old school switch your quick if they come on, you know, and you’re like that’s pretty cool
Mike Wieger [1:03:16]
and totally depends on where you’re putting them and what you need. Because for example, you guys, we were talking about my lighting, and all kind of up here. So it’s hidden in between the wood beam so no one’s gonna see what type of lights they are. And for me, I’m not changing the color too often. So the remote works pretty well for me or I also had them on one of the Oh, you know, the smart plugs, right you from TV, or whatever. And so you could still have voice enabled on off now you’re not going to change the color. But you know for certain if these were my upstairs lights where I want that color changing the scenes routines, but it’s just think it depends. So for an outside spot, maybe you don’t really need the color changes. Maybe the cheap Do Where can you use a TP link little smart switch and then that way they are at least be on your routines for on and off, but not the color changing because I use a mixture of both. Yeah,
Erin Lawrence [1:04:09]
well the good thing about smart lights too is that the way I’ve done it is I’ve added kind of lights every year, you know, and you can constantly expand your setup and your kit. So Jim, I say start with one run, you know, along the back of the deck or something, see how you like it. And then if you want to, you know, start adding more, it’s it’s all buildable, right? So right
Jim Collison [1:04:34]
on, right on and I can, I can I can finish out the deck in white, to have the, you know, to kind of have the basic lighting, and then I could begin to add some other things that to it. On the smart side. It would be fun. You know, we’re not out there a ton because of the weather. We’re not out there early as much if it was in California, and we could go out, you know, 350 days out of the year, then I might think Okay, I’m gonna invest in these lights because we’re going to use them all the time. I mean I’d love one of those things where it could be set up to the music that’s playing in China, you could kind of set it you know kind of dim it, brighten it up whatever whatever you’re trying to do. What besides okay so a real you had a utility use case where you’re saying like, when it’s going to snow their blue, do you have other other settings that you use for that kind of to tell you things with your lights besides that one or now Mike’s is showing off.
Mike Wieger [1:05:30]
I was trying to see if I can do red and blue and I can
Jim Collison [1:05:35]
do you have other scenarios that you use that for?
Erin Lawrence [1:05:37]
We did I had it had it set up for a while where if somebody rang or ring video doorbell, the lights on this one particular lamp would flash and then for Halloween, I had a setup where if somebody rang the ring video doorbell the lights would flash like orange and purple or something. And then there was like one other level that I could have taken that were if I hooked it up to, you know, a smart speaker or something that I could play, you know, scary. Sounds like scary laugh
Erin Lawrence [1:06:09]
that was the worst scary
Jim Collison [1:06:12]
By the way, that’s good.
Erin Lawrence [1:06:14]
I’ll work on it. Yeah.
Erin Lawrence [1:06:16]
So there’s I mean, there’s all kinds of things you can do with it. The doorbell thing is kind of a more practical use case if you don’t necessarily hear the doorbell because if you don’t have the ring, chime installed, and you don’t have your phone with you, you might miss it. But if the lights are going on and off, you know, you might notice it.
Jim Collison [1:06:33]
Yeah. Tonight was we were getting ready dinner. My daughter was doing something and I think she was plugging in the Christmas tree and that she said she just we just she came home on Tuesday night. So she hasn’t been home very long from school. And she goes, don’t we have something that we can just say, turn on the Christmas tree and it comes on? And how funny like that was she was saying it like it was it was an expectation I had bought Last year two years ago I think every year I bought a plug for the tree we use it we take the tree down I have extra plug it gets deployed somewhere right right and so it got me it got me thinking I should probably go on Amazon tonight and in order a plug so we’ve got although there’s only 30 days till Christmas but it it the point was how quickly her expectation just this thing’s not on a smart plug like dad yeah like what is your
Mike Wieger [1:07:30]
I had the same exact problem Jim and then I had to quickly in my head I’m like okay, what lights in here or not? He likes it. I would have used a switch for Where did I put that plug and shut up who’s down here in the basement? But yeah,
Mike Wieger [1:07:42]
no, no, we’re all good. Now Christmas is being automated.
Jim Collison [1:07:45]
Erin Lawrence [1:07:49]
Erin we get the automated Christmas.
Mike Wieger [1:07:53]
Take Take to Joe skis a suggestion and say you know on command Merry Christmas on and bah humbug is off right? That’s what I do. Like Me Your vocal commands.
Jim Collison [1:08:01]
Yeah, that that. That’s a good one. Indeed. Erin, we just have a couple of minutes with you left. What do you have coming up? Let’s as we as we think about I mean Christmas is obviously coming up but hopefully, you’re taking some time off from all the writing and the video stuff that you do and those kinds of things. As you look ahead to 2020 Do you have some projects as you think besides the van, we’re going to follow you. When do you think you’ll have your band done? When do we need to have you back on to review the second band? Maybe so
Erin Lawrence [1:08:27]
ideally, definitely by summer, but as soon as as soon as we get some decent weather that we can get out there. We had the idea we wanted to get it done in a month. And we were trying really hard in the fall to like jam it through and we just got hit by bad weather really soon. So I would say as soon as we get some good weather like a parole if we have it ready by like may that would be ideal for me.
Jim Collison [1:08:51]
Just Just getting my head from a from a review perspective. You got any gadgets laying around that you kind of excited about reviewing.
Erin Lawrence [1:08:59]
I do I just finished reviewing a new smart home printer,
Erin Lawrence [1:09:05]
HP Tango. And you know Smart Home printers are connected now which I I didn’t know I could be at the office and print something for my husband to sign at home or you know, print a note or whatever or be at home and print something at work like everything’s connected now. LG just loaned me a 55 inch OLED TV that is quite literally a thin sheet of glass that is narrower than my pinky finger. And I mean I had it on just for a couple minutes while I was getting it out of the box and set out. looks spectacular already. So I’m going to do a full review of that TV. I’m really looking forward to going to CES which is the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas. first week of January. I always find Game crazy stuff that you just don’t even know is out there and you get to try it and see it in action and and learn about it and hopefully have a review opportunity down the road. So I’ve got all those on the go I’ve got a soundbar coming a Yamaha soundbar and subwoofer combo. And what else am I doing? Yeah, that’s
Jim Collison [1:10:24]
that’s fine. Got a lot of stuff coming down. That’s plenty. Yeah, no, it It sounds super cool. I you know, it’s funny. I as long as I’ve been doing this, I’m in a spot right now busy enough that reviews just don’t sound that interesting to me. But I really appreciate all the reviews that you do like it. They they hit I’ve subscribed to you on YouTube, so I get the notification as soon as it comes out. Sometimes I try to be the first person to watch it. It’s just you know, that’s one of those kinds of things that I’m weird about but i’m i’m really enjoying, like just watching your reviews and the stuff that you’re doing. I think you fit We do so well here you’re kind of an extension of kind of Home Gadget Geeks. So thank you for all the work thanks again for kind of coming on here and being a part of of all the things that we do and being so kind to be on we appreciate that we’ll look forward to catching up with you spring time or so. So I hope bands coming along and hopefully you’re still in the van Will you still married we’ll just hope
Erin Lawrence [1:11:29]
so far so good.
Jim Collison [1:11:29]
Okay, good. Good. I went the van to get in the way or skinny dipping people I know whatever’s going on at
Erin Lawrence [1:11:38]
work on that have to work on those pictures
Jim Collison [1:11:40]
whatever’s going on with life. Erin again, thanks for coming on. We’ll let you go so you can go back to your program already in progress. And thank you for coming in Mike and I will wrap up things here so appreciate it.
Erin Lawrence [1:11:52]
Thanks you too. Happy Holidays.
Jim Collison [1:11:54]
Have a great Christmas. You bet you bet we’ll see you Erin. Well with that will remind folks If you want to support the show and join us on Patreon you can do at the average guy TV slash Patreon. I want to thank everybody for doing that that does it. It’s just a Christmas time you know to just he sent us some beer this week which is always great. Joe thanks again for for doing that. And it’s just fun to get those things and share them with you guys I get to share them with Mike it’s just enjoyable so we we appreciate your generosity in in you guys doing that hundred percent Yeah, yeah, no, super great. See what what else am I supposed to say? it? Yeah, just totally lost. I know. I totally did. I totally lost my train of thought. Don’t forget the average guy.tv powered by Maple Grove partners get secure, reliable high speed hosting from people that you know, you trust. Christian just did a bunch of upgrades. By the way. He talked about those on cyber frontiers 59 which we just recorded, and it will be coming out hopefully this weekend. I have three shows to do this weekend. So hopefully we’ll have That out, but you want to listen to that as well. I just made some upgrades, looking for some new customers. So if you’re looking for hosting and he can kind of configure it to be anything. He just picked up some new bandwidth or something. And he’s like Jim is super fast. So if you want to head out there if you got some things you want to host Mike, you got something out you’re hosting something over there. I do.
Mike Wieger [1:13:20]
Yeah, I still have it. I need to do some updates to it. I kind of was giving myself some time to get into ham. I did some initial ham posts and I’ve been waiting to get back out there you have a ham, W zero ugr.com is my domain
Jim Collison [1:13:33]
freakishly fast. So it’s a super crazy, don’t forget, you can also listen to us on our app, Android iPhone, Patreon subscribers help pay for that as well. And Spreaker Thanks speaker for building that for us. It’s available at Home Gadget geeks.com. I mentioned hellofresh and they always keep me up to date with like super great coupons and I can get you a free week of food. So if you’re starving and hungry Isn’t during the holidays, like take a week off? And do hellofresh like it’s super easy. Take them up. You can give it a try CMEs home, her and I are going to be cooking hellofresh meals during the holidays as well. We did a poll tell
Mike Wieger [1:14:14]
him out. I’ve got a bunch too, because you guys, you guys like it, you’re able to skip when you need to. Yeah, yeah. All December because we’re just busy and not here very often. So we skipped December and didn’t have any problem with that.
Jim Collison [1:14:26]
Yeah, no pressure and all that. You know, they just they just let it go. And, and we got what was really cool. And this last box, we got some tin pans to us for leftovers. And I was like, that’s kind of Good thinking. I just love that they’re really thinking about not just the food experience, but kind of the whole the whole thing, the whole experience of what you’re doing there. And they got a wine club and they’ve got some other things there as well. If you want to check them out. Let me know Jim at the average guy TV, I get a coupon for a week for free. I don’t make anything That one there’s a on the in the show notes. There’s a link. I think you get 40 and I get 30. If you want to do it that way, that’s fine. Some people have said no, I want you to benefit from it. So if you want to do it that way that works as well. But let me know Jim at the average guy.tv We are live every Thursday 8pm Central nine Eastern out here at the average guy TV slash live. Mike, you told me you’re out next week. Is that true? What are you doing him? I know. We have a it’s kind of cool. Actually. We have for our m&a department, which I’m the attorney for them. We are doing our 2020 planning and our CEO has a lodge here in Nebraska and we’re gonna go to an overnight kind of planning retreat fun team building Thursday into Friday out the lodge. So that was a you’re ditching me for work.
Unknown Speaker [1:15:47]
I know. She’s
Jim Collison [1:15:49]
kind of freaking priorities are bad. I don’t get that at all. Yeah.
Mike Wieger [1:15:54]
Do we have a guest next week?
Jim Collison [1:15:56]
Yeah. So Joel from life doors coming. Oh, that’s right. It’s go from left to right. Here it is. here’s, here’s the unit right here. I haven’t even opened it up yet. So are you live? unboxing? I will probably well, I don’t know. I will probably have it ready so I can show it when we’re on the show. ordered it on a black friday deal. I think I got it for 89 bucks or something like that on Black Friday. Black Friday was so great. Maybe we’ll talk about a little bit that in the post show, Black Friday deals. Some things that we saw. I definitely need next year, I definitely need to start building a list of things that I want saving money for them and buying them on Black Friday. It’s just it was ridiculous. Like usually, you know, you go black friday or whatever, but something like life story, you know, I was even waiting. I just sitting around I got an email from them. They’re like, Hey, we’re on a black friday deal and it’s like 20% off or whatever. And so I picked it up and it came while I was gone. I also got a sweet cigar deal at Thompson’s and they sent me a lighter and a cutter in there as well as a free gift with the purchase of your cigars. Yeah, hang on. We’ll talk about this in the post show as well. Not a lot here but I got a little rugged Hertha door which is what’s the ability door? Yeah, it’s just a that’s the brand phone okay
Mike Wieger [1:17:13]
guys I didn’t have as a special type of humidor. Now they call it a humidor,
Jim Collison [1:17:16]
but I’ll put a bovada pack in and we’ll talk about it in the show. But so I picked up some things, these are all black friday kind of deals as well. So stay around if you’re listening live stay around if you’re a regular listener. I know it’s been a while since we’ve done a post show, but we’ll do I want to talk a little bit about one. So if you want to talk if you want to stay around, go to patreon, the average guy.tv slash Patreon will have all kind of a whole separate post show. Mike you got a few minutes. So don’t forget come out and join us live. The average guy TV slash live Thursday night’s game Central. We’ll see you next week with that, we’ll say goodbye.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Get all your TAG SWAG!
Join us in the Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/theaverageguy/
On Discord at https://theaverageguy.tv/discord
Get the Home Gadget Geeks Mobile Apps at http://homegadgetgeeks.com
http://theaverageguy.tv is powered by Maplegrove Partners web hosting. Get secure, reliable, high-speed hosting from people you know and trust. For more information visit http://maplegrovepartners.com