Review of the Google Home Max Smart Speaker

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The Google Home Max is the most recently released device that features Google AI. It has the exact same Google assistant functionalities as its two less-expensive counterparts, the Google Home and the Google Home Mini. Sound quality is one of the characteristics that set the Max apart from the other two devices. It is also significantly more expensive, coming in at a $400 price range in comparison to the Google Home which is $130 and the Mini, which is only $50. So, is the Max worth the additional expense? Let’s evaluate this product and find out.

Design

The Max is much larger than the standard Home and Mini. It is heavy, sturdy, and well-made. It only comes in two colors, black or gray. These color choices are fine for the standard Home and Mini because they are small and inconspicuous. But for a device this large, it feels a bit institutional and plain. The speaker can sit vertically or horizontally, making it easy to find appropriate placement for it in a room. It has a small rubber pad that sits underneath it to deter rattling. There are no threads to mount the speakers on a stand or wall, which may be a deal breaker for some people. It has one audio input and a USBC jack. It has easy touch controls, and obviously it is voice activated as well.

Quality

As previously stated, the Max can do everything that its smaller counterparts can do. The primary feature of the Max is the enhanced sound quality. Without question, it produces a much richer audio experience than the other two Google Home devices. But is it worth $400? It depends on your priorities. The Max is designed for audiophiles. It has a very high volume capacity, but tends to distort sound at around 75% volume level. It can get remarkably loud, so there is likely no reason to ever have it up to 100%.

One unique feature of the Google Home Max is its microphones. Even when music is playing quite loud, the mics can recognize your voice and follow commands. It also features “smart sound” technology, which allows it to adjust itself to the room.

Comparison

The Google Home Max is far superior to current Amazon devices on the market. However, it was not intended to compete with Amazon products. The Max was created to go up against Sonos Play 3 and 5. It falls a little short of reaching Sonos sound quality, but it is close. The Google Max has better AI capabilities than Sonos at this point. However, the sound quality is probably the most important characteristic of smart speaker products and Sonos wins that battle.

User Friendly

Like most gadgets in the Google ecosystem, the Max is very easy to set up and use. Simply download the app and follow the prompts. You can also control some of the speaker settings, like base, etc.

So, does the Max warrant its $400 price tag? If you just want an intelligent device, there are cheaper gadgets with the same smart technology. If sound quality is your priority, less-expensive speakers are available that provide similar or better audio quality. However, if you want great sound in combination with incredible smart technology, Google Max is the best option.

 

5 High-Tech Gift Ideas for Seniors

 

When you imagine gifts for seniors, your first inclination is probably not a high-tech gadget. However, there are a number of devices that can make a meaningful difference in the lives of aged individuals. Technology has far surpassed the days of simple cell phones with giant buttons for older adults. The products available today include cutting-edge technologies that are truly useful. Here are a few great high-tech gift ideas for the seniors in your life.

Digital Personal Assistant – AI

These voice activated devices are equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) technology. They can help with reminders, answering questions, controlling household items, playing games, and so much more. In some cases, they even act as a sort of digital companion, providing conversation and preventing loneliness. The three most popular personal assistants are:

  • Amazon Echo Alexa – There are several devices that incorporate this AI. It is directly attached to a person’s Amazon account, making online shopping very simple. It is not the most conversational device, but is great for people who use Amazon’s services.

Tech Gift Ideas for Seniors

  • Google Assistant – There are three devices at various price points that utilize Google’s AI. This is the most conversational personal assistant and works with Google’s services. The app to control this device must be installed in a phone or tablet, unlike the Amazon products, which are “stand alone” devices.

Tech Gift Ideas for Seniors

  • Siri – This personal assistant is only available on Apple products. It is the most limited of all the AIs. However, if your loved one is an avid Apple user, Siri does have some interesting features.

Smart Home Devices

Many smart home devices are integrated with digital personal assistants. This allows an individual to voice-activate devices for the home. A person with mobility or vision problems may have difficulty performing tasks like adjusting the thermostat or lights. With voice activation, a person can simply speak a command, and the device will comply. For example, you could say, “turn the heat up to 74°” which would trigger the smart thermostat to adjust the temperature. Smart home gadgets require some mildly complex initial setup procedures. You will probably need a tech-savvy person to get everything ready for your loved one to begin using these products.  

Tile Tracker

These little gadgets are perfect for anyone who tends to lose important items. Simply place one of these tiles in or on an object and use your phone to locate it. You can stick it on a set of keys or slide it into a wallet. They are small, inconspicuous tiles that are easy to use.

Digital Photo Frame

Load a digital photo frame with pictures of grandchildren and relatives. You can update and change the photos over time, keeping your loved one up-to-date on the latest family pictures. This gift is a favorite among grandparents.

E-book Reader

We no longer need to haul around big bulky books. The avid reader in your life can simply download a book and read it on their e-book device. The most popular e-reader is the Amazon Kindle. The Nook by Barnes & Noble is another commonly used device. They are both similar in functionality. It’s simply a matter of whether you prefer to purchase your books from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. E-readers can be especially good for seniors with vision issues including macular degeneration as the print size can be enlarged significantly. Most public libraries now offer a wide variety of e-books that can be easily downloaded onto the e-reader.

 

 Tech gifts are not just for young people. Adults of all ages can benefit from innovative devices. Consider a high-tech gift this holiday season when you’re shopping for the seniors in your life.

 

UV Light Disinfection Systems for Senior Housing

Senior Housing TechDisinfection is an important factor in the operation of senior care communities. It is particularly crucial in skilled nursing facilities where residents are prone to illness. Harsh chemical cleaning agents are no longer ideal for sanitizing. Health care facilities are adopting ultraviolet light systems to assist with disinfection requirements.

Why is disinfection important?

Proper cleaning is necessary to prevent the spread of various illnesses and diseases. Not only is it essential for the residents, but it also helps protect caregivers who work with high-risk and sick individuals.

What is UV disinfection?

Ultraviolet light is invisible to the human eye. The sun emits large amounts of this light, but most of it is absorbed by Earth’s ozone layer. Such light has the capacity to kill bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Exposing air, water, and surfaces to UV light has proven to eliminate dangerous microorganisms. A recent study provides an interesting insight into this process.

Advantages

  •         Deactivates microorganisms within seconds
  •         Environmentally friendly, having no dangerous byproducts or chemicals
  •         Reliable
  •         Cost-effective
  •         Low maintenance, easy to use

Disadvantages

  •         Adaptation – The primary drawback of UV disinfection is that cells can evolve and adapt to this type of irradiation. It is a complex process, and research is being performed to help prevent and understand it.
  •         Shadow areas – UV light disinfection works by line of sight. This means that if an object is blocked from the light, it will not be affected. It is commonly referred to as the shadow effect. It can be overcome by moving the light source or objects so that adequate UV rays reach the intended areas.

Safety

Humans should not be exposed to UV light. It can damage eyes and skin. People cannot be in a room while it is being cleaned with an ultraviolet light source. The light cannot penetrate glass, so it is possible to observe a UV sanitation system through a window or glass door.

 

Does UV disinfection kill all microorganisms?

The answer to this question really depends on the exact UV wavelengths and the amount of exposure . Some microorganisms are difficult to deactivate and require longer amounts of time exposed to the UV light source. Additionally, certain bacteria are only killed by specific wavelengths. That being said, with the correct UV light source, most bacteria, viruses, and protozoa can be eradicated. This includes C difficile, commonly known to be difficult to kill. On the other hand, UV disinfection does not damage staff, also known as MRSA.

 

Intelligent room UV disinfection systems

Because people cannot be in the room while it is being disinfected with UV light, these systems utilize autonomous robots. Several companies manufacture these devices. It takes approximately 15 minutes for a robot to disinfect a room. The robots navigate the space to reduce the impact of the shadow effect. They also have the ability to focus on germ hot spots like sinks and high-traffic surfaces.

UV disinfection may not eliminate the need for traditional cleaning; most experts agree that this procedure is best used in combination with conventional disinfection methods. As research continues, and as we learn more about the potential of UV light, we likely will see more of these systems being implemented in the senior care industry.