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Aftermarket Daily News Thursday, November 1, 2018 4 2 ASHA Raises Concern about Potential Impact of Popular Tech Overuse and Misuse on Hearing The American Speech-Language- Hearing Association's (ASHA) Healthy Communication and Popular Technology Initiative focuses upon the potential dan- gers of popular technology overuse and misuse. What is the concern with respect to hearing? Previous polling by ASHA indicated that many young people are using popu- lar technology for hours daily, every day, at high volume. That sort of usage could produce hearing loss. Additionally, for years ASHA has put on "safe listening" concerts in middle and elementary schools to encourage safe listening to popular technology. Again and again, educators embraced the mes- sage and understood the need for it based on what they observe daily and know about their students' usage habits. What are the consequences of hearing loss? Hearing loss can have severe effects on a child's development. It can delay other communication skills, impede academic achievement, cause social isolation and even affect future employment. Children with hearing loss develop their vocabulary more slowly, and have more trouble learning abstract words or words with multiple meanings. Also, the vocabulary gap between them and children with normal hearing widens with age. What are some tips for enjoying technology while avoiding dangers to hearing? The most effective step is to keep the vol- ume down. Regularly listening to music over 75 decibels for extended periods can cause hearing loss over time. A good rule of thumb is to keep the volume level on a device at no more than half. It is also important to set parameters that encour- age things like listening breaks, and tech- nology-free times and zones at home. Parents should also model healthy tech- nology usage themselves. For more information, go to www.asha.org. LoveHandle Wins Phone Grip Challenge We've all seen the huge variety of smart- phone grips, knobs and rings parading on the backs of smartphones and cases these days, but which one is the best all-around consumer choice? A recent survey asked users to try each one and rank their favorite based on overall functionality. Here are the results: 1. LoveHandle – The clear winner for function and comfort, LoveHandle passed the pocket-friendly test as the lowest-profile grip in the group. The thin profile also allowed it to operate with wireless charging, unlike some of its thicker and all metal competition. Reviewers liked its use of a softer elastic grip surface instead of hard plastic or metal, but promptly commented on how comfortable it is to securely hold the phone with just a fingertip. 2. Metal Rings – Coming in second place in the survey were the variety of swiveling metal rings that boast grip and stand functionality. While these rigid ver- sions did offer a reliable grip when worn as a ring on the user's finger, they did not score well in the comfort category. Some reviewers commented that the ring was somewhat uncomfortable and was not really a one-size-fits-all product. 3. Expanding Circles – These round expandable knobs are a current pop cul- ture fad among young teens and middle-school lunchrooms. However, reviewers said they lack the basic utility of offer- ing a reliable and com- fortable grip for the phone. Large and bulky, many survey respondents complained that the knob would get hung on their pocket or purse when putting their phone away. On the comfort rankings, the popping circles scored low as well due to the way it is held precari- ously between your fingers and constant- ly requires an active grip to prevent phone drops. Young reviewers still gave high marks for the addictive fidget-like qualities of popping and col- lapsing these expanding grips just for fun, though. It doesn't seem like the smartphone is going any- where in the near future, so all of these grip accessories will have a piece of a grow- ing market. However, its quite likely that fads will give way to function as mature consumers have the opportunity to try each of the current available solutions and decide which one works best for their needs. For more information, visit www .lovehandle.com or email sales@ lovehandle.com. The Zigbee Alliance and Thread Group Address IoT Industry Fragmentation The Zigbee Alliance and Thread Group announced the availability of the Dotdot specification over Thread's IP network. This is the first time developers can con- fidently use an established, open and interoperable IoT language over a low- power wireless IP network, which will help unify the fragmented connected device industry and unlock new markets. "We're at an exciting point in the Smart Home where the broader consumer market is embracing mainstream connect- ed products; 26 percent of consumers own a smart home device according to our new research," said Tom Kerber, Director of IoT Strategy at Parks Associates. "To be competitive in a market where consumers will rely on these devices for years to come, companies must take a long-term view, aligning with technologies that will enable innovation and interoperability, and continue to deliver on the promise of the IoT for every stakeholder." Dotdot is the Zigbee Alliance's uni- versal language for the IoT, making it possible for smart objects to work together on any network. Thread is the Thread Group's open, IPv6-based, low- power, secure and future-proof mesh networking technology for IoT products. These two leading organizations have come together to deliver a mature, scala- ble solution for IoT interoperability that isn't confined to single-vendor ecosys- tems or technologies. Delivering on the Promise of the IoT The early internet faced the same chal- lenges as today's IoT. Currently, connect- ed devices can struggle to deliver a seam- less experience because they speak dif- ferent languages (or in technical terms, use different "application layers"). For the internet, the industry solved this problem with open, universal protocols over IP – a combination that unlocked and accelerated innovation. Dotdot's common device language over Thread's IP network extends this same proven approach to the Internet of Things. With Dotdot over Thread, product and plat- form vendors can ensure the high-quality, interoperable user experiences needed to drive growth, while IP allows vendors to maintain a direct connection to their device – and their customers. Simplified Product Development with Mature Technologies and Diverse Supply Chains It's important to note that Dotdot over Thread is not another new standard. Dotdot enables the open, mature and already widely adopted application layer at the heart of Zigbee to work across Thread's IP network – the same network technology fundamental to the internet. For product managers, new standards rep- resent risk. Dotdot and Thread are backed by global, industry-leading companies and represent two of the most robust, widely deployed and well-supported con- nectivity and interoperability technolo- gies, driving billions of products and net- works already in homes and offices. "Zigbee and Dotdot are the product of 15 years of innovation by our mem- bers, and the experience that comes from over a decade of building successful products," said Tobin Richardson, Zigbee Alliance President and Chief Executive Officer. "This maturity is why major tech- nology leaders have chosen Zigbee, and Dotdot over Thread now brings that value to new markets. This marks the first of many partnerships to come as we extend our application layer across additional networks to accelerate time to market and unify the IoT for all stakeholders." "The Thread Group's vision is to extend IP – the powerful foundation of the internet – to low-power IoT devices," said Grant Erickson, President of the Thread Group. "Just like the internet, this vision also requires the industry to put forth open, common protocols so devices from any vendor can work together. Dotdot gives Thread adopters an impor- tant option for that open, end-to-end con- nectivity and interoperability." How to Start Working with Dotdot over Thread The Dotdot specification is available today to Zigbee Alliance members. Additional resources, including the Dotdot Commissioning Application, will be available in Summer 2018, along with the opening of the Dotdot Certification program from the Zigbee Alliance. Thread launched its 1.1 speci- fication and opened its certification pro- gram in February 2017. The Zigbee Alliance and Thread Group now share a number of common authorized test serv- ice providers, and are working with them to ensure an efficient, seamless certification process for Dotdot over Thread adopters. About the Zigbee Alliance The Zigbee Alliance is the foundation and future of the IoT. Established in 2002, its wide-ranging global member- ship collaborates to create and evolve universal open standards for the products transforming the way we live, work and play. With members' deep and diverse expertise, robust certification programs and a full suite of open IoT solutions, it is leading the movement toward a more intuitive, imaginative and useful world. The Zigbee Alliance is supported by board members from Comcast, Huawei, Itron, The Kroger Co., Landis+Gyr, LEEDARSON, Legrand Group, Midea, NXP ® Semiconductors, Philips Lighting, Schneider Electric, Silicon Labs, SmartThings, Somfy Group, Texas Instruments and Wulian. About the Thread Group The non-profit Thread Group is focused on making Thread the foundation for the internet of things in the home and beyond by educating product develop- ers, builders and consumers on the unique features and benefits of Thread and ensuring a positive experience through rigorous, meaningful product certification. Thread is backed by industry-leading companies including Arm, Johnson Controls, Nest Labs, NXP ® Semiconductors, OSRAM, Qualcomm, Schneider Electric, Silicon Labs, Somfy, and Yale Security. Since opening its membership in October 2014, companies from around the world and across all aspects of the expansive and connected technology sector have joined the Thread Group to create the very best way to connect and control devices.

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