8 Most Popular Connected Home Devices

8 Most Popular Connected Home Devices

What are the some of the popular connected home devices?


The most popular connected home devices are listed below for your reference:

  • CURB Home Energy Monitoring System: This is the most powerful smart system for visualizing and controlling the real-time energy consumption in your home. It integrates with Samsung’s SmartThings platform to enable direct control of the system via smartphones on the go.


  • Ecobee 3 Smart Thermostat: This is a very smart thermostat that delivers the right temperature in the rooms that are occupied based on home's unique energy profile, the weather outside, and many other factors. It works seamlessly with Amazon Alexa on voice commands and even supports Apple HomeKit.


  • Amazon Echo: This is a smart hands-free speaker that you can control with your voice. It can connect with Amazon Alexa to play music, make calls, provide information, set alarms and reminders, send and receive messages, and more.


  • Amazon Cloud Cam: A smart indoor security camera that works with Alexa and provides 1080p Full HD view to watch the last 24 hours of motion alert video clips for free. Check out the complete specifications on the Amazon product page to understand how this smart device is contributing to home security.


  • Philips Hue Smart Light Bulbs: Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit, and Google Assistant, this wireless lighting system can automate your lighting experience such that you can control or schedule your light settings from your smart phone. Detailed product details are available on Amazon product page for your reference.


  • August Smart Lock: August Smart Lock is a smart keyless door lock that works with Amazon Alexa and Apple’s HomeKit. With this lock system, you can control and monitor your door from anywhere. It attaches easily to your existing deadbolt so you can use your existing keys anytime. This is yet another smart product that is available to enhance your home security.


  • SkyBell HD Bronze WiFi Video Doorbell: Compatible with Alexa, this WiFi video door bell will enable you to monitor your front door and see, hear, and speak with your visitor via your smart phone. You may refer to the full specifications on the Amazon product page for reference.


  • Belkin WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug: With this Wi-Fi enabled smart plug, you can control your lights and appliances from your phone and your voice through Amazon Alexa or Google Home. This sleek plug also works with Nest.


Learn more on connected homes and other emerging technologies with my book, Emerging Technology Trends.

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4 Things that Impact Productivity at Work

4 Things that Impact Productivity at Work

What are the main reasons that lessen your productivity at work? Let's take a fresh look at the work day. How many times do you get interrupted by your colleague who wants to pick your brain on something or needs a progress report every 4 hours? How many times do you check your phone or watch? How often do you get distracted when your phone buzzes?

These are the critical interruptions and distractions that we come across every day at work.


Interruptions are external stimuli that we don't plan for. Things such as unplanned discussions and ad-hoc work requests are the primary interruptions that shift our focus during the day. As a result, it takes longer to get things done. We need to try our best to limit these interruptions as much as possible, even if it means, saying 'No' to your peers.


Distractions are actions that we knowingly take to delay or avoid work. Things such as texting on your phone, long phone calls, reading or replying to social media posts, tracking stock prices, checking your Fitbit or smartwatch, browsing for deals or coupons etc. are some of the main distractions that we have at work. These distractions reduce our focus on the task at hand and must be minimized. 


A common myth is that people who can multi-task are better performers. However, it is just the opposite. We are not good at executing multiple tasks at the same time. When we say we are multi-tasking, we are actually switch-tasking which means that we switch between one task to another. Switch-tasking slows you down as you spend more time and effort to re-focus on the first task once you have switched to the second one. Thus, let's acknowledge that we cannot multi-task and direct your energy to complete the priority task at hand, before taking up a new one. 


Spending your time on an unimportant task to delay the start of the most important task is procrastination. The main causes of procrastination are lack of focus, fear of failure, or excessive perfectionism. The best way to overcome procrastination is to break down your goal into smaller tasks, know the bigger purpose or the outcome, overcome your fears, and get started. Stop procrastinating today to achieve higher productivity at work. Learn goal-setting, purpose-driven leadership, and more with my book, Think Big: A Leadership Series to Climb the Ladder of Success. 

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Miracles of the Divine

Miracles of the Divine

God Is One

Below is the compilation of the famous miracles by the Divine Consciousness.


  • Shri Shirdi Sai Baba was very fond of lighting lamps in the Masjid where he lived. One day, the merchants refused to give oil to Sai. Baba came back, kept the dry wicks in the lamps, took the tin pot with contained a few drops of oil, put water into it, and drank it. Sai Baba then forced it to fall into the container. He filled all the lamps with the water from the tin pot and lighted them. The lamps continued to burn all night. The merchants who were watching these activities from a distance were astonished to see the lamps lit during the entire night. They repented for their actions. Such was the miracle of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba!


  • One evening, there was a terrible storm at Shirdi, the place where Shri Shirdi Sai Baba lived. There were black clouds, lightning, and rain. The whole place was flooded with water. All animals, birds, and people got frightened and prayed to Baba. Sai Baba then came out and addressed the storm to stop and be calm. In a few minutes, the rain subsided and the storm calmed down. Sai Baba had complete authority and control over the elements of nature.


  • When thousands of people were hungry and tired, Jesus asked his disciples to feed the people. The disciples thought it is impossible to feed those many people. They told Jesus that they only have five barley loaves and two small fish. But, Jesus multiplied whatever food they had. The disciples could feed more than 4000 people.


  • When Jesus, His mother, and His disciples were invited to the marriage at Cana, the party ran out of wine. Jesus’ mother asked Jesus to help. Jesus said, “What has this to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother told the servants to do as Jesus said. Jesus ordered the servants to fill the stone containers with water. Then, they took some out and gave it to the master of the banquet. The master said, “Everyone brings the fine wine at the start, but you have saved the finest wine for the end.” Jesus had turned water into fine wine.


  • When Jesus was going into a village, he met ten men who were suffering from leprosy, a dreadful skin disease. The men stood at a distance and asked Jesus to have pity on them. Jesus told, “Go and let the priests examine you.” On their way, the men realized that they got healed. That was God’s miracle. He is merciful. The words of Lord Jesus had cured all of them.


  • Ratanji Wadia, a prosperous trader, had huge sums of money, cattle, land, and horses. He looked very happy but was not so. He was generous and donated food and clothing to the poor and helped others in several ways. But, he had no child. He came to Shirdi and asked Sai Baba for his mercy. Sai Baba blessed him saying that his desires will come true. In due time, he was blessed with a son.


You may be interested to read my inspirational book:
Harness The Power Within: Unleash your Inner Strength with Faith, Patience, and a Positive Mind

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How to build self-confidence?

How to build your self-confidence?

Self Improvement Blog

Self-confidence is a mindset that can be mastered like any other skill. Some of the effective ways to improve your self-confidence are listed here:


  • Body Language: Body language is a form of non-verbal communication that exposes one’s feelings, moods, and thoughts. One must be cautious of his or her body language and practice to present himself or herself in a confident manner. Holding your head high, sitting up straight, straightening your back, and maintaining consistent eye contact are some of the gestures that demonstrate self-confidence.


  • Grooming: Though obvious and most simple, the regular morning activities such as bathing, shaving, and trimming set a positive mood for the day. One should also remember to wear a deodorant or a perfume.


  • Dress-Up: If you dress nicely, you feel good about yourself. Dress such that you look confident to others. If you want to be a senior executive in your company, dress-up like one. Look in the mirror each morning and ask yourself if you look like other senior executives in the company. If you are dressed nicely, you will act more confident.


  • Embrace Positivity: Think, speak, and act in a positive way. Have a can-do attitude. Smile, laugh and surround yourself with like-minded positive people. Set aside sometime during each day to read motivational books. Do not feed negativity in your mind. When negative thoughts come to the mind, replace them with positive ones or engage yourself in some activity such as reading a book, listening to music, running, or socializing etc. Declare positive things for yourself. Speak to others in a positive way. Define your success and act in a positive way. This will boost your self-confidence and you’ll soon start to see a difference.


Read more:

Think Positive, Speak Positive, Act Positive: A 3-Step Strategy to Embrace Positivity and Change Your Life


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Fishbone Diagram

What Is Fishbone Diagram?

Fishbone or Ishikawa diagrams were created in 1968 by Kaoru Ishikawa who was a Japanese Professor at the University of Tokyo and was famous for his inventions for quality management.

The fishbone diagram is a pictorial representation and categorization of possible known causes to a problem, usually gathered during brainstorming. The fishbone diagram is being used across several software and manufacturing organizations as a simple visualization tool to depict various potential causes to a problem. It provides a structured way to organize and represent data in a meaningful manner.

This technique can be used whenever there are many possible causes to a problem or whenever there is a need to identify causes to a complex problem. One can apply the fishbone diagram method in solving day-to-day problems as well. This technique is mostly conducted in a group with people from different fields of expertise. However, this method can also be used by an individual as a tool to structure one’s thoughts and identify root causes.

To learn more about Fishbone Diagram with examples, read my book, An Expert Guide to Problem Solving, available at Amazon.

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What is Technical Debt?

What Is Technical Debt?

Learn Agile

Ward Cunningham introduced the concept of technical debt in 1992. He defined it as follows:

“Shipping first-time code is like going into debt. A little debt speeds development so long as it is paid back promptly with a rewrite…. The danger occurs when the debt is not repaid. Every minute spent on not-quite-right code counts as interest on that debt. Entire engineering organizations can be brought to a stand-still under the debt load of an unconsolidated implementation, object-oriented or otherwise.”


Cunningham used the ‘Technical Debt’ metaphor to emphasize the benefits and limitations of speedy development. The metaphor was well received by both business and technical people as it resonates with financial debt. Like financial debt, technical debt accumulates interest with late repayment.
In 2004, Joshua Kerievsky describes ‘design debt’ in his article ‘Refactoring to Patterns” and the associated costs. Then again in 2014, Grady Booch compared evolving cities to evolving software and described how lack of refactoring can lead to technical debt. He stated:

“The concept of technical debt is central to understanding the forces that weigh upon systems, for it often explains where, how, and why a system is stressed. In cities, repairs on infrastructure are often delayed and incremental changes are made rather than bold ones. So, it is again in software-intensive systems. Users suffer the consequences of capricious complexity, delayed improvements, and insufficient incremental change; the developers who evolve such systems suffer the slings and arrows of never being able to write quality code because they are always trying to catch up.”


Get the answers to the below questions in my management book, The Basics of SCRUM: A Simple Handbook to the Most Popular Agile Scrum Framework, available exclusively at Amazon.

  • What is a Technical Debt?
  • What are the main causes of Technical Debt?
  • What are the consequences of Technical Debt?
  • How do you manage Technical Debt?
  • What are some of the practical examples of Technical Debt?
  • What are some of the practical techniques to manage Technical Debt?
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