Tech News and Commentary
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John in St. Simons Island, Georgia listens on FM 93.7 WBQO When you need to know and asked: “I have a question about a surveillance system, I guess. I live in a condo complex and it’s an aging population. We’d like to kind of keep track of everybody without being obtrusive. In other words, people coming and going and making sure nothing’s happened inside, but not being obtrusive by knocking on their door every 30 minutes. If you guys know of anything out there that’s for sale, or any kind of service, please tell me.”
John, if you want to track people in common areas you may be able to find a facial recognition system but most are not for authorized for civilian use and you will almost certainly run into legal trouble if you don’t get rock solid consent from all the residents.
We haven’t found any systems sold to the general public that are not for things like opening a door when someone willingly activates it, so you may face an uphill battle if you want to find something like that.
If you want to track people within their own homes, you won’t be able to find anything that would allow you to do that legally.
If your residents want to be tracked, there are smartphones and other wearables that can be set to alert you if someone falls, if their heart rate is irregular, or they say they need help, but that’s up to each individual to get and wear rather than a pre-built solution for a whole condo.
If you just want people to be able to ask for help you can set them up with something inexpensive like a basic smartspeaker that won’t come with a monthly bill, but will allow them to call you using their voice if they can’t reach a phone.
You can also look to very low-tech solutions. I remember many years ago, my grandmother lived in a condominium retirement community. Each of the front doors had a little plastic slider on it, similar to those little stick on covers for a laptop camera. In the morning, each resident was asked to simply move the slider to one side, revealing a red box underneath. at some point later in the afternoon, they were asked to slide it to the other side, revealing a blue box. Then they had volunteers go around twice a day and if someones slider wasnt on the correct color, then theyd knock on the door and check on the resident to make sure everything was okay. Very low-tech, but it got the job done.
Renny in Windsor, Ontario listens Online via TuneIn and asked: “I recently bought a new widescreen TV and it has a number of HDMI inputs, but my Marantz doesn’t have any HDMI outputs. I did get it to work by using the RGB connections and the sound cable. However, I wanted to connect a backup DVD player and the LG has only one input for RGB/RCA. So I bought an RCA to HDMI cable, but it doesn’t recognize the payer. I don’t understand why it doesn’t work.”
Renny, HDMI is a digital standard while RCA is analog, you will need something with some brains to convert from one to the other so your device can understand the signal being fed to it.
Just a cable wont work if hes trying to convert from RCA to HDMI. Going from the analog RCA to the digital HDMI will require a converter of some kind. Usually a small powered box.
Unfortunately if you bought just a cable, that won’t be enough to get the job done.
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