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» Business Finance » Local builder incorporates Alexa…
By Jeff Clabaugh | striped platform sandals Black Thom Browne ibjoDGd
March 30, 2017 1:24 pm 03/30/2017 01:24pm

WASHINGTON — A D.C. area builder is now offering buyers built-in, smart home technology based on Amazon’s artificial intelligence Alexa voice-activated interface.

Brookfield Residential Properties recently opened a model home with the Smart Home powered by Amazon Alexa feature at its Avendale community in Bristow, Virginia, and is now offering the package at homes it’s building in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.

More than just an Echo device on the kitchen counter, the entire Alexa ecosystem is incorporated throughout the design.

So what does that mean for homeowners?

“Locking doors, turning off lights, lowering blinds, turning on appliances, of course all the audio/visual type of interaction. Potential homeowners have really seen the value of how we will live moving forward,” Gregg Hughes, Brookfield vice president of sales and marketing, told WTOP.

Brookfield is including a basic smart package for all buyers at its current communities that includes Alexa, dimmers throughout the house, wireless thermostats, doorbells and cameras. From there, buyers can upgrade the package with other enhancements.

Brookfield said it collaborated closely with Amazon to introduce voice-enabled automation into its home designs.

The cost is minimal, according to Hughes.

“From a cost standpoint, it really is just wiring the home a little bit differently and making sure we have some wireless access points throughout the house to better hook up devices in the future,” Hughes said.

And integration includes a “future-proof” design, with Brookfield and Amazon collaborating to include infrastructure that will ensure new capabilities can be added as they become available.

In addition to its Avendale project, Brookfield is building the smart homes in its newer communities including Potomac Shores in Prince William County, Virginia; Travilah Station in North Potomac, Maryland; and Heritage Shores, an active lifestyle community for those 55 and older in Bridgeville, Delaware.

© 2017 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

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The committee recommends four standards for the assessment and qualitative and quantitative synthesis of an SR’s body of evidence. Each standard consists of two parts: first, a brief statement describing the related SR step and, second, one or more elements of performance that are fundamental to carrying out the step. Box 4-1 lists all of the chapter’s recommended standards. This chapter provides the background and rationale for the recommended standards and elements of performance, first outlining the key considerations in assessing a body of evidence, and followed by sections on the fundamental components of qualitative and quantitative synthesis. The order of the chapter’s standards and the presentation of the discussion do not necessarily indicate the sequence in which the various steps should be conducted. Although an SR synthesis should always include a qualitative component, the feasibility of a quantitative synthesis (meta-analysis) depends on the available data. If a metaanalysis is conducted, its interpretation should be included in the qualitative synthesis. Moreover, the overall assessment of the body of evidence cannot be done until the syntheses are complete.

In the context of CER, SRs are produced to help consumers, clinicians, developers of clinical practice guidelines, purchasers, and policy makers to make informed healthcare decisions (Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research, 2009; IOM, 2009). Thus, the assessment and synthesis of a body of evidence in the SR should be approached with the decision makers in mind. An SR using rigorous and transparent methods allows decision makers to discern what is known and not known about an intervention’s effectiveness and how the evidence applies to particular population groups and clinical situations (Helfand, 2005). Making evidence-based decisions—such as when a guideline developer recommends what should and should not be done in specific clinical circumstances—is a distinct and separate process from the SR and is outside the scope of this report. It is the focus of a companion IOM study on developing standards for trustworthy clinical practice guidelines.


The SR field lacks an agreed-on lexicon for some of its most fundamental terms and concepts, including what actually constitutes

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the quality of a body of evidence. This leads to considerable confusion. Because this report focuses on SRs for the purposes of CER and clinical decision making, the committee uses the term “quality of the body of evidence” to describe the extent to which one can be confident that the estimate of an intervention’s effectiveness is correct. This terminology is designed to support clinical decision making and is similar to that used by GRADE and adopted by the Cochrane Collaboration and other organizations for the same purpose (Guyatt et al., 2010; Schünemann et al., 2008, 2009).

Quality encompasses summary assessments of a number of characteristics of a body of evidence, such as within-study bias (methodological quality), consistency, precision, directness or applicability of the evidence, and others (Schünemann et al., 2009) Syn-

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thesis is the collation, combination, and summary of the findings of a body of evidence (CRD, 2009). In an SR, the synthesis of the body of evidence should always include a qualitative component and, if the data permit, a quantitative synthesis (meta-analysis).

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Cashless payment is the trend that customers from young to old are fast getting aquatinted with across the globe. From banishing long tiring queues to securely walking in the streets, cashless payment speed up the whole checkout process for customers with less cost and time like never before. Cashless payments come with different forms-from mobile payments throughvarious apps that have turned smartphones into digital wallets in paying for goods and services to contactless credit cards. The field of options for customers is huge and they are all preferred by consumers due to the satisfaction they give and the technological advancement they provide.

Poor understanding of financial basics and planning are contributors to a sense of vulnerability which lead people into making decisions they later regret or into debts they did not anticipate. The implementation of cashless payments has transformed peoples vulnerability of ignorance when dealing with finances while improving their technical skills at the same time. Between parents and their children who are still at school, it is a reliable stress free way of transacting cash. South Africa is vastly growing in the world of digitisation and offering the nation more options and more solutions. Fundi isSouth Africa’s leading education finance and education fund management solution specialist.Its introduction ofa cashless system in a form of a bracelet to digitalise payments for primary schools is yet another innovation worth looking into. It isa game changer because once people get used to using it, it provides the retailer with the means to modify the experience according to the specific customer demands.

Fundi’s bracelet, (made of rubber) by Fundi pay is a RFID (radio frequency identification) app whichallows parents to load pocket money into student’s account using any mobile phone. RFID belongs to a group of well known technologies called Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) which operate by electronically identifying, collecting and analyse data about objects straight into computer systems. Radio waves are usedto track tags containing electronic information. Tiny RFID tags can be attached to wristbands or badges, and can be scanned using dedicated scanners or modern smartphones. Many schools transact money on daily basis, either to pay for school fees, school trips or pocket money hence a suitable target group for such mobile options.

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