Our world is becoming more and more connected as technology continues to innovate in new and exciting ways. One of the latest trends in consumer technology is to integrate traditionally connected devices (such as smartphones and tablets) with those which haven’t been networked before (such as TVs or thermostats). Iris is a product which is moving us toward total home integration.
What is Iris?
Iris is a way to connect certain home features to your smartphone, tablet or computer so that you can access these features even when you’re not in the house. It uses your home internet connection to let you control certain aspects of your home, such as your thermostat or alarm system, when you’re away. Did you forget to turn the thermostat down before you went to work? Iris makes that little more than a minor inconvenience.
How can Iris help me?
Well, for one thing, it allows you to control your house’s alarm system and thermostat remotely. Nobody home in the summer time? You can let the house get a few degrees warmer. Iris will also send notifications when people enter or leave your home, so you can know when it’s time to crank the AC.
Since you can control your home alarm, you don’t have to worry about your kids leaving the house without turning on the alarm, or if you had to rush to work in the morning and forgot to activate the alarm, you can do so through Iris.
Another benefit to Iris is cost. Most alarm systems cost $100 or more a month. However, Iris premium service is only $9.99 a month. Those savings can add up. Plus, there’s the potential to save on your utility bills with the thermostat controls.
What do I need for Iris?
You need to purchase an Iris kit from Lowe’s. There are several different packages available that can offer different capabilities. You’ll also need to have a working internet connection, like HomeFusion from Verizon Wireless (visit a Cellular Sales store near you). After that, you just need to do some configuring, following the instructions in the Iris kit, and you should be good to go.
Iris offers a way to control certain aspects of your home and save money at the same time. That’s not a bad combination, is it?
Technology has become a staple of our lives with innovation moving at a breakneck pace. Just think, 20 years ago almost nobody had the internet. Ten years ago, the word “smartphone” wasn’t in many people’s vocabulary. Five years ago, tablets were unheard of.
One of the latest innovations to hit the market is the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA).
What is DLNA?
We all have digital devices, whether that’s a smartphone, tablet, TV, game system, digital camera, computer or any other number of consumer electronics. However, outside of physically connecting these devices, they don’t “speak” to each other. DLNA allows all your electronics to communicate with each other.
What can DLNA do for me?
Let’s say you took a picture with your smartphone, and you want to print it out. You probably are going to email it to yourself, download it from the email and then print it, right? With DLNA, you can print that photo by sending it directly to the printer.
Here’s another scenario. You have some people over and want to show them a funny YouTube video. Instead of trying to get everyone to crowd around your tablet screen, DLNA gives you the ability to watch that video on your TV screen wirelessly.
It’s all about integration, cross-compatibility and providing a way for all your devices to work with each other.
How can I get DLNA?
You probably already have several of the individual pieces needed to form a DLNA network. There is a slew of DLNA-compatible products already on the market. The only other thing you need is a WiFi connection. You can technically use DLNA through wired connections, but it kind of defeats the purpose. Once you have DLNA devices and an internet connection, you’ve got yourself a DLNA network.
If you’re interested in learning more about DLNA or DLNA-compatible products, talk to your local Cellular Sales Verizon Wireless rep.
If you are a serial tweeter, Echofon is an app that can make the Twitter experience on smartphones and tablets just a little bit easier. A third-party Twitter app, Echofon doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does offer some subtle features which heavy Twitter users may find refreshing. The ability to click on user names, links and hashtags directly from the timeline; to retweet with comments; and to switch between multiple accounts without logging in and out are what sets Echofon apart.
One of the newest players on the social media landscape, Vine is growing in popularity at an enormous rate. This app, which is owned by Twitter, gives users the ability to create six-second, looping videos. Think of it as a new version of the GIF. In addition to having its own Instagram-style wall (with videos instead of images), it also allows seamless sharing on Twitter. A lot of people are still trying to figure out Vine’s uses, but many predict it will become huge in 2013. It’s worth noting that it’s not currently available on Android, but it should be arriving on that platform soon.
If you’re not on Instagram yet, then what are you waiting for? This app burst onto the scene in 2012, attracting the attention of Facebook, which bought it for a cool $1 billion. Inspired by the look of over-exposed photos from the 60s and 70s, this app gives users the ability to apply different filters to their photos, providing a lot of options for altering the look of your images. In addition to its photo-editing capabilities, there’s also a social aspect, as you can follow other Instagram accounts and see other people’s Instagram photos.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. For the on-the-go texter, Snapchat can be worth an immeasurable amount of verbiage. This app allows users to send images to their friends’ smartphone or tablet, with the caveat that the photo will disappear after 10 seconds. It also offers the ability to caption images before you send them. If you’ve ever wanted to send your friend a picture of you making a goofy face, but didn’t want that silly expression to live on forever, Snapchat is your outlet.
As we are given more and more options, social media can get overwhelming at times. The constant urge to tweet, post, pin, like, share, check in and hang out can bog you down at times. HootSuite helps alleviate at least some of this madness. It offers a place to organize and keep track of all your social media profiles, allowing you to seamlessly send a tweet and then check your Facebook without having to cycle through all the different apps on your smartphone or tablet. While it’s not compatible with every social network, it does work with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, foursquare, mixi (a Japanese site) and even MySpace.
Many former University of Tennessee athletes, who now host shows on TSR, were available to meet fans and sign autographs. Former UT and New York Jets quarterback, Erik Ainge, was even on hand to challenge fans in games of NCAA Football on Xbox 360. In addition to Ainge, Jayson Swain, Chris Treece, Gerald Riggs, Jr., and Steven Pearl all made appearances.
“We had a great time at Cellular Sales,” Ainge said. “The turnout was amazing, and everyone had fun playing video games and learning about all of the awesome products and services from Verizon that Cellular Sales offers.”
It was a fun event for all who participated, as those who came by were able to munch on some delicious food catered by Calhoun’s and pick up a free Tennessee Sports Radio t-shirt. And who doesn’t love a free t-shirt?
“Any time I can hang out, talk to, take pictures with and engage with my fans is time well-spent,” Ainge said. “Cellular Sales gets that. Their entire business model is completely built around taking care of and engaging their customers. This event was another example of how they do things differently, and they do it very well.”
We really enjoyed hosting the guys from Tennessee Sports Radio, and we were glad to be able to bring this kind of event to our customers. It was really fun to get to see people meeting their sports idols for the first time.
The game that has entertained elementary school students in computer labs for generations is now available on smartphones. This timeless classic is sure to keep the kids occupied for a couple of hours as they get to experience the daunting journey across the Oregon Trail in 19th Century America. Besides, it has become a rite of passage in modern times to realize how treacherous fording a river is, where so many good oxen have been lost.
The in-car sing along is a road trip staple, particularly with young children. Wheels on the Bus can serve as your maestro. Aside from just holding a cache of children’s songs, the app provides other fun features to keep the kids entertained. It can sing in different languages, provide different musical instrument accompaniments and record your in-vehicle performances.
Toca Boca Hair Salon 2 (iOS)
This creative app is bound to hold your kids’ attention for at least a hundred miles. Toca Boca Hair Salon 2 gives users the creative freedom most hair stylists can only dream of. It lets players use their own creative devices to cut, style, shave, curl and accessorize the hair of several different characters. Just be mindful that it might inspire your child to test their hair-styling prowess on an unsuspecting parent or sibling.
Dr. Seuss Beginner Book Collection #1 (iOS)
Bring the magical storytelling of Dr. Seuss to your iPhone or iPad with the Dr. Seuss Beginner Book Collection #1. This app puts five of the iconic author’s works onto your mobile device and adds interactive options to the reading experience. It can follow along as you or your child reads the story. It will highlight words when a picture is touched and add sound effects, among other features. This is a bit pricy when compared to other apps at $14.99, but considering you get five books with it (The Cat in the Hat, The FOOT Book, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Mr. Brown Can MOO! Can You? and Fox in Socks), it is a bargain. Also, the collection is not available on Android or Window devices, but you can buy Dr. Seuss books individually in the Android store.
If your kids are going to be traveling, they might as well learn some geography, right? Kids Maps presents the U.S. map as a puzzle game. Aside from having fun and learning where the states are located, this tablet app also teaches children fun facts about each state.
The serial business flyer knows that where you sit on the plane can be the difference between a pleasant flight and a horrible one. SeatGuru is a smartphone app that lets you book flights, and even select your seat on the plane. It also provides information that will help you make decisions by showing where on the plane the power ports are, how much the seat reclines, as well as user reviews.
In online travel-booking, there is a never-ending onslaught of confirmation and reservation numbers: for flights, hotels, car rentals, etc. TripIt, available for smartphones and tablets, organizes these numbers for you in one convenient app. All you have to do is forward your confirmation emails to a TripIt email address. TripIt then puts them in the app, allowing you to have them all in one place.
Simply Declare (iOS)
Recording expenses is a necessary part of business travel, and for those who are on a company expense budget, an app like Simply Declare can be invaluable. This iPhone app lets you put in your daily or overall budget. As you input expenditures, Simply Declare keeps track of how well you are doing at staying on budget. In addition to helping users keep track of expenses, one can also take photos of receipts and email them (to yourself or someone else), and for international travelers, there is a currency converter.
If you’re on a business trip in a big city, chances are you’re probably going to need to get a cab at some point. Taxi Magic will bring a cab to you, and you won’t have to dial a single number. Instead of having to flag one down or search for local companies, the app will use the GPS on your phone to send a cab directly to you. It even allows a customer to pay for the cab using the smartphone app. Taxi Magic works with cab companies in 43 U.S. cities, as well as London and Vancouver.
One thing smartphone users dread the most—losing their phone. Since people traveling for business are often using their phones for work, this can be more than just a slight inconvenience that can be fixed with a trip to the mobile store. Lookout allows you to track your phone, sound an alarm/page it if it’s lost or erase the memory remotely. This way you can either find your lost device or make sure any sensitive information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Smartphones and tablets have altered the way we think of phones and computers over the past few years. They have enabled us to have a mobile computer and internet connection with us at all times while taking up a fraction of the space.
One aspect of these amazing devices that is a pretty common denominator is the touchscreen. Touchscreens save space on the device, since a tangible keyboard isn’t necessary, and they also increase the range of functions a smartphone or tablet can perform.
As great of a technological advance as touchscreens are, they are still pretty delicate. And with all the touching they endure, day in and day out, they are bound to get dirty. So the question is: How does one properly clean a smartphone’s screen?
Many smartphones and tablets are packaged with a microfiber cloth for cleaning the screen. If you, like a lot of people, have lost this cloth, don’t worry. Microfiber cloths are fairly easy to come by and are a staple of eyeglasses-cleaning kits.
Be sure to turn your smartphone or tablet off when cleaning the screen. Wipe the screen in one direction with the microfiber cloth, as opposed to just using circular or back-and-forth motions.
If your screen is particularly dirty, add a small amount of water to one of the edges of the cloth. Add just enough water to make one of the corners of the cloth damp. If there is a troublesome patch of dirt or oil on your phone, you can employ some circular motions. Afterwards, use the dry portion of the cloth to wipe off the screen using the aforementioned technique.
Now that we’ve gone over the dos, here are some don’ts for cleaning your smartphone or tablet’s screen:
DO NOT use any chemicals.
DO NOT use paper towels, cotton rags or other abrasive cloths.
DO NOT apply water directly to the screen. You don’t want to risk having that water mistakenly finding its way into your phone or tablet’s interior.
At the end of the day, shopping is a price game, and RedLaser can be your trump card at winning that game. This app allows you to scan barcodes with your smartphone’s camera and see how those prices compare to other stores. After a scan, you can see what the price of that particular item is at several nearby retailers, as well as online retailing giant, eBay, which publishes the app.
GeoQpons is made for the coupon-conscious consumer. It delivers coupons from thousands of retailers, restaurants and other businesses directly to your smartphone. These coupons aren’t just for big-box stores, either. Local businesses can use GeoQpons to send their own discounts to their customers. In addition to providing the coupons, GeoQpons will also send you notifications when your coupons are about to expire so you can make sure you get the deal before it’s gone.
Ibotta is a smartphone app which acts as sort of a reverse coupon. The app sends you offers on products, and after viewing a small promotion for that product (such as a video or product fact), you get rewards for that item. When you purchase those items at one of several national retailers, simply snap a picture of your receipt and Ibotta gives you money back using PayPal. Another cool feature is that instead of taking the cash, you can choose to donate the money to any school in America.
For those who crave a social approach to shopping, there’s Wrapp. This smartphone and tablet app allows you to give gift cards to your Facebook friends. Some of the gift cards available are free, too, meaning you can send a friend a $5 gift and pay nothing for it. Since it connects through Facebook, Wrapp can show you when your friends’ birthdays are coming up, allowing you to send them a nice little gift without having to remember when their birthday is.
Amazon is the largest online retailer and a go-to source for online shoppers. This app does a great job of translating the Amazon website to a mobile platform, making it easy to use on a smartphone or tablet. You can do everything on the app you can do on the website—update your wish list, buy things and look at the daily deals. Additionally, the app comes with a barcode scanning feature that allows you to compare prices at brick-and-mortar stores with those on Amazon.
How long have you been with Cellular Sales? I have been with Cellular Sales for just over three years.
What is your title or roll within the company? I am the Central Florida Market Trainer and retain my Sales Consultant status to keep my selling skills sharp and current. And let’s be honest…it’s fun to try to outsell all of your friends.
What initially attracted you to Cellular Sales? I was a newly single mom with two small kids, no income and little to no work experience. I was motivated to make my life function again, but how? I did not have the time or the funds to go back [to college] to get a degree. I met some folks at the gym who work for Cellular Sales (Thanks guys!). After hearing my situation they gave me great advice, “We can get you hired.” When they told me it was selling phones I kind of chuckled but I figured it would get me by until something “better” came along. Little did I know that we sell a buying experience, not phones, and this would become my career.
What keeps you here? What keeps me here is the flexibility to be with my children and the advancement opportunities. However, it is the family type culture Cheyenne and Sarah insist upon that keeps me loyal to this awesome company. With their guidance and support I have been able to accomplish so many things I would have thought were far off in the future.
What has been your most rewarding accomplishment thus far? What are you most proud of? I have a two-way tie for my most rewarding accomplishment. Coining the “Creating Space” concept for the entire company was my first adventure in a group-training role. Also more recently, being part of the founding team to deliver “The Door Dazzle” training here in its debut Central Florida Market, Jacksonville, and soon South Georgia. This one is exciting because it’s easy to learn and it just works! I have so much fun sharing them! We’ll have our customers walking into the other stores saying, “This isn’t the real Cellular Sales” in no time flat!
I am most proud of our new reps here in Central Florida. They soak up the trainings so fast and are excited to use the skills we practice on the floor. We continually have reps in their first three months reaching the top of the leaderboard. When asked how they did it, their answers are classic: “I’m just doing what I learned in training!” I am so very proud of them! When I hear the stories of how they have been able to accomplish personal goals like buying a house, taking a family vacation, or paying off a car, I can’t help but feel giddy for them! Hats off to our recruiting department and mentors too! Without them we’d be a boat with no paddles in still water!
What are some challenges you face on a day-to-day basis, and how do you overcome them? I love being able to travel to other markets and share what has worked so well here in Central Florida. With my two girls it is a challenge. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful man in my corner. It’s his continual support and understanding that get me through any challenge I face. He also taught me most of what I know about selling.
Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had? This is the most unusual, interesting job I’ve ever had! The industry is ever evolving so it keeps us on our toes! Cheyenne and Sarah have allowed and encouraged a very creative, different, and outside-of-the-box training program. It fits our company so well! We aren’t stiff and corporate and our trainings aren’t either!
What are your hobbies? My hobbies are whatever booster club is heading my children’s current hobbies. Right now that would be gymnastics and ballet. I’m at gymnastics three days a week. All I can say is my oldest daughter’s team conditioning makes my Insanity workout look like a light warm up.
And finally, do you have a funny story about working at Cellular Sales? I was leaving a shift a few weeks ago and getting into my car to drive home when I realized I left a bag in the store. I went back in to grab my bag and when I came back out my car was gone. I thought my co-worker had moved my car as a joke. When [my co-worker] bolted out towards the street I realized it was stolen! I’d left it running for [the thief]! I got it back 5 hours later. Needless to say the situation has been the subject of many eSecuritel jokes and the like.
Cellular Sales recently gave a $15,000 donation to SOAR Youth Ministries to help support Knoxville children in need. SOAR Youth Ministries focuses upon helping at-risk youth in the Lonsdale area through after school training, a summer academy and a mentoring program. For the past three years, Cellular Sales has been helping SOAR serve the community through financial donations.
“The volunteers at SOAR have a passion for underprivileged youth and want to make a difference in their lives,” said Clayton Wood, executive director of SOAR Youth Ministries. “With the help of Cellular Sales, we get closer to that goal every year.” (Knoxville News Sentinel, June 3, 2012)
The donated funds will go to support the summer academy. During summer months, SOAR provides an all-day place for youth to participate in an intensive reading program, go on educational field trips and learn more about the Bible.The theme for the Summer Academy 2012 is “I Spy.” Throughout the summer the children at SOAR will go on a scavenger hunt researching bugs, America in the 1930′s, tracking the meteor storm, serving the city and more! Programs like this help the children develop a passion for reading while inspiring a sense of pride in the whole community.
Cellular Sales will also sponsor the annual SOAR Golf Tournament on July 2 at Gettysvue Golf Course. As the nations largest Verizon Wireless retailer, Cellular Sales has been privileged to open over 500 stores throughout the nation. In addition to bringing job opportunities to local communities, Cellular Sales is proud to invest in the future of these communities through programs like SOAR.
For the second year in a row, Cellular Sales has donated a $2500 grant to the the CNY Football Academy, a free football camp for kids in the Syracuse area. Organized by three NFL players, this annual camp provides an opportunity for children of all ages and economic backgrounds to learn about working hard, setting goals and achieving milestones.
Each year Mike Hart (a former running back for the Indianapolis Colts), Jo-Lonn Dunbar (a linebacker for the St. Louis Rams), and Tyvon Branch (a safety for the Oakland Raiders) return to home to Syracuse to offer this camp as a gift to the community. “It’s great to come back home every year and give back to the community that’s always supported me,” said Mike Hart, current running backs coach at Eastern Michigan University. “We’re lucky that we get to do something we love, while having fun with local kids and making this a community event.”
“It astounds us every year to see how this camp touches so many lives of those in our area,” said Tim Blackburn, regional director at Cellular. “We couldn’t be happier to be a part of this special program.”
The CNY Football Academy camp will be held on Saturday, June 23 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Sunnycrest Park.
Verizon customers will soon be able to enjoy 4G LTE all around the world. In a press conference at the Telecommunications Industry Association last week, Tony Malone, Verizon’s Chief Technology Officer, announced that Verizon Wireless plans to offer global roaming for all its 4G LTE smartphones, tablets and network cards.
“There will absolutely be roaming for 4G LTE devices,” Malone said. “And where 4G LTE isn’t available or it’s not economical to support those LTE frequencies, we’ll allow customers to fall back on 3G HSPA networks.”
What position(s) do you hold at Cellular Sales? Sales Rep/Mentor/Events Team Member.
How long have you worked with the company? One year, six months.
What is your role within Cellular Sales? Sell phones and teach people how to sell phones. I currently have four reps that I mentor – teaching them the basics, making sure they are setting daily, monthly and yearly goals. I play a big role in our events program. I help Ralph Haynes, our Events Coordinator, out a lot with multiple shows.
Please tell me about your most rewarding or satisfying experience –your proudest moment – since you joined the company. My proudest moment actually happened very recently. I traveled outside of the Kansas City market to Coastal Texas for the Houston Rodeo. The National Events Coordinator, Mitchell Duncan, challenged me to break the 86 phone record in ten days, which was the most phones ever sold by one rep at the Houston Rodeo event. I sold 100; it was an amazing feeling.
What makes Cellular Sales such a special company? Flexibility/Opportunity.
What do you like best about working for Cellular Sales? I like working 3-4 days a week and spending the rest of the time relaxing and enjoying life.
Are there any obstacles you face at work? INVENTORY… and the only other obstacle I face at work is not challenging myself to the fullest. There are a lot of opportunities that I do not feel I take advantage of, and recognizing those is the hardest part.
Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had? Selling cars – I love sales. This [job] reminds me a lot of selling cars, and I loved selling cars. However, phones are definitely easier to get out the door.
What are your hobbies? Golf; I play on an indoor soccer team; I work out quite a bit; and I love down time.
If you were stuck on a desert island, what three things would you have to have with you? [I would have my] two best friends. I’m a huge social person, so I would need company. Also, I’m not creative, so maybe they would come up with an idea.
If a phone was named after you, what would it be called? The Balla Calla Reinvention
And finally…DROID or iPhone? I have a Droid, [and it's] just because I’m waiting for the iPhone 7.
How long have you been with Cellular Sales? I’ve been with Cellular Sales for 2 years.
What is your title or role within the company? Sales Representative
What initially attracted you to Cellular Sales? I was attracted to Cellular Sales for the opportunity to be in business for myself. The income potential and possibilities for success are unlimited for anyone, like myself, that has an entrepreneurial drive and spirit.
What keeps you here? Cellular Sales is a rewarding place to work. Our team, The Franchise, is like one big family. We work well together and support one another. The team leaders and regional directors are great coaches and mentors. They have an interest in helping me achieve my best, and it shows. It is motivating and inspiring to work with a group of people that really care.
What has been your most rewarding accomplishment thus far? What are you most proud of? My most rewarding accomplishment thus far was earning #1 in new lines last year in the North Carolina market.
What are some challenges you face on a day-to-day basis, and how do you overcome them? In a competitive industry and sales environment like ours, there are many challenges in dealing with the public on a day-to-day basis. However, my primary goal, regardless of the situation, is to treat every customer like I would my mother. I want every person I work with to feel I understand their needs and will offer them the best value for their money. This means not just selling them the best product, but providing them the best customer service possible. When they leave the store happy and satisfied with their experience, they will refer other customers and keep coming back. This is gratifying, and helps me deal with any challenges I face.
Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had? The most interesting job I’ve had prior to Cellular Sales was a position as a cook with Aramark Services. I operated a cafeteria and prepared food for 200+ people daily. I didn’t have any formal culinary training prior to the job, but quickly realized I was a talented and creative cook. I honed my skills, which has since become a hobby that I enjoy with my family and friends.
What are your hobbies? I enjoy playing soccer and coaching athletics.
Do you have a funny story about working at Cellular Sales? No funny stories so far.
And finally, name your all-time favorite phone, and tell us why. My all-time favorite phone has to be the HTC Droid Incredible. The graphics are outstanding and it’s easy to use.
April was a busy month for Cellular Sales. New stores opened in states all across the country. With the opening of stores in Delaware and Connecticut last Tuesday, Cellular Sales reached a new milestone: 500 stores and counting. The Knoxville News Sentinel quoted Cellular Sales COO James Thome who said, “It’s all because of our people. Our business model of hiring high quality and dedicated employees to make sure you’re happy.”
In the last few years, smartphones have come to dominate Cellular Sales business and now more than half the phones sold are smartphones. More and more Americans from all ages and all walks of life are discovering the power of smartphones for everything from keeping grocery lists to tracking news to remembering meetings. Cellular Sales experts help customers find the ideal smartphone or regular cell phone that will meet their needs. The attention to customers has propelled Cellular Sales to the nation’s largest Verizon retailer.
The 500 store milestone is just the beginning. Cellular Sales plans to open another 75 to 100 stores by the end of the year, and expects to break the 2 million mark in annual phone sales. The Northwest and Northeast have both emerged a potentially large growth markets. By creating new markets and expanding existing markets, Cellular Sales is creating new job opportunities throughout the country for eager sales professionals who want to build their own business. To learn morea bout working for Cellular Sales, visit joincellularsales.com.