Evolve Brings Blitzen-Fast Internet and Smart Home Devices to Chat with Loved Ones this Holiday Season


"Blitzen," German for "flash," is a name first given to a reindeer in Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas (The Night Before Christmas). Unlike St. Nick, we can't travel the entire globe in one night with a flying sled and sturdy ruminants. But if we have relatives far away who aren't in the home this holiday season, we can still see and hear them. 

Evolve Technologies can set up your smart home to share some holiday cheer. See those smiling punims from afar using a quality smart home device like the Portal hooked up to enterprise-speed data. 


Throughout a normal life, a human will spend nine years on their phone, according to PCMag. It's a TV trope that Gen Z and most Millennials are almost organically attached to their smartphones. And they’ll also be there for the holidays.

WhistleOut, cited in PCMag, stacked the generations side-by-side in their phone use. Millennials spend approximately 42 minutes more per day on their phone than Gen X just one generation back. You will definitely get some "audience insights" if younger ones have slow internet for their smartphones. 

Of course, some of it is frivolous social media use. But some of it is important in social media use. And work and academic demands can also be addressed via smartphone. 

Now, think about all that smartphones plus a host of critical smart appliances, smart lights, home theater needs, and security systems with a security camera. All of that on one struggling router in a packed house. Yikes. 


As Evolve has talked about before, new routers have a lot of heavy demands from the modern home. It's not a squealing desktop modem anymore that only allows chatting online. There are wifi toothbrushes now. 

An old dial-up was about 56kbps. Evolve can help you go 15,000 times faster than that with PakEdge routers. Not only that, there are extra LAN and WAN domains with a package. 

Consider a time before universal cell phones when there were one, possibly two, telephone lines for communication at home. And if you wanted to go online, that eliminated one of them. 

Package routers, fully integratable with Evolve's preferred smart home platform Control4, have a minimum of 2 WAN ports. If everyone at home can go super fast on the information superhighway, but there's only one lane, there will still be some slowdowns. With Pakedge, there are two lanes. That's faster than any reindeer. 

There are a host of smart devices specifically for video chatting and conferencing. They can also provide users with apps and features to share music or adjust the built-in camera while operating. Best-of-2022-style lists for these video chatters have crunched their audience insights and focused on three leading brands for smart displays. 

The Three Big Brand Lines for Smart Displays

  • Echo Show: comes in numerous sizes up to 15inch screen with a 5-megapixel camera
  • Meta or Facebook Portal: now in Portal Plus and Portal Go model; Go has a 10-inch screen and a starter-model 12-megapixel camera
  • Google Nest Hub Max: 10-inch screen and 6.5-megapixel camera--from when Google bought Nest thermostat
  • (Lenovo has also cracked a few lists)

They can take voice commands but key things to keep in mind: 1) which home platform or similar smart assistant device you use, 2) portability.

Evolve uses the Control4 platform, with can be integrated with Alexa and attendant apps. Google Nest Hub Max uses Google Assistant, but both Echo and Portal use Alexa. 

There are some limited apps on these devices: the basics like home security, most lighting setups, and similar smart home applications can be accessed. But, if you're looking for something mainly to video chat with family far away, PC Mag rated Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen 10-inch display) and Facebook Portal Go model to be best for video calls.

Some of these devices' starter models can be snatched for under $100 if on sale. But the best ones are not much more than a few hundred dollars.


Regarding portability, Gen Xers and some Boomers used to wander throughout the house with a cordless LAN-line phone (editor's choice apps: phone), doing laundry, etc., hunching the device in place with our neck and shoulder. Silent Generations still had a cord. 

If your relative is used to moving around while they talk, only Facebook can go with them (without an extension cord). Portal has a rechargeable battery, while Echo Show and Nest Hub Max apparently do not. 


If you've ever noticed a sock or a tipped-over empty beer can on a coworker's bookshelf when they zoom out during a video call, you understand.

Some of these devices or device models have auto pan and auto zoom. Echo Show 10 has a mechanical rotation feature. It can physically spin around hands-free and remote control free. 

Another surprise is that specific models have AI features for face-to-face video communications. One example is Portal's auto-zooming onto a face when that person is talking.

Naturally, these are unconventional things for traditional analog versions of cameras, TVs, and phones. The elderly but also the young, including a Millennial reviewer for Engadget, noted the vaguely unsettling sentience this seems to put in such smart video contraptions. Be sure to let the gift recipient know about these enhancements. 

Privacy controls are limited but improving. The ability to stop, prevent or erase stored voice and/or audio data is mostly "opt-out." Certain Portal and other devices do have a physical shutter to block the camera when not in use.

There are also live captions set-ups for the hard of hearing. 


Christmas can be healthfully nostalgic. Share more of your memories and more of your presence (and presents) with loved ones. Share it around the globe. Or share it outside of the globe like the International Space Station in 2020 (cozy holiday socks and all)! 

Merriest of Christmases and Happy Holidays from Evolve Technologies. 

(We're still making appointments and working up through December. Call for a consultation today!)

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