One of the most affordable ways to add a bit of brainpower to your lights and appliances is to smarten up the sockets you're plugging them into. We've already seen products like the Belkin WeMo Switch do exactly this, providing you with remote control over device power, along with a few other functions. I suppose it was only a matter of time before we saw this approach applied to the common household power strip.
Jarden Home Brands are the folks that make Ball canning products. And even if you've never canned a thing in your life, chances are you've seen Jarden's versatile Ball Mason jars at weddings or in restaurants. In addition to its more recent popularity as decorations and drinking glasses, they continue to be used widely for making everything from pickles to jams. The problem is that canning can be a bit of a pain.
Clearly Jarden knows this. So it decided to make the whole process a bit more accessible by introducing a new kitchen appliance to the … Read more
If you've started building out a smart home, chances are you're already familiar with app and controller hub fatigue. If your smart lock, your connected LED bulbs, and your smart thermostat all come from different manufacturers, that means each has an app of some kind, and they likely don't talk with one another. Revolv Inc.'s Revolv Smart Home Solution wants to help.
In Android 4.4 KitKat Google has finally given users an option to quickly and easily switch between home screen launchers. With previous versions of Android users would set the default launcher, use it for awhile, then get tired of it and want to change. That change required digging through Application settings and clearing system defaults. The entire process was far from obvious.
On Android 4.4 KitKat users can now switch between launchers with less than three taps. After installing your first third-party launcher on the new OS, a "Home" setting will be added to the Settings … Read more
As DIY security becomes more and more popular, we're seeing more and more options arrive on the market. The latest offerings come from Oplink Security: the $199.99 sensor-driven AlarmShield package, and the $349.99 TripleShield package, which adds a pair of wireless cameras for the surveillance-minded homeowner. With similar motion detectors, panic sirens, and contact sensors for doors and windows -- not to mention equivalent price levels for both the basic package and the camera-ready package -- Oplink seems ready to compete directly with iSmartAlarm.
The big difference between the two systems is that, unlike iSmartAlarm, Oplink charges … Read more
By now, corporate America has probably heard of Twitter.
It's less because CEOs and CMOs might have seen a hashtag during their evening viewing of "The X Factor." It's more because Twitter had an IPO this week, which means CNBC mentioned it a lot.
Perhaps now might be the time, then, to stop those with the sense and taste of a rabid stoat from taking the controls of corporate Twitter accounts.
I mention this only because of a tweet emitted by Home Depot.
Philips seems to have its Hue smart light bulbs on an ever-expanding trajectory. The newest entrant: the BR30 Connected Downlight Lamp, available as either a standalone bulb for $59, or in a set of three for $199, which includes the Hue Bridge wireless hub.
Other than their bulb design, the smart home basics of these BR30 lights are similar to those of the original Hue Connected Bulb. Connect the Hue Bridge to your wireless network, and then use your smartphone or tablet to control the bulbs with the Philips Hue app. Programming options include an expansive range of colors, from … Read more
Imagine a technology that, based simply on your location, will open a garage door or turn on the lights at home. That's exactly what Apple has in mind in a freshly awarded patent.
Issued on Tuesday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, "System and method of determining location of wireless communication devices/persons for controlling/adjusting operation of devices based on the location" envisions a system that would not require your manual input to control remote devices, as most of today's home automation systems do.
Instead, you'd customize the system to perform certain tasks … Read more
Neurio Home Intelligence is a technology that helps you understand your energy usage and automate your home appliances. It's like a Belkin WeMo Insight Switch for your entire home. It started as a university project, and led to the creation of Vancouver-based startup Energy Aware Technology Inc. Then the team took their concept to Kickstarter, launching a campaign on October 16. The funding period doesn't end until November 15, but backers have already pledged well over its original $95,000 (CAD) goal. So, with over $125,000 pledged thus far, I don't think we've heard the … Read more
As with a lock or a home security system, it's easy to imagine adding intelligence to your garage door opener.
The market is also surprisingly populated. Craftsman and LiftMaster both have smartphone-based control systems for certain models. Arguably more interesting is the suddenly crowded field of add-on controllers.
I recently had a chance to check out one such controller, the $149 Garageio, from Alottazs Labs (a reference to CEO Zak Dziczkowski's surname) in Columbus, Ohio. Similar to other smart openers, Garageio connects to your existing garage door opener and lets you open and shut up to three separate … Read more