A few months ago, Matt Moskovciak and Steve Guttenberg reviewed the Monoprice 9774, finding them to be incredibly similar to the Energy Take Classic. Too similar.
Keys. Who needs 'em?
Not the Kwikset Kevo, that's for sure. With the Kevo (licensed out from UniKey), you'll be able to unlock your deadbolt just by tapping on it, thanks to the built-in Bluetooth 4.0 capable of detecting the smartphone in your pocket. Don't have a smartphone? Don't worry about it -- the Kevo comes with a handy keychain fob that'll let you tap your way inside, too. You can even use the free Kevo app to send friends and loved ones "eKeys" to let them in when you're not … Read more
Installing a home security system used to mean spending hundreds of dollars to have professionals come and hardwire your house, then paying huge fees month after month in order to keep the thing running. Systems weren't flexible, false alarms were frequent, and if you were a lowly renter, you were out of luck entirely -- despite the fact that rental units get burglarized more often than any other kind of property.
Times are changing, though, and a smart new wave of home security systems is changing the way we think about protecting our homes. These new systems are built … Read more
The first thing you might ask about the Hiku is why you need a $79 piece of hardware to help you make a grocery list.
The Hiku is a simple-seeming device with a few clever tricks built in. In its most basic mode, you press its only button, and either speak the name of a product or zap it with Hiku's bar code scanner, and that item will show up on Hiku's mobile app-based shopping list. To log unfamiliar UPCs, those from Trader Joe's, for example, Hiku will use crowdsourcing. Scan an unknown code, correct it by … Read more
I never thought I'd see the day when a Sonos product made the pages of The Cheapskate. Though I've long been a fan of the company's speaker systems, I'd never consider buying one. They're crazy-overpriced.
That said, you have to admire Sonos for sticking to its guns as a higher-end home-audio maker. Obviously there are lots of buyers willing to pay a premium for their gear, as evidenced by the fact that they're still around after all these years.
I still think Sonos stuff is overpriced. But a deal's a deal, and this … Read more
Cartoon Monster Home Screen Wallpaper Maker Pro is a fun, easy-to-use app for creating custom wallpapers that fit your iPhone's background just right. From a range of different wallpaper bases to the ability to create custom app backgrounds on a slot-by-slot basis, you can do quite a few things in this app that will customize and augment the way your home screen looks on your iPhone.
When you open the app, you are given a very thorough tutorial on how everything works, where to find each feature, and how to select new wallpaper types and app backgrounds at any … Read more
For the past five years I have been patiently waiting for the day when my son is mature enough to experience "Star Wars." Well, to be completely honest, I probably started the countdown when he was still in the womb.
The timing is critical. Too soon, and Darth Vader will inspire night terrors for years to come. Too late, and one of his blabbermouth friends at school will spill the beans on Luke's paternity test.
So we're working up to it, and with any luck someday soon his tiny brain will be imprinted with the opening … Read more
With the common light switch, you get two options: on, or off. Isn't it time for something more?
That "something more" is exactly what Oregon-based Bellatrix Systems has in mind with its decidedly uncommon bRight Switch system, a line of Android-powered switches and sockets designed to bring homes and businesses into the 21st century. With bRight Switch, you'll have full touch-screen controls, automation capabilities, and an insane number of features and functions at your disposal, all at a surprisingly affordable up-front cost and with no monthly fees.
Of course, all of this depends on whether or … Read more
Piper is a home security system from Ottawa, Canada-based startup Blacksumac. Piper got its start on Indiegogo, and by the end of its month-long campaign, it had more than tripled its original $100,000 goal. So what is Blacksumac planning to do with its $309,119?
Why, make more Pipers, of course. Shipments to crowd-sourced supporters are expected to begin in November. And if you missed the funding period, that's OK. You will be able to preorder directly from Blacksumac soon for somewhere between $210 and $250.
It isn't the only interesting product on the DIY security market, … Read more
From the way things are going multichannel home theater speaker systems will be on the endangered species list in a few years. Sound bars epitomize the "good enough" direction the market has taken, and most folks are happy with them, mostly because they sound better than the speakers built into their TVs. That's easy, but how do sound bars fare compared with a bona fide 5.1-channel subwoofer/satellite system? For this shootout I wanted to keep the budget in check, so I used MonoPrice's 8247 sub/sat system, and compared it with a couple of … Read more