That's what Alex Hawkinson, chief executive of SmartThings, envisions. His startup makes a family of Internet-connected devices for the home. SmartThings also runs a platform service that helps people remotely control all of the other disparate devices made by different companies that are beginning to make their way … Read more
Need your mobile Facebook fix but don't have any data coverage? T-Mobile has one option for you.
T-Mobile has tweaked its GoSmart Mobile prepaid wireless plan to offer free Facebook and Facebook Messenger access for all customers starting in January. That means subscribers can use Facebook without chewing up their data allowance or without even needing a data plan.
Rolled out early this year, GoSmart Mobile is aimed at consumers who want low-cost unlimited mobile coverage. The plans range from $25 a month for unlimited talk to $45 a month for unlimited talk and text and 5GB of 3G … Read more
Those of you who buy a Samsung smart TV in 2014 should find it easier to flip channels, open apps, and run other tasks.
Samsung has fine-tuned its voice interaction service, which helps you control the TV through natural language voice commands. As one example, the current crop of Samsung smart TVs force you to utter two commands to change the channel: "Channel Change" and "Channel Number." Next year's sets will require you to speak just the channel number.
You'll also be able to use voice shortcuts to open a Web site or app, … Read more
Surely you've heard the term "Internet of Things" this year, and perhaps you're even intrigued by the concept. Smart devices ranging from thermostats to locks to light bulbs captured our attention this year. The reason in part is because adding some connected smarts to these household basics offers up benefits that are easy for consumers to understand. Whether you want to monitor the comings and goings in your home, save energy, or simply glide through a fully-automated world of connected devices, the appeal is clear.
Extend that idea to large appliances and the benefits become less … Read more
Incandescents have enjoyed a good century as the light bulb of choice, but times are changing. So too are efficiency standards, which jumped to a new, even higher threshold back on January 1, officially rendering 40-and 60-watt bulbs obsolete. Despite Congressional leaders postponing the official phase-out for the time being, manufacturers are continuing to lead the charge into a new era of higher efficiency lighting -- and largely leaving incandescents by the wayside.
Don't be too quick to mourn them though. Recent advancements in LED technology have brought prices down on these highly efficient, long-lasting bulbs even faster than … Read more
Most of today's home automation options come in the form of old-guard systems like Insteon or crowdfunded Internet startups like SmartThings. The Iris Home Management System, a descendant of the UK-based AlertMe, is a little bit different, as it has the full backing of US retail giant Lowe's. You can order Iris online, or pick it up from one of the hundreds of Lowe's across the country that showcase the system, along with the multitude of compatible Z-Wave switches and sensors you can add to it.
As a system capable of working with such a wide range … Read more
LG has made good on its promise to resurrect WebOS in the living room.
An LG researcher, Hong Sung-pyo, said at an event in Korea on Thursday that the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next month will play host to the company's first WebOS-based Smart TV. The television will include a 2.2GHz dual-core processor and 1.5GB of RAM, according to Hong.
CNET sister site ZDNet Korea was first to report on the news.
WebOS has had a long and disappointing experience in the electronics business. The operating system was initially hailed as the Palm's savior, but quickly … Read more
New tech being developed at Cornell University aims to bring cholesterol testing to smartphones to make the numbers both more specific and easier to track.
Home cholesterol test kits have been around since the early 1990s, catering to those with high cholesterol levels -- which puts them at a higher risk of developing heart disease -- who need to check their numbers more than once every few years.
But the majority of home tests take total cholesterol readings only, without separating out the "good," high-density lipoprotein (HDL, which helps prevent cholesterol from building up in the arteries) from … Read more
Adidas is the latest company to throw its hat into the ring of wearable devices. Unlike recent products from Samsung, Fitbit, and Nike, however, Adidas didn't create a smartwatch per se. Despite being powered by Android, the company's MiCoach Smart Run doesn't have access to apps and games, and it can't receive notifications from your phone. Instead, Adidas has created a standalone fitness tracker with an assortment of sensors and impressive features.
The heavily skinned version of Android is displayed on a 1.45-inch 184x184-pixel resolution color touchscreen. A 410mAh lithium ion battery delivers up to … Read more
Whenever winter rolls around, it's hard not to think of home energy use -- insulation doesn't seem to quite work, power bills go up, and it still feels cold.
It appears energy is also on Google's mind. According to The Information, the company reportedly has been testing Internet-connected thermostats aimed at making the energy grid more efficient and helping users control their power use. The trial program is said to be called EnergySense.