By Jim Gresham on Nov 7, 2013
Neurio is an electrical monitoring device developed by Energy Aware Technology. The small device sits in the home’s breaker box and “monitors how much power homes are using, and figures out the cost of running individual appliances using smart algorithms that look for patterns and potential problems.” Using a self-learning algorithm, the unit collects data about the electrical items in the home. Reports and information are provided to the user, who then determines which ways to better eliminate energy consumption.
Most importantly, the monitoring and cloud reporting does not require home owners to install sensors on any device. As the unit sits in the breaker box, connected to the central home electrical hub, it monitors information directly from the source. Using a companion app, cleverly titled “Wattson,” a homeowners’ smartphone becomes the simple monitoring tool needed to determine real time power consumption and usage… Read More
By Cody Lee on Nov 5, 2013
Philips has expanded its Hue line of iPhone-controlled lighting with a new bulb this week, called the BR30. Unlike previous Hue bulbs, the BR30 is designed to fit into recessed sockets to create the effect of light shining from a hole in the ceiling.
The BR30 bulbs are designed to fit the standard E27 screw base and deliver 600 lumens of light. And like other Hue bulbs, they provide a full range of color, except the light is delivered in a downward beam instead of being omnidirectional… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 8, 2013
Former Apple hardware engineer Tony Fadell needs no introduction. After leading iPod development and helping build the iPhone, he left Apple for his own startup, Nest.
There, the brilliant engineer banded together with a talented team comprised of former Apple wizards to create the Nest learning thermostat (Jeff had to say a bunch of nice things about it).
That was just the beginning of Nest’s journey to the app-enabled, connected home. Today, the startup unveiled its second major product, a smart and gorgeous smoke and carbon monoxide alarm dubbed Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide. Like the Nest thermostat, the Protect takes everything that we hate about existing smoke detectors and re-imagines what those life-saving appliances should be and how they should function… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 15, 2013
The introduction of smartphones and tablets has really helped bring ‘connected home’ technology mainstream. Actions that used to require a large, expensive in-home setup, can now be done with an iPhone, an app, and a relatively cheap accessory.
And the new iDoorCam is the perfect example of this. The camera-equipped, smart doorbell connects to your home Wi-Fi network to stream video of your visitors to all of your connected iOS gadgets, regardless of whether you’re at home or not… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 22, 2013
iOS continues to change modern living for the better by improving upon the connected home promise through various innovative app-enabled accessories from third-parties, like the beautiful and smart Nest thermostat, the intelligent Philips light bulbs and clever locks by the likes of Jawbone and Kwikset, to name just a few.
Canary, “the world’s first smartphone security device for everyone” by a New York-based startup, promises to beef up your home security by bringing motion detection, push alerts, streaming spycam video and other goodies to your iPhone by way of an IndieGoGo crowd-funded project.
The stylish device, reminiscent of Jony Ive’s industrial design work, comes packed with a 720p HD camera, wide angle lens, Wi-Fi connectivity and smart sensors that detect motion, and is easy to set up on your mobile device. I’ve included a promotional video for your viewing pleasure just after the break… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Jul 14, 2013
Always moving forward, Seagate continues to reinvent current solutions. This time, Seagate took a hard look at their previous NAS drive, the GoFlex Home, and decided it left a few things to be desired. In an effort to impress, Seagate tore down the Home and seemingly started from scratch on the Central.
Overall, I am fairly impressed with Seagate’s changes to the new hardware and corresponding software, online dashboard, and revamped media app. After speaking with the engineers behind the drive at CES, there appears to be a more prevalent focus on user experience with the new 2013 product line, of which I previously reviewed the Wireless Plus. Leading the charge for a user friendly product, this previously complicated network drive enables even novice users to go from box to operational in less than ten minutes… Read More
By Cody Lee on May 30, 2013
Well known designer and Chief Creative Officer of Jawbone, Yves Behar, gave the world a preview of his next big venture last night. It’s called ‘August,’ and it’s an iPhone-connected digital lock system that promises to change the way we open doors.
Now, Internet-enabled smart locks aren’t anything new. But what the August brings to the table is a sleek design—which was fashioned by Behar (who designed the Jambox, Up)—and superior functionality. Think of it as the Nest for door locks… Read More
By Jim Gresham on May 15, 2013
As many of our frequent readers know, I am a fan of connected home products. In particular, several home Wi-Fi cameras are covered through our review section and today I take a close look at the Y-cam HomeMonitor system.
Developed by Y-cam Solutions, the 2005 startup company strives to create simple and affordable products for home and small business protection. In addition to hardware, software and firmware are also continually improved, according to the company description. I can vouch for their efforts having already received a firmware update since installing the unit.
Setting HomeMonitor apart from the competition, is the ability to store a full week of motion captures on company servers for no subscription charge. However, while offering a good benefit package, Y-cam HomeMonitor struggles on some basics… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 8, 2013
Kwikset, the lockset maker owned by Black & Decker’s Hardware and Home Improvement Group, today announced an interesting smartphone-friendly wireless lock accessory that inches us closer to a fully connected home.
If you’re a fan of the app-enabled wireless lightbub from Philips, how about locking or unlocking your door by simply touching the deadbolt?
And I meant touching it with your finger – you don’t ever need to remove an iPhone from your pocket or purse. That’s what Kēvo, a UniKey-powered wireless deadbolt door lock, does for you by connecting with your iPhone, iPod or iPad through wireless Bluetooth Smart technology. Say goodbye to fumbling with or looking for your keys – your Phone is now your key… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 11, 2013
Good news for current and potential owners of Philips’ app-controlled Hue lightbulbs. The company announced this weekend that there is now an official developer program for the popular LED light set.
This means that we can expect to see more innovative third party applications for the Hue system like Ambify, an iOS app released last week that syncs Philips’ lightbulbs with the beat of your music… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Feb 20, 2013
Having taken many tours through connected home devices at CES, the personal security camera was quite a popular unit. Promising an ever gazing watch on the family home, front door, or sleeping baby, a new crop of iOS accessories are quickly emerging to monitor your living space. However, not all home cameras are created equal and across 2013, we hope to give you the reviews you need to make good choices. We will start with Swann’s Advanced- Series SWADS-450IPC Wi-Fi camera for iOS… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 7, 2013
It seems like it’s been a while since we’ve seen any good SiriProxy hacks. If you recall, setting up Siri proxy servers to program Apple’s digital assistant to execute custom commands was all the rage last year. But the movement has since quieted down.
There’s a new video out, though, of a guy using Siri and a Rasberry Pi-based SiriProxy server to control almost everything in his house that may rekindle interest in the community. Watch him control his thermostat and TV, open his garage and more… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Jan 24, 2013
At CES, many new companies sprouted in the Connected Home category, the goal of which is to enable ordinary consumers to install connected devices without the hassle of professional appointments and labor charges. I see it as the home upgrade for dummies, a concept I can stand behind. Below, I take a quick glance at several connected home items from CES, all of which are easily installable and operate via iOS… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Jan 7, 2013
Last night, CES opened to members of the press with Unveiled to highlight many of the design award honorees and new tech that will be featured across the upcoming show, which starts tomorrow. I was on hand looking for new iOS compatible or Apple accessory products geared toward iOS devices. Check inside for a few of the products I stumbled upon… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 2, 2013
Last month, word got out that a number of high-profile companies were in possible acquisition talks with the mysterious home automation startup R2 Studios. This included the likes of Microsoft, Google, and yes, even Apple.
Well it looks like Microsoft won the day, as a new report this evening claims that the Redmond company will be the one purchasing the popular startup to help beef up its Xbox unit and increase its living room presence… Read More
By Cody Lee on Dec 20, 2012
This is pretty interesting. The Wall Street Journal is reporting this afternoon that id8 Group R2 Studios, a home automation startup founded by Slingbox’s Blake Krikorian, is in talks to be acquired. Not much is known about the company outside of its Crestron remote control app, but there are reportedly some big names participating in the buyout talks, including Apple… Read More
By Cody Lee on Nov 26, 2012
Home automation has been around for decades. But with the recent advent of the smartphone and the tablet, the market has started to evolve much more quickly. Just look at products like the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Philips Hue.
It seems like you can control pretty much anything with your smartphone or tablet these days, and we’ve come across a cool example of that. Check out this video of a house that has $80 grand of iPad-controlled home automation equipment… Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 23, 2012
I’m a huge proponent of using technology to make my life easier, especially around the home. Technology for the home has been around for quite some time in the form of home automation systems, lighting, and so forth. Unfortunately, such systems have been extremely pricey in the past, or overly confusing to setup and maintain.
Enter the smartphone.
Smartphones, and in particular the iPhone, have served as a great equalizer over the past few years. I can do things with my phone that I never would have dreamed of just a few years ago, and it gets better with each passing year.
Inside, I’ll reflect on some of the cool things that I’ve been able to accomplish lately with my iPhone, along with videos and links to articles that cover the subjects more in-depth. Have a look… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Nov 21, 2012
Like the Lidless Eye of Sauron, iZON stares unblinkingly into your home, taking note of all within. Scary, right? Well, not exactly, as there are many uses for a Wi-Fi enabled video monitor in the home, office, or abroad. The iZON, pronounced “eyes-on,” provides a single video feed across a wireless network that streams through the iZON server system, giving the user access to the feed anywhere in the world with your iOS device. If there is a need for you to be two places at once, the iZON can be your eyes and ears whether watching your newborn, crazy pet, or the front door… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Nov 20, 2012
I love the weather. No real reason in particular, but fascination started as a young child when I would rush home from school to track Hurricanes on the Weather Channel, despite living nowhere near the coast. When I first read about the first iOS specific Netatmo Urban Weather Station a month back, I was fascinated with the ability to monitor the temperature, both in and outside my house. A weather nerd at heart, I think this is an awesome piece of hardware. To the weather novice, it is still a great addition for your connected home. Below, we take a look at the personal weather station that just received CES Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering Award honoree in three categories… Read More