The internet of things. It’s the new buzzword. Cisco claims it’ll generate $14.4 trillion in value within 9 years. Exactly why a company like Zuli hopes to snag a small piece of that pie. They hope to do so with these new Zuli Smartplugs ($40). Use your smartphone to control each plug and automate your home appliance usage. Connect three and they’ll form a mesh network, where each plug can talk to each other. In other words, gossip about you while you’re out of the house. With greater usage, the smartplugs eventually learn your behavior and lights, tvs and stereos will magically turn on every time you enter the room. And to think people used to use a primitive device like the Clapper.
Home By on Dec 2, 2013
If you own any Philips Hue LED bulbs, take notice of this Nest-ish looking smart light switch from Goldee ($249). It can work with any type of bulb, but with the Hue and similar systems is really where it shines. Thanks to internal sensors, this thing can your automatically turn off your lights off when you get into bed, turn them back on when you get up because you forgot to brush your teeth (tsk tsk), and provide a host of lighting effects for you to adjust your moods to. Maybe one of those shades will remind you to floss?
Home By on Nov 27, 2013
Keeping an actual ninja in your house comes in handy just two times a year: when you’re cutting the Thanksgiving turkey, and scaring the crap out of your mother-in-law. But the Ninja Sphere ($199) is much more helpful around the house. Using data it collects from sensors and actuators, it learns about you and your environment, letting you keep tabs on the temperature, lighting, energy usage, and other items around the house. It even lets you keep monitor pets and loved ones– so technically, no, it won’t work on your mother-in-law.
Home By on Nov 25, 2013
Spotter ($50) is a multi-purpose sensor that measure the temperature, humidity, light, sound, and motion in your home, letting you connect, control and monitor just about everything. Want your lights to automatically turn on when someone knocks on your door? Sure. Want an alert when your wine cellar is too warm? Wait. You have a wine cellar!? Wow. OK. Huh. Anyways, yes, as you might imagine, Spotter works with your smartphone, so ya know, you’ll need to pry yourself away from your 1978 Montrachet for a moment. Sorry, I just can’t let this wine cellar thing go.
Home By on Nov 14, 2013
Running to the AC or fireplace every time you get warm or cold is so 20th century. What, are you gonna use your Rubik’s Cube to move the little lever too? This thermostat from French designer Philippe Starck handles your climate control by learning your routine; it knows when you like it chilly in bed and when you need it toasty for that morning shower. Handle all the details with your smartphone or tablet and plant your feet firmly in the modern age.
Home By on Nov 13, 2013
Normally, “Hands-off” is right up there with “I’ll have the surprisingly expensive lobster and steak, please” when it comes to the worst words you can hear from your date. But in this case, with the Revolv home automation hub ($300), hands-off is pretty darn delightful. Revolv promises to set all your home’s devices in motion whenever you want them. So, like in this clever video, if you want your sprinklers off, lights on, music up, and thermostat down as you walk to your front door, it shall be done.
Home By on Oct 22, 2013
The Roomba and Scooba have cool names, and yes, as far as robotic floor and rug cleaners, they were indeed groundbreaking. But Moneual’s new Rydis H67 ($400) promises to suck the hell out of your dirty carpet, then mop the funk of your hard floors. When the mopping pad is attached, the H67 recognizes that and avoids all carpeted surfaces. It can mop for five hours straight with a fully charged battery, then returns to its charging station when it’s running low.
Home By on Sep 10, 2013
Piper ($209) is all about putting your mind at ease; not by reassuring you that everything’s gonna be OK after your pet hamster Leopold suffers a crippling stroke — that’s your mom’s job or your elderly neighbor’s — but by keeping an eye on your home while you’re gone. The wide angle HD camera lets you pan and scan remotely via smartphone (iOS and Android). The automation tools let you turn off lights and heating and air systems. Temperature and humidity sensors make sure your place isn’t turning into some kind of DIY sauna. Now if it could only be used as a defibrillator for Leopold.