With the holiday season in full swing, it’s easy to forget about the importance of privacy and security in this world of endless digital devices. More and more of our electronics are constantly connected to the Internet through cloud services, providing more and more entry points into our homes for those with nefarious intentions. McAfee reached out to me with some tips on staying secure when using different devices, and they’re good enough to be shared, as they just might help you avoid a privacy-related disaster. Additionally, McAfee is running a sweepstakes where the grand prize winner will receive a trip for two to Iceland. More details on that at the end of this article.
The ecobee3 is a smart thermostat that can be controlled by the sound of your voice by way of Siri or Amazon Alexa. With Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa services built-in, you can simply ask one of the digital assistants to set your temperature, and it's done. With Siri, you can do it from anywhere you have an Internet connection, using any iOS device or Apple Watch!
Of course, you can use it the old-fashioned way, but instead of clunky dials and knobs, the #ecobee3 has a modern touch display built in. It can also monitor the temperature in multiple rooms of your home, making sure the rooms that are occupied stay comfortable! Check out the video for my full review - I also show you how to install the ecobee3!
You can pick up the ecobee3 Smart Thermostat now.
The ConnectSense Smart Outlet is an Apple HomeKit compatible device that plugs into any outlet in your home, allowing you to turn just about any device into a smart device. The Smart Outlet gives you two outlets, which can be powered on and off by using the ConnectSense app, Siri voice control, or even pressing a button on the side of the device. Plug in a lamp, and you can now control that lamp from anywhere, using your smartphone or tablet - even outside of your home if you own an Apple TV. I bring you my full rundown of the ConnectSense Smart Outlet in this episode!
You can pick up the ConnectSense Smart Outlet now.
Yves Behar, the famous designer of the popular array of Jawbone bluetooth headsets, Jambox portable stereo jukebox and fitness activity monitor Up, has launched a new company, promoting a smart door lock, August. August is a keyless digital lock system for your home connected to low powered Bluetooth with an iPhone app. August does not solely rely on Wi-Fi in order for it to function, so no need to worry in the event of a power outage. The device is said to be easy to install in a two-step process compared to other locking solutions. It does not require an additional lock for the outside door and it's said to not be noticeable since the device is housed in the inside lock of the home, which it replaces. Check out the video after the break.
Read More | August
GreenWave Reality is aiming to bring us the lightbulbs of the future with its new Connected Lighting Solution line-up of Wi-Fi-aware LED bulbs. These bulbs use a fraction of the power of the light bulbs that you're used to, and can be controlled from your smartphone or tablet immediately after being put into their sockets. You can also group a set of bulbs together to control them all with one command. You can even set up timed lighting on the bulbs individually, or as a group, for a nice set-it-and-forget-it configuration. If all that is too much for you, another great feature is that the setup is even motion sensitive, so you can have lights turn on in any room that someone enters. All in all, it's pretty neat. We're looking to get our review units in soon to give you a deeper look at GreenWave's lighting solution.
Read More | GreenWave Reality
We chat with Matt Rogers of Nest at CES 2012 in this episode. Nest is a learning thermostat that is created by the guys who created 13 generations of iPod and a few generations of the iPhone, and is an ingenious way to re-imagine saving energy in your home. The thermostat is a round metal dial with a circular color LCD screen that works a lot like an iPod classic click wheel. You can turn the temperature up or down by twisting the dial, or you can go through its menus by pressing it in like a button. It can be set to automatically change the temperature based on the time and whether you're present. We also demo the Nest thermostat to show you exactly how it all works.
Big thank you to MozyPro and JackThreads for sponsoring the show - be sure to check them out! MozyPro provides simple, automatic, and secure data backup. As for JackThreads, we've got exclusive invite codes that give you $5 to use towards anything you'd like on the site.
Home automation is becoming a big theme at consumer electronics trade shows like CES. Many companies have been promising the ‘smart house’ for years – a house that automatically anticipates and responds to its inhabitants wants and needs. HawkingTech was showing off some preliminary tech which could help hearken the days of the smart house with a variety of available now products – check out the video for a demonstration of what is to come.
As always Logitech has raised the bar for home media automation with the Harmony One. The CES-unveiled Harmony One shares features previous Harmony home theater remotes by offering the same easy to use action based control, wizard based setup options on your computer, rechargeable batteries, and a contextual 2.2” LCD screen.
The Harmony One has touch sensitive buttons that both look and feel far more modern than it’s predecessors. The remotes sleek new piano-black finish will be appearing on store shelves soon for an undisclosed price. Be on the look out for a full in-depth review as soon as we can get our media-loving mitts on this new remote. In the meantime, we have the full release available for you, after the jump.
iControl is at CES this year showing off their home security and automation service. iControl’s technology networks various third party home security and automation solutions and provides a hosted gateway to access them over the web or via a cell phone.
The promise of iControl is knowing what’s happening at your house, and being able to control other home automation products. The only downside to this technology is that because its a hosted solution you have to fork over $15 a month for this convenience. It might be worth it depending on your solution, but if you are interested, check out some of the non-hosted solutions offered by Control4 which might be slightly more expensive, but won’t cost you month after month.