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Automation

Further to enabling users to unlock their doors with a paired smartphone app, Sesame respo...

If you're looking to smarten up your locks to make your home more secure, then you're not exactly short of options. While all these products are aimed at offering better-connected home security, is fumbling through your phone for an app much more convenient that fumbling through your pocket for your keys? The makers of Sesame say smart locks could be a little more intuitive, and have developed a solution that, among other things, recognizes secret knocks to open up your door.  Read More

W.I.N.D. House, by Dutch firm UNStudio (Photo: Fedde de Weert)

We've reported on a number of homes that can be controlled from inside or afar by smartphone, including the El Refugio Inteligente and Schoolmasters houses. The recently-completed W.I.N.D. House, by Dutch firm UNStudio, is another such example, and the high-end residence also sports sustainable technology that reduces its dependence on the grid.  Read More

Aktivhaus B10 explores how materials, design and technology can extend home sustainability...

Though we've covered lots of Passive Houses, a project in Stuttgart, Germany, claims to be the "first fully functional Active House in the world." Aktivhaus B10 is said to use "active measures" such as self-learning and automation to improve its energy performance.  Read More

Personal Robot is a smart assistant that relies heavily on artificial intelligence

New York startup Robotbase is turning to Kickstarter to build a highly ambitious robot that would serve as a smart personal assistant for your home. Referred to simply as "Personal Robot," this device is set to combine image recognition, natural language comprehension and other advances in artificial intelligence into a single device that can converse with you, serve as a personal stylist, and even tell bedtime stories to your kids.  Read More

Gizmag reviews the Roadie automatic guitar tuner (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)

Necessary evils though they are, changing strings and tuning up have got to be two of the most boring and/or tiresome guitar-related tasks around. Band Industries offered a helping hand in November 2013 when a crowdfunding campaign was launched to bring an app-controlled motorized tuner named Roadie to market. The campaign was successful and the handheld robotic tuner recently became available to buy. Gizmag nabbed one of the first commercial units off the production line and has been whizzing and whirring away with gusto ever since.  Read More

The Nest Smart Thermostat now works with Automatic's Connected Car Adapter

Nest Labs has added integrated support for Automatic's Connected Car Adapter to its smart thermostat. The partnership will enable those that own both devices to program the climate of their home based on the location of their vehicle.  Read More

Lt. j.g. Colcord Moore and Quartermaster 1st Class Howell Trinidad discuss navigation char...

One thing that is guaranteed to put a naval ship commander in front of a court martial is running aground. Unfortunately, despite all the advances in satellite technology and other aids, navigation is still as much an art as a science – and a very time-consuming one at that, with it taking days and sometimes weeks to chart out a mission. To free up captains and reduce their chances of having to answer awkward questions, the US Navy is introducing a new automated navigation planning system into its surface fleet that speeds up course planning and reduces the chance of human error.  Read More

The pot-stirring Stirio, Version 2

There are plenty of cooking tasks that require the skill and finesse only a human can provide, but the simple stirring of sauces is generally not one of them. That's why Norwegian company Unikia launched its Stirio motorized pot-stirrer a year ago. Now, a new-and-improved model has been announced – it's stirring news indeed.  Read More

SINTEF researchers Elling Ruud Øye, Ekrem Misimi and Aleksander Eilertsen (left to right) ...

Pulling chicken breasts off the bone can be a fiddly process, and often results in flesh being wasted by getting left behind. In a factory setting, that means slower processing times, and less meat to sell. That's why the Norwegian CYCLE project is developing an industrial robot to do the job.  Read More

The Danalock electronic lock installs over existing deadbolts and allows multiple users vi...

I’ve had a basic electronic lock on my door for a few months now, so when Poly-Control offered me the more sophisticated Bluetooth- and Z-Wave-enabled Danalock to review, I was curious to see what it could do. Danalock allows any existing deadbolt to be retrofitted into a system allowing multiple users different levels of access to one or multiple locks, and the Z-Wave compatibility allows incorporation into a larger home automation system. In practice, the promise of the sleek Danalock is slightly quenched by buggy iOS and Android apps, with features that simply don’t work, but the core of the lock still remains functional and appealing.  Read More

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