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Smart Home

The Ubi computer waking up to the phrase 'OK Ubi' (Photo: Paul Ridden/Gizmag)

A project to create an always-on connected computer that interacts with its user by voice first kicked off in August 2012. Following its successful crowdfunding bid, the still in prototype Ubi went up for pre-order 2 months later, but it wasn't until earlier this year that the first beta units were ready for early bird testers and developers. Gizmag managed to get on the beta program and found the hardware pretty much ready for prime time, but the user experience still needing some attention. Ubi's creators have been busying themselves ever since and have now announced that consumer-ready computers are available to buy.  Read More

The Rico uses a spare smartphone as its brain and eyes

Almost every day, it seems, breakfast is accompanied by the debut of a next generation smartphone that makes our perfectly capable current models look positively antiquated. Whether you patiently wait for the end of your contract before upgrading or contact your provider straight away, you're existing pocket pal will likely be retired to a powered off eternity in an infrequently opened drawer somewhere. The folks over at Mindhelix want to give that old phone a new lease of life in the Rico home security and monitoring system.  Read More

The ZEN smart thermostat aims for simplicity in terms of both form and function

The team behind the Zen thermostat believe that competitor devices that attempt to simplify things for users by taking into account various data actually end up being more complicated and overloaded with features that go unused. To that end, the Zen thermostat has been designed with real simplicity in mind, in both form and function.  Read More

The Genie Smart Lock promises low power consumption with a full suite of smart lock featur...

Smart locks are becoming increasingly popular, with examples currently including the Lockitron and the Schlage Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt. Many of the devices, however, go through batteries pretty quickly. It's with this in mind that the creators of the Genie Smart Lock set out to design a device with the features of other models, but much less power drain.  Read More

GE is entering the smart bulb market with Link bulbs starting at around US$15

Having connected devices in the home is quickly becoming more and more popular. One device that's leading the charge is the light bulb, with products like the Lumen Smart Bulb and LIFX LED light bulbs feature connected coolness. Now, GE is entering the space, as the company has just announced Link, a connected LED bulb with a fairly reasonable price tag.  Read More

Sentri is a new smart home and security device

Smart home and security devices like the Piper and the Vivint Sky provide a host of clever and useful functions, but can be tricky to describe concisely. The same goes for new arrival Sentri, though its makers claim that it's the smartest around. Users can geofence their home, check in on a live video and audio feed, monitor ambient conditions, view trends and stats, set up alerts for "irregularities" at home, control other smart devices, and even personalize its appearance to blend in with the decor.  Read More

Honeywell has announced the Lyric smart thermostat

Honeywell has announced a new thermostat, Lyric, that tracks the user's location via their smartphone and adjusts the temperature of their home accordingly. It figures out when a household is empty and when residents are on their way home. Users can expect reduced energy usage and costs.  Read More

The Vivint Sky home automation system is centered on a 7-inch display and uses data analyt...

Channeling the many functions of the modern home into one centralized hub has been the focus of a growing number of home automation devices. With that said, many still rely on some form of manual control, be it through voice, touchscreen or gesture. Vivint is looking to ramp up the automation in home automation with Vivint Sky, a smart home system designed to learn and adapt to its users' habits.  Read More

Alyt is a voice commanded smart home integration system powered by Android

The trickle of devices looking to turn the family home into smart homes whereby residents can remotely control everything from household lighting to security systems has turned into a flood recently. The latest device promising to help usher in this suburban technological utopia is the Alyt, an Android-powered smart home system that can be controlled not only through an app on a mobile device, but also via voice commands.  Read More

Butterfleye wireless home surveillance camera

Butterfleye is a wireless home surveillance camera that’s joining the growing ranks of intelligent, smartphone connected webcam systems designed to keep watch while you’re out and about. In addition to allowing you to check in on a live video feed whenever you like via iPhone, this smart camera comes equipped with a thermal sensor, motion detector, and facial recognition technology.  Read More

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