Nest Labs is going all out to get us all to adopt their Learning Thermostat. We first introduced the device late last year and it is now available at Lowes, the Apple Store and Amazon. If the $249 price is unsettling, just remember that you will save on power in the long run as it "gets to know you" and lowers temperature according to your utility usage.
Marmitek's Digital TV pairs up a transmitter and a receiver that connects to a set top box and a TV. Video, audio and IR commands are sent wirelessly from your remote. With the £149 (~$232.00) system you can reroute to a second TV anywhere in your home singals sent from decoder. And of course your DVR and any VOD channels are still accessible. Take a peek at the somewhat cheesy video with the happy, peppy family.
Home networking is taking giant steps when it comes to climate control as evidenced by the Nest Learning Thermostat. Using advanced technology, you train this WiFi device by setting what temperature you want and at what time. After a week of working, it gets more accurate and learns from your behaviors and preferences to the extent that it lowers the temperature when you are not home. While the overall idea seems a bit too personal, maybe you have to try it to believe it. Nest Labs says not only is this a good idea for your comfort, it will teach users how to save on energy.
Startup EnergyHub seems to be making quite an impact on home energy buffs with their shiny and sleek Home Base with a 4.3" LCD color capacitive touchscreen. The interface uses ZigBee for home management and WiFi for net connection with a cloud service. A communicating meter reads the energy usage while the wireless thermostat manages heat and cooling systems. Once the basics are set up, the system is self-regulating. Contact the company if you are ready to upgrade your home network.
Google takes another step towards Interweb domination by introducing Android@Home aka Project Tungsten. Developers can use open source libraries to make home automation apps for Android so that you can turn off those forgotten appliances with your smartphone. Or perhaps you will be able to use it for remote media streaming or powering up your homemade robot. Google is hoping that the end result will not only synchronize your home but save you both energy and money.
Toshiba has a pair of pocket Camileo camcorders coming out this summer. The B10 has a front-facing lens, shoots HD video and 16 mp stills, 16X zoom and takes SDXC cards. The P100 has the same features with a full 8X optical zoom. Both capture MP4 and JPG files and have Mini-HDMI/Mini-USB 2.0 ports.
Google is bestowing its goodness and high speed broadband service to Kansas City, Kansas. Google Fiber is said to be 100 times faster than any broadband connection now available and 2000 times faster than dial-up. The 1 GB service will be given to about 500,000 users.
Google's magnanimous offer is hyped to the max with terms like 'need for speed' tossed into its announcement and the connection should take place sometime next year. About 1,100 cities competed for the honor of being first, but frankly, we wish they had found a remote area still listening to that awful noise of dial-up.
If you live in New Jersey, you may soon move up in the networking department. Verizon will be testing some smart-home automation to its Fios customers. Home Monitoring and Control is an application that can be accessed by Fios TV, PC or smartphone. Users will be able to set and change to security and electronic devices, appliances, locks and thermostats. Verizon plans to test the service following its debut at the CES 2011 this month.
For those who finally make a commitment to leave the club of the obese, the Perfect Portions Nutritional Scale will calculate the weight of food portions with a built-in data base of about 2000 types of food and 99 customizable entries. In addition, it will figure the daily values for calories, fat, carbs, cholesterol, sodium, fiber and protein. Keep track of your daily or weekly totals and remember to chant "KFC Double Down bad, brussel sprouts good."
Look for a new trend in remote controls if Crestron's 2011 release of their UFO-4X is successful. The saucer-shaped device features a 4.3" color touch screen that doubles as a trackpad and virtual keyboard. Control your AV, appliances, lighting, security and other systems up to 200 feet away. Magnets make the remote easily attachable, it can be used in both portrait and landscape mode and Adobe Flash is supported. Expect a hefty $2,000 price.
Just in case you need someone to tell you that you should not drive after working long hours, the Fatigue Calculator was designed to let you know how much sleep you need. Available next month for about $50.00, Creators Natalie Tindale and sleep expert Prof. Drew Dawson claim that the download forecasts your amount of fatigue.
The RF Keyless Entry Remote can substitute for your car, home, garage door or other remotes. Self-learning, it copies fixed codes in only a few seconds. At a mini-price of $7.99, this is the perfect gift for those who tend to lose a remote and panic rather than look for it.
iPort specializes in wall mounts for iPods and has just released new ones for other Apple products. The CM100, at a price of $250.00, will not only hold your iPod touch and stream music, it can be used with apps for home automation of video, lighting and climate control. The CM2000 can serve the same purpose with your iPad via WiFi at a price of $500.00. Either can be positioned vertically or horizontally.
Working with Sony, Logitech and Intel, Google continues to strive for the label 'King of the Electronic World.' Utilizing Android-based OS and the Chrome web browser, a Logitech set top box allows users to add the service to an existing TV with HDMI ports and Internet connection. Search and access videos and photos from your existing satellite or cable provider. While details such as price and exact date of availability are fuzzy to date, Logitech has already set up a site with a few more hints.