Sesame is a $99 smart lock that lets you unlock your current deadbolt from your iPhone

Sesame iPhone smart lock

Note: Kickstarter currently appears to be down possibly because of a certain new smartwatch

The iPhone-connected smart lock market is getting a new player today as Candy House introduces a new, competitively priced device called Sesame—a play on the phrase “open sesame”—that retrofits your existing deadbolt lock with modern smarts.

While current smart lock options carry higher price tags and require replacing existing hardware, Sesame starts at $99 ($89 early bird special) and adds smart lock features to most existing door locks. Check below for an excellent video demo and more info: Read more

Roost smart 9V battery turns your dumb smoke alarms into connected ones

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The plethora of smart home devices at CES makes it clear that home automation is an idea whose time has finally come. It seems there’s almost no household device now that can’t be controlled by, or at least communicate with, an iPhone.

The only downside is the expense of having to replace your perfectly good dumb devices with smart versions. This is the problem the Roost Smart Battery set out to solve, a WiFi-enabled 9v battery allowing your existing smoke alarm to send alerts to your iPhone when it’s triggered, so you get alerted even if the alarm is at the other end of the house or you’re away from home …  Read more

Misfit introduces Bolt, its smart light bulb w/ sleep tracking device integration

BoltWe saw Misfit introduce a unique, luxury version of its Shine fitness and sleep tracking wearable with Swarovski at CES yesterday, and today Misfit is launching Bolt—its first smart bulb. Misfit describes Bolt as ” a wirelessly connected color-changing light bulb that lets users personalize their home lighting.” Misfit points out that its Bolt connected light bulbs won’t require a hub and actually integrate with the company’s existing sleep tracking devices (Shine, Flash, Beddit) to gently wake you up with lighting during light sleep. Read more

Belkin expanding WeMo smart home range with four new sensors, as BeeWi plans to compete

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Belkin has announced four new products for its WeMo home automation range, with a focus on home security. You won’t be able to get your hands on them for a while, though: they aren’t set to go on sale until the second half of the year.

All four new products are sensors, capable of sending alerts to the WeMo app and triggering other WeMo devices such as switches, plug sockets and lightbulbs …  Read more

Opinion: Will Apple’s Smart Home concept bring home automation to the masses?

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It’s the 21st Century: weren’t we all supposed to be living in automated homes by now? Where we walk in the door after a long day to have our home playing some soothing music, informing us that it’s run us a bath and that dinner will be ready in 45 minutes? Where a robot has done the cleaning, changed the flowers, accepted a parcel that arrived while we were at work and fed the cat?

That dream seems to be a long time coming. I’m a reasonably techy guy who loves the idea of home automation, yet even I only have three examples in my home (which I’ll mention along the way). Most mass-market consumers haven’t even noticed that the products exist, and the few who have tend to view it all as too complicated or fiddly.

If anyone can change that perception, it’s Apple. Which is why the Financial Times report yesterday that Apple is working on a new approach to home automation that may be unveiled at WWDC next week caught my attention …  Read more