Holiday gift guide: Smart home products – get a jump on HomeKit for 2015

holiday gift guide smart home products 2014

I wondered earlier this year whether Apple’s HomeKit system would bring home automation to the masses. The good news is that you don’t need to wait for HomeKit to start bringing smart home technology to your family and friends – and we’ve put together a gift guide covering some of the main products that might bring a smile to their faces during the holidays.

With the right gadgets, they will be able to control lighting, heating, cooking, sound systems … even have their kettle switch on when they walk up to their front door, which will automatically unlock as they approach. Best of all, you can get them in on the smart home action from just $30 …

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Engineers are dreaming up iPad robots

Update: Ooops. Originally thought this was an Apple patent.

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Patently Apple today publishes some interesting new patents from developers including what appears to be an “iRobot” (oops, name taken) built around an iPad head.

iRobot’s introductory abstract describes the invention this way: “A robot system includes a mobile robot having a controller executing a control system for controlling operation of the robot, a cloud computing service in communication with the controller of the robot, and a remote computing device in communication with the cloud computing service. The remote computing device communicates with the robot through the cloud computing service.”

Subsequent drawings include navigation and obstacle avoidance (below) which seems to indicate that this is a “mobile” device in every sense of the word.  Most of the perceived applications appear to be in the medical setting… Read more