Review: Sengled’s Pulse system combines LED lights and JBL-powered Bluetooth speakers (Video)

pulse-lead

Sengled’s Pulse LED light system is definitely a product I never thought would be a thing. The Pulse series is a system of LED lights with built-in speakers. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s something I never thought would need to exist. That being said, because it was so unique I figured it would be worth checking out and to my surprise, it’s actually pretty cool…

Read more

Roundup: Find all of 9to5Mac’s CES 2015 coverage in one place

roundupmac

If you’ve somehow missed the overflow of coverage from CES 2015 last week, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. During the show we took a look at the latest devices and accessories that are expected to be released throughout 2015. The show was packed with new smartphones, home automation tools, cases, and some unexpected surprises. If you didn’t catch all of the coverage from the show, check out the roundup below with links to everything that we found interesting…

Read more

Top smart home and HomeKit tech of CES 2015 (Video)

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 10.40.41 PM

There’s a very clear message delivered on the CES 2015 show floor: Smart home tech is definitely a thing. There is a ton of tech/accessories being showcased at CES that are designed to make your home life easier through connectivity. We’ve roamed the show floor searching high and low to bring you a roundup of some of the best smart home tech that was announced…

Read more

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

roost-smart-battery

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

iDevices unveils first HomeKit-enabled plug dubbed ‘Switch’, iHome announces ‘SmartPlug’

iDevices Switch with HomeKit

iPhone and iPad users have eagerly awaited news in the HomeKit-connected product space since Apple announced the feature at WWDC 2014, and CES 2015 means we’re seeing a flood of new consumer electronics coming to market including the very first devices compatible with Apple’s smart home feature. The new iDevices Switch is described as “the world’s first HomeKit-enabled plug,” which allows you to control connected appliances using Siri. Read more

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

wemo-sensors

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

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 …

Read more

Apple to live stream ‘exciting’ WWDC keynote for everyone to watch

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 10.10.56 AMApple has updated its website to announce that it will be live streaming next week’s WWDC Keynote address for all to watch. As per usual, the event will be available on Macs running Safari 4 or later, iOS Devices running iOS 4.2 or later, Windows machines running Quicktime 7, and via an application on the Apple TV. The event kicks off at 10AM Pacific/1PM Eastern time on Monday, June 2nd. Apple says that it has “exciting announcements” in store for the event (as it says for all of its events), which is likely to include talk of iOS 8 with Healthbook, a redesigned OS X 10.10, and new hardware products. We’ll be on hand live to bring you the latest news from the conference.

Read more

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

main

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

Nest officially confirms smart smoke + carbon monoxide detector called ‘Protect’

The Nest Protect has a nice glow :-)

The Nest Protect has a nice glow :-)

We originally reported last month that Nest Labs, the company founded by famed iPod creator Tony Fadell, was readying its next product for launch soon: the smart fire detector. Nest Labs officially announced today that the ‘Nest Protect’ will be joining the lineup with the smart thermostat.

The Nest Protect detects smoke and carbon monoxide and addressses some of the flaws of modern smoke detectors and of course connects it to your iPhone in the process:

Nest believes that safety shouldn’t be annoying, so they started from scratch and built a new smoke + CO detector, the way it should be done, with advanced features under a sleek interface:

· Heads-Up: Instead of just beeping at you, Nest Protect gives you helpful vocal warnings before conditions get dangerous. And if you have more than one Nest Protect in the home, you can connect them so you’ll know where the danger is, no matter which room you’re in.

· Nest Wave: No more climbing on chairs to reach your detector. You can silence Nest Protect by simply waving at it.

· Mobile app: Get low-battery alerts and Emergency Alarm notifications on your smartphone or tablet.

· Pathlight: Nest Protect glows white as you pass under it at night, lighting your way in the dark.

The smoke + carbon monoxide detector itself has a design similar to our Apple products as it resembles Apple’s previous generation Airport Extreme base station. I really like the idea of silencing an alarm with just a wave. Wrestling with a tiny disengage button in a commotion is the last thing anyone wants. Check out availability information and the official promotional video below:  Read more