Tag Archives: smart home

SmartEgg connects all your remotes to your phone


A truly universal and eggscellent remote for the Internet of Things.


It seems like today we have remote controls for everything and keeping track of them can be a hassle. Our current home entertainment systems alone require more than one remote to rev up our TV, cable box, audio system and DVD player. Do we honestly use all the buttons on each of these remotes? Unlikely. The team at AICO Technologies are making things easier for us by replacing all of those remote controls with just one.

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You may be thinking, “But universal remotes already exist!” True, but what’s been on the market is either only for home entertainment or smart home automation. What about the other appliances with controls in our house? Meet SmartEgg, an all-in-one smart remote that pairs to your phone. It not only controls your home electronics, but also your thermostat and any infrared devices via Bluetooth.

SmartEgg is backed with a cloud database that already contains a growing list of over 5,500 remote controllers and 125,000 infrared hex codes, so it can sync your phone to any of your devices. Additionally, SmartEgg has self-learning capabilities for the slim chance that your gadget is not in the database.

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Since SmartEgg stores all the control keys of your appliances, you can combine keys from any of those controllers to fit your scene. Its user-friendly interface allows you to customize the control buttons by removing unwanted buttons and reordering them. Now you’ll have a control with only the functions you need. This is ideal for your home entertainment experience. The process of turning on your TV and DVD player, then switching to DVD input and pressing play, is minimized to a single click.

What really sets SmartEgg apart from other universal remotes is its smart technology. Living up to its name, SmartEgg interacts with other devices if certain conditions are meet. For example, it can mute the TV when you’re receiving a call or set the thermostat an hour early before you arrive home from work. The unit employs Bluetooth Low Energy proximity sensing, also known as iBeacon technology, which triggers a scene automatically whenever your phone is detected nearby.

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The SmartEgg boasts a wireless reach of 20m (65ft) indoors and 50m (164ft) outdoors, as well as an infrared range of more than 10m (32ft). With SmartEgg, you no longer have the inconvenience of replacing batteries for your various remote controls. Its battery consumes less energy, making it last over 12 months.

Interested? Head over to the SmartEgg’s Kickstarter page, where the AICO team is nearing its $50,000 goal. Delivery is expected to get underway in February 2016.

Nuvap N1 detects health hazards in your home


A safer home and a healthier you. 


Being the bearer of bad news is difficult, especially when it brings vexation, but did you know that in the comfort of your own home, you are exposed to the leading environmental risk factor for death and disability in the world? What’s more startling is that it’s an invisible threat: household air pollution. The good news is that Italian company Nuvap has taken on the feat in creating a clean home energy solution to monitor air pollutants and further protect your health.

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Nuvap N1 is the first device with international patented technology, specific for monitoring the main sources of indoor pollution. With N1, Nuvap hopes to achieve its goal in providing people with an open and user-friendly gadget that can detect risks in one’s environment and recommend the solutions.

N1 can monitor up to 24 different environmental parameters such as electromagnetic pollution, radon gas, radioactivity (ionizing radiations), carbon monoxide, methane, noise and water pollution (through outside filters), temperature, humidity, air quality, fine dust, fire and smoke presence and more. The unit works by transmitting this data over Wi-Fi to the Nuvap platform, which provides real-time alerts on your home’s air quality.

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Using its accompanying mobile app, N1 remotely informs you of simple precautions to improve home living. Some useful features are: detecting fires or gas leaks, or helping you choose the best position for your beds to avoid exposure to dangerous electromagnetic sources while sleeping.

What’s more, N1 will even notify you locally through a series of LED lights that constantly reveal the quality of your surroundings: green is ideal, yellow brings attention to one or more pollutants, and red signifies danger. Whenever you feel like it, simply touch the device’s top button and it will provide an audible message about its findings over the last 24 hours.

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In terms of hardware, N1 boasts a 100 MHz 32-bit CPU at its core with 2 MB of Flash, 4 MB of SDRAM and 1GB of storage, along with an ATWINC1500 Wi-Fi module for connectivity. It runs off a 5V power supply and a 2200mAh battery.

Ready to “know your home and protect your health?” N1 is now available for purchase, starting at $499.

Eco lets you control any smart home device from a single app


What the universal remote did for audio and video equipment, Eco wants to do for home automation.


With aspirations of making tomorrow’s home not only smart but energy efficient, one Newport Beach-based startup has developed a new automation system designed with your family’s best interests in mind. Using its patent-pending technology and the Amazon Echo engine, Eco Automation believes its latest product line will finally offer you a seamless way to control all of your smart devices from a single app or through Jarvis-like voice commands.

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Impressively, Eco’s energy efficient home automation system incorporates all of today’s most popular technologies into one small package, helping reduce power consumption and consolidating control in one place. Just like a universal remote for your audio and video equipment, Eco wants to be the all-in-one controller for all things home automation by making connecting to and managing any kind of gadgetry a breeze. Using its Eco Touch Display, users can simply scan the barcode of any device or sensor to quickly add them to the system in seconds.

The platform itself is comprised of several units. These include a Technology Bridge, an Eco Energy Meter, Eco Smart MultiSensor Switches,  Eco Smart MultiSensors and Eco Door/Window Sensors.

Eco’s universal bridge supports nine different protocols, such as Z-Wave, Zigbee, Thread, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, providing you the largest range of product combinations and automation possibilities. What’s more, an expansion slot inside makes the system essentially future-proof, giving you with ability to add a new protocol whenever necessary.

Eco is also incredibly easy to setup. Mount your wireless Smart MultiSensors throughout the house, link Eco to your network and download its accompanying app. With your smartphone, you can now tap for quick access to commands and automation scenes, create new rules or edit synced gadgets, among countless other things. You can even assign a digital key to any of your contacts and grant them temporary access to your home or office.

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Next, the Eco Eco Energy Meter lets you closely monitor real-time power consumption and solar production down to the microsecond. These power reads, combined with the Eco Intelligent Energy Conservation Engine, help you identify areas that you could be saving more energy in your home.

Meanwhile, Eco Smart MultiSensor Switches allow you to toggle your lights and power outlets. Not only can it be changed from a multi-level dimmer to an on/off switch with the push of a button, it features built-in voice commands as well.

In order to give it the true Tony Stark effect, Eco employs Amazon’s voice engine. This enables you to talk directly to the system via the Eco Touch Remote, the Eco Smart Switch, or by just using an Amazon Echo’s speaker.

“Because of Eco’s cross platform abilities, the possibilities are almost unlimited and will only be subject to your minds imagination. Eco has all the basic’s right out of the box such as home security with streaming video capabilities that can be monitored for your safety 24/7, real-time energy usage, individual room or location lighting control, comfort with HVAC control and ease of access with door lock control,” its creators write.

Among the many things Eco can do are notify you when a guest approaches your front door by flashing a light, sending a message to your phone as a loved arrives home, offer a friendly reminder to take out trash as you head out, and even give off the impression of a lived-in home while away.

Sound like the home automation system for you? Head over to its Indiegogo campaign, where the team is currently seeking $100,000. Delivery is slated for April 2016.

 

Pura Scents is the world’s first smart air freshener


Pura Scents lets you automate the fragrances in your home with your smartphone.


Plug-in air fresheners are great, don’t get us wrong. But sometimes they don’t emit their fragranaces at the right time or give off enough to get overcome a horrible stench. Not to mention, motion-activated ones tend to waste quite a bit of product. Instead, what if you could control those parameters all from your smartphone? That’s the idea behind one Utah-based startup’s latest solution, which is striving to make your home smell better without the hassle.

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Pura Scents is a smart air freshener dispenser that plugs directly into your wall socket and can be operated from just about anywhere via your mobile device. Each unit can hold up to two scents at once, so you can alternate aromas depending on time of day, smell intensity and duration of use. There’s even a USB port to ensure that you never lose access to your outlet.

Pura Scents connects with your smartphone via Wi-Fi, and using its accompanying app, allows you to take command of up to 100 dispensers at once. You can define your own schedules by time and room, turn the dispenser on or off, as well as adjust its color LEDs to match the current fragrance being emitted. Heading to bed? The gadget can simply be employed as a nightlight, too.

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For now, Pura Scents offers 15 different scents, including an amber, brown sugar and coconut combo, a vanilla, fresh-brewed espresso and cinnamon mix, as well as the classic smell of clean linen. Each month, the startup will introduce new aromas and recommend those to users based on their previous purchases. What’s more, they’ve also created a line geared towards men with scents containing pheromones to help set the mood when the time is right.

The idea was initially conceived after Pura CEO and co-founder Richie Stapler found himself embarrassed whenever family and friends would show up at his house unexpectedly, giving him not time to clean up. And now, that problem can be solved with a mere click of a button. Thanks to the Pura Cloud service, you can remotely access your dispenser while away or while en route back to your place.

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We wouldn’t be too surprised to see major manufactures like Glade and Febreeze jump on the bandwagon with Pura Scents-compatible units in the near future. Looking ahead, the team will provide an open API so developers can adapt the product to work with their current smart home gadgets as well.

Ready for a better smelling home? Check out Pura Scents’ Kickstarter campaign, where Stapler and his team are currently seeking $50,000. Delivery is slated for 2016.

This mirror lets you instantly take and share your selfie


Think of it as a hands-free selfie stick and then some. 


Not only are selfie sticks sometimes difficult to use, they’ve also been banned in some places like Disney World. With hopes of making the process of taking these pictures easier, the Smart Ltd. team has developed what they’re calling the Selfie Mirror.

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It’s exactly what it sounds like, too. Currently in prototype form, the mirror is equipped with a built-in HD camera and 2000 lumens of LED light along its edges so that you can take a professional-grade, hands-free photo right at home. The wall-mounted accessory comes in two different sizes — 27” x 47” and 27” x 31.5” — and will be a welcomed addition to any bedroom or closet.

While the mirror can be used for selfies, it also has more practical applications. Its high-quality photography and hands-free capabilities make the Selfie Mirror an ideal tool for fashion and beauty bloggers, and in professional settings like retail stores, salons and restaurants.

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The Selfie Mirror packs a digital amplifier and a Hi-Fi sound system that lets you listen to your favorite tunes, SoundCloud and Internet radio channels as you get ready for a night on the town or try on a new outfit in a fitting room.

Unlike the smaller model that’s perfect for face portraits, the full-body, more business-oriented version features a unique start screen that provides expedited access to Uber, Google Maps, TripAdvisor and other apps related to a user’s needs. And of course, a click of the the ‘selfie’ button will prompt customers to take pics and post them to social networks instantly.

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What’s more, its creators boast that the video capabilities of the unit can be used as a surveillance system, a giant Skype screen and a home automation hub. The Selfie Mirror can employ two-way video through its integrated camera along with motion sensors to transmit images directly to your smartphone while out of the house. Plus, you can can control connected gadgets such as door bells, lights and AC units right from its user-friendly dashboard. The mirror even includes four sensors capable of detecting fire, gas leaks, air quality and temperature.

Lastly, entertainment and connectivity  play a huge role in Selfie Mirror’s plans — and rightfully so. We are talking about selfies, after all! Not only can you make video calls, the platform is based on the Android OS and integrates with Facebook, Twitter and a plethora of other apps that let you do everything from access the weather to late-breaking news.

Interested? Head over to the Selfie Mirror’s Indiegogo campaign, where Smart Ltd. is currently seeking $50,000. The first batch of units is expected to ship in May 2016.

 

Auroma One brews the perfect cup of coffee, every time


The Auroma One brings the knowledge and skills of a well-trained barista and roaster to your countertop.


Everyone takes their morning cup o’ joe differently. What may be ideal for you may be too bitter or sweet for others. Cognizant of this, one Vancouver-based startup has come up with a streamlined solution that combines science and technology to brew the perfect beverage.

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The Auroma One is a countertop machine that learns and makes coffee tailored to your taste, and your taste only. To accomplish this, the device precisely controls all of the necessary parameters, including grind size, temperature, time of brew, coffee-to-water ratio and total dissolved solids.

Designed to grow with each coffee lover, the Auroma One adapts its user profiles over time. With each cup, drinkers rate different experiential factors such as bitterness, texture and strength on its accompanying app. The in-home gadget then utilizes these ratings in a closed loop to deliver a cup of coffee that caters to your standards.

Moreover, the Auroma One gives you the ability to brew the same bean three different ways in order to find the perfect cup. Once you’ve defined your preferences, the machine remembers and replicates those settings to deliver consistent coffee every day — something that you most likely don’t receive at your local coffee shop, let alone with the morning rush.

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“There are two main types of coffee drinkers who benefit from Auroma: those who value consistency and others who want to explore and discover new flavor profiles,” explains company co-founder Ornicha Srimokla. “Neither has the time to learn and control the individual elements involved in making a great cup of coffee and, often times, convenience takes precedence. The Auroma One brings the knowledge and skills of a well-trained barista and roaster to your countertop.”

Even better, the Auroma One allows coffee fiends to sample small brews of different beans to discover new flavors. Based on your user profile, the unit will suggest various ways to adjust the base recipe, and then tailor the end result according to your palate.

In order to achieve its lofty goal, the Auroma One is equipped with an embedded scale, a temperature sensor and a total dissolved coffee sensor. The device has also been designed to integrate seamlessly with the team’s add-on and removable burr grinder that enable you to automate the entire process from start to finish — simply throw in whole beans and get fresh coffee at a push of a button.

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Did this smart home product perk your interest? Head over to its Kickstarter campaign, where the Auroma Brewing Company is currently seeking $100,000. Delivery is slated for next fall.

AXIS Gear will make your existing window blinds or shades smart


This easy-to-install device will let you control all your shades with a tap of a finger to save you time and effort.


With seemingly everything in and around our homes becoming connected, it’s hard to envision everyday life without automated window shades and self-adjusting blinds. Well, it looks Toronto-based startup AXIS feels the same way. That’s because the team has unveiled AXIS Gear, a motorized add-on that can make any new and existing window unit smart.

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So if you’re tired of constantly having to raise and lower the chain or looped cord, you’re in luck. This intelligent gadget will automatically take care of it all for you at pre-programmed times and even in response to light levels. Beyond that, you’ll be able to regulate your blinds using on-device controls or right from the palm of your hand with its accompanying mobile app.

In terms of hardware, the easy-to-install product consist of an electric motor, a rechargeable LiPo battery, a light sensor, a solar panel, a Bluetooth radio and a microcontroller, all housed inside a sleek wall-mounted box. The Gear’s solar-powered and wireless motor can be attached to the chain or cord of existing window shades. Meanwhile, a suite of sensors will enable you to configure “intelligent scheduling,” such as lifting the shades in the morning and turning down the blinds during the hottest periods of the day to help conserve energy. Looking ahead, the team also hopes to integrate the unit with some of today’s most popular smart home equipment running on ZigBee or Thread protocols and IFTTT so that you can customize your own scenarios that best suit your needs.

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AXIS has designed their intelligent system with safety and security in mind. For starters, Gear not only lets you come home at night to much-need privacy knowing all your shades are lowered, it can help give off the impression that you’re home while away. But even more importantly, motorized blinds eliminate the all too common danger of strangulation by preventing the chain/cord from dangling freely so that children, in particular, can have a safe environment to play in.

Interested? Head over to Gear’s Indiegogo campaign, where AXIS is hoping to reach its $100,000 goal. Delivery is expected to get underway in late 2016.