Home Automation

Aug 16 2017

News - Ikea is entering home automation market with Zigbee devices

I love what Ikea did for the lightbulb market, so if they can replicate that success with a line of Zigbee devices. I'm all for it, as long as they are HAC agnostic, and will play nice with any Zigbee compatible network.

Aug 16 2017

News - Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt gets Android compatibility

Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt

I'm more of a total solution guy when it comes to home automation (think HAC + Z-Wave/Zigbee devices), but totally get that there's room in the market for the less committed. That's where the smartphone hosted smart devices like this Schlage Android lock come in. Isn't hard on the eyes either, or wallet. MSRP is $229.

Jul 27 2017

News - Yale announces slim smartlock

I just added a couple Yale Z-Wave locks to my house. They look great, and have the functionality I wanted. Unfortunately, they aren't nearly as slick looking as these new deadbolts. 

May 03 2017

News - ecobee4 is now official, sports Amazon Alexa support

The ecobee4 fortold by Zatz Not Funny! has arrived. Well sort of - you can now pre-order the smart thermostat for $249 (or $313 to include two additonal sensors) with an expected ship date of May 15th. Not bad at all considering that it suports Amazon Alexa (saving you a Dot purchase) and includes a remote sensor.

Feb 28 2017

News - Z-Wave diagnostic tool now available

I like Z-Wave. Compared to "smart" IOT IP devices, it usually just works - as long as you have a good home automation controller (HAC). In the past, when you did have a little trouble it was very difficult to figure out what was going on (usually range problem IME). Fortunately, there's now a tool for installers or curious DIYers that will help you map and troubleshoot any issues with the network. At $250, it's a little pricey, but could be well worth it in the long run.

Jan 05 2017

News - D-Link announces first Apple HomeKit compatible camera

The Apple HomeKit ecosystem has been a bit sluggish (relative to other Apple kit), so it's nice that their finally getting a camera via the D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD (DSH-C310). No word on price though...

Full PR after the break.

Dec 15 2016

News - CPCR guide for DIY survelience system

I've been leaning heavilty towards building a DIY NVR solution. If you've also thought about it, but weren't quite sure where to start - this is a great guide, even if you opt not to go with the hardware they selected.

Nov 22 2016

News - VidaBox addes two Apple device wall mounts to their collection

Placing a tablet or similar "smart" device in, or on, a wall is a very popular way to get touchscreen control device around the house at a faction of the price of a proprietary, and less functional, alternative. Depending on your preference, iPad or iPod and budget you should be covered.

Oct 25 2016

News - Amazon Echo now controls Harmony via "Skill"

If you have an Amazon Echo (or Echo Dot) you can now natively control your Logitech Harmony Smart Hub via a "Skill". It is US only for the moment (suck), but I was able to have a brief play with it anyway (shhh). Overall, it's nice that it's there. But, lacks some of the flexibility avaiable with ha-bridge integration (e.g. renaming activities to whatever you want). That said, not everyone want to spin up a box to host a 3rd party bridge app.

Oct 12 2016

News - Loki "smart" Wi-Fi thermometer Kickstart[er]s today

As a fan of "smart" technology and cooking, I was immediately interested in the Loki thermometer when I heard about it. From what I understand the orb senses when your food is going to be ready and let's you know that it's time to take it off. Making it much easier to get the perfect, bloody (or not) meat. For someone who can never get that my pork loin quite right (always overshooting, grrr...), I'm going to have to join the early queue.

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