The purveyors of connected smart home objects are convinced that smart home robots are the next big thing. For years now, they’ve infiltrated and surveilled — and in some cases, charmed — homeowners into adding their capabilities to the home. Amaryllo International’s Koova 2 is the sequel to the original while updating it with a few key additions.
This new Koova2 doesn’t stray too far from the original’s small, portable form factor — going as far as still claiming it to be the world’s smallest. It packs a 240° viewing range with auto-tracking capabilities augmented with facial recognition and motion sensors for security purposes, along with a wide array of notifications and alerts to keep users in the know about their abode at all times. Now, two-way audio is added to interact with family and friends or scare off would-be burglars, while activity/block zones let user mark areas to receive/not receive alerts for. Koova2 also offers cloud storage for the video it continuously records, offering users 10-second video notifications and three-second video alerts that are all archived for review anytime. (more…)
Current apartments and homes are being built in a manner that makes them more sealed in an effort to reduce energy consumption. This has the unfortunate side effect of amplifying already harmful, polluted air, leading to recent studies by the World Health Organization (WHO) to conclude that indoor pollution is 5x worse than outdoor pollution.
This is why products like Brise are important right now. The combination of a capable air purifier and artificial intelligence makes it a worthy addition to any smart home. The Brise works with its companion smartphone app to analyzing user routines and preferences along with room types and sizes to adjust filtration performance accordingly. This means that Brise will work differently in a kitchen than in a painter’s studio, for instance. (more…)
Many people have become increasingly reliant on their smartphones, cameras and other electronic devices. One resulting problem is the difficulty in keeping track of all the various lenses, chargers and other accessories that are used in conjunction with devices.
GearEye is an RFID-based tagging and gear management system for ensuring that all gear is in one’s bag or close at hand and, if it’s not, that it can be easily found. It works in conjunction with an Android and iOS app, and uses a smartphone’s smart sensors and RFID GearTag labels to keep track of the user’s gear.
GearEye ships in July at $199 for a SKU that includes a choice of a case or dongle, along with five GearTags for metal items and 15 regular GearTags in a mixture of sizes, and $219 for a SKU that includes 10 GearTags for metal items and 30 regular GearTags in mixed sizes. But Kickstarter backers can order them now for pledges of $129 and $139, respectively. Its makers are out to raise $60,000 by Dec. 30.
While running around from place to place each day, it’s common to forget to shut the lights or other electronic devices off at home. It would also be nice to shut those same devices off while one is just too tired to get out of bed.
Switch Bot is a small robotic device that attaches to other devices throughout the home or office and can wirelessly control all their switches and buttons. Control can be done while at the location or remotely using a smartphone or smartwatch.
It would be really convenient if one’s universal remote control could not only control the TV, but also every other electric appliance in the room.
ZaZaRemote is a hybrid touchscreen/button remote control that uses infrared (IR), 2.4G-radio frequency (RF), Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It can remotely control all IR electric appliances, including TVs, set-top boxes, projectors, DVD players, audio devices and air conditioners. The programmable remote also serves as a home security assistant, reporting its sensor’s data to the user’s mobile phone.
Portable projectors can come in handy, but they typically require perfect lighting and a perfect wall to use them with, meaning they cannot be used anywhere. They also tend to have relatively low brightness, resolution and battery life.
But that’s not the case with the Spontaneous Pop-up Display (SPUD). It’s a high-resolution, projector-based display with a 24-inch screen that collapses and expands like an umbrella. Because of SPUD’s light weight (less than 2 pounds) and compact form factor, when collapsed, it easily fits in the user’s purse, backpack, laptop bag, or even their jacket pockets. Its patented projection screen doesn’t wrinkle when collapsed.
SPUD can be connected to any device via HDMI or a separate adapter, and doesn’t use a light bulb/lamp in its projection system. The system instead uses three R/G/B LEDs as the light source, and they have a lifespan of about 50,000 hours, meaning one can use SPUD for 10 hours a day for well over 10 years before worrying about its lifespan, according to its makers.
SPUD ships in June at $499. But Kickstarter backers have been able to order one with a pledge starting at $349 for super early birds. Its makers hope to raise $33,000 by Dec. 16.
Multiple usage scenarios can be envisioned for SPUD, including for business presentations, for playing video games and while traveling. One additional big plus compared to typical portable projectors is that it uses a flexible polymer that can’t crack or chip and, if it gets dirty, SPUD is also washable.
On the other hand, despite its 1280 x 720 resolution being better than portable projectors like the 854 x 480 Asus S1, some consumers may be looking only for a device that supports 4K at this point. Its screen size is also likely too small for some consumers, but its maker is looking to offer larger display sizes in the future.
While motorsport is one of the most popular sports in the world, it doesn’t have much of a fanbase here in the US outside of NASCAR. Unrealistic portrayals of race cars as children aid the problem, with most model cars sold unable to capture the nuances of full-size racing vehicles. Change that, and the potential for a more engaged audience skyrockets.
Straight out of the home of heavyweights like BMW and Porsche, the DR!FT model race cars are the first toys to accurately replicate the many subtleties of motorsport-ready sports cars, all without any specialized track necessary. This means that DR!FT model cars perform with real racing dynamics that are true-to-scale, allowing them to accelerate realistically, reach a believable top speed, brake authentically, and even drift. It even comes complete with different engine sounds along with simulated brake and tire sounds. (more…)