Archives For Gadgets

2014-07-23 21.07.17

Back in 2013, Kwikset released Kevo ($219), a deadbolt created by Unikey that let users lock and unlock their doors with just their phone. This process utilizes Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE 4.0) to determine the location of your phone or a keyfob and whether or not it’s inside or outside the door. So far, the release of Kevo has only been compatible with the iPhone 4s and later because of the BTLE requirement. But according to their support page, Android development is currently underway.

Now connected door locks have been around for a while in one form or another, but Kevo was the first to incorporate Bluetooth into a standard looking door lock. There have been others such as Lockitron and Jawbone’s August, but these are still not fully released. I had originally backed Lockitron, but after waiting a year and a half for the thing to ship, I cancelled my order. The August lock is set to ship later this year.

As for Kevo, they have just released a substantial update. These new features include:

  • New Guest and Scheduled eKeys
  • Faster Lock / Unlock Speeds
  • Improved User Interface

Let’s take a look at the Kevo itself, then go into each feature listed above. Continue Reading…

Goodnight Oyster, Amazon Preps “Kindle Unlimited” Subscription

staples-connect

If you’re just easing into home control and automation like me, Staples Connect is worth a look — moreso as the Linksys hub will shortly drop to a mere $50. With apps for most platforms, the hub communicates via 802.11b/g/n, Z-Wave, and Lutron wireless protocols. Along with the price reduction, broader retail distribution has been announced along with a second $80 D-Link hub $80 that will add Zigbee and Bluetooth LE communication. It seems pretty clear Bluetooth LE, aka Bluetooth Smart, will play a prominent role in this space (along with wearables), but its limited broadcast range may inhibit hub effectiveness and the existing model seems to do a fine job bridging most home automation silos. And we’re told the team is working through the process of Nest integration – which may be requisite these days. Continue Reading…

Jun 28

Writers from Business Insider, The Verge, and The Next Web share their initial Android Wear Smartwatch feedback…

Continue Reading…

This week’s Fitbit iOS app update brings with it a welcome feature, in live tracking. Along with tracking steps throughout the day via one of their many trackers, new live tracking functionality relies on the iPhone’s GPS to monitor and provide real-time feedback on your exercise.

Fitbit has always been one of the fastest companies to allow 3rd party apps to update your stats. You have been able to import exercises through Runkeeper or MapMyRun for quite some time, but this is the first time that Fitbit it tackling this feature head on.

How Live Tracking Works

When you want to begin a new exercise, you simply open the Fitbit app and scroll down to the exercise entry. Continue Reading…

philips-hue-tap-app

With the Philips Hue app update yesterday that introduces support for the Hue Tap, retail available is nearly upon us.

The Tap extends control of your connecting lighting beyond the virtual and into the physical realm. As with everything Hue, the Tap light switch is downright pricey at $60. Yet it brings a subtle, sleek elegance as it meets a practical need with some nifty technology. And most impressive is the Taps nearly infinite battery life, rated at 50,000 taps, powered by your finger’s clicky kinetic energy. Beyond that, the small puck ships with four customizable buttons, which can be linked actions, scenes, and recipes… giving you, your spouse, child, or pet sitter a means of control without a smartphone or tablet app.

Each Hue Bridge is capable of supporting up to 32 of these, enough for every wall in the house. As for me, I’m on the fence if I’ll be picking up a single Tap up… I suppose it depends if I expand my Philips smart lighting collection once the less pricey all-white Lux bulbs hit. Continue Reading…