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4/21/2014
09:06 AM
Shane O'Neill
Shane O'Neill
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8 Gadgets For The High-Tech Home

Meet George Jetson: From wireless door locks to scales that measure more than weight, these connected devices take your domicile digital.
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Nest Labs Thermostat
Nest Labs' WiFi- and sensor-enabled thermostat is poised to become a household name after being acquired by Google in January. The unit, compatible with most HVAC systems, is built around an operating system that remembers the temperatures you prefer. It takes that data, programs itself, and automatically turns the temperature down when you're away. Nest can be remotely managed using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Priced at $250, it's a good place to start for the smart appliance newbie.
(Source: Nest.com)

Nest Labs Thermostat

Nest Labs' WiFi- and sensor-enabled thermostat is poised to become a household name after being acquired by Google in January. The unit, compatible with most HVAC systems, is built around an operating system that remembers the temperatures you prefer. It takes that data, programs itself, and automatically turns the temperature down when you're away. Nest can be remotely managed using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Priced at $250, it's a good place to start for the smart appliance newbie.

(Source: Nest.com)

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asharpe381
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asharpe381,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/23/2014 | 11:57:26 AM
Serious Security Conserns - Must be Well Thought Out
There are some serious security concerns with home automation. Many home automation devices have already been demonstrated to have holes now that can allow intruders complete access. That means access to your schedule, access to your web cams, access to things you do not want for an attacker to know about.

For example, the Belkin WeMo and Netcraft devices are not authenticating SSL certifications.

Well thought through encryption and security can be done so it is completely secure, but I don't think "they" are doing it.

Consumers, and magazines like InformationWeek, need to put pressure on the companies so they design the security according to best practice.

If you are interested listen to: http://media.GRC.com/sn/SN-443.mp3

... and read articles like: www.ioactive.com/pdfs/IOActive_Belkin-advisory-lite.pdf‎

I think the author of this article did not do his due diligence when he did not mention the security concerns. Fluff pieces are barely more than advertising.

ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
4/22/2014 | 4:57:18 PM
Re: Another smart scale worth mentioning
A subscription fee for a door lock? I've been wrong before about the appetite for people to pay subscriptions, but that doesn't seem like a mass market business model.
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
4/21/2014 | 8:04:11 PM
Re: Another smart scale worth mentioning
It is surprising to see this change take place so quickly. A short time ago, a company was not a company if it did not have a website. However, there were still some companies out there that did not have a website and were still functioning. Today, a company is not a company if it does not have a social media presence, connected smart products and using the latest technology -- if none of these are present then consumers begin to wonder whether the company has gone bankrupt.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
4/21/2014 | 4:05:37 PM
Re: I Prefer Dumb Robots to Smart Houses
The Deebot D77 featured in this slideshow has advanced sensors so it doesn't tumble down stairs, smack into a table leg, or vacuum over an electrical cord. Legos and pencils, however, are probably not safe from harm.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
4/21/2014 | 3:54:38 PM
Re: Another smart scale worth mentioning
Is there a business model that makes sense for wearables? When you actually ask people to decide whether they want to pay a monthly subscription for health monitoring, I suspect few will want to add yet another recurring fee.
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
4/21/2014 | 1:15:41 PM
Re: I Prefer Dumb Robots to Smart Houses
We've got a Shepherd/Lab mix, plus two boys, so the Roomba has its work cut out for it. I always do a pre-check to make sure it won't choke on Legos, pencils, Nerf darts, ear buds, etc.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
4/21/2014 | 1:01:32 PM
Re: I Prefer Dumb Robots to Smart Houses
In my house it was Roomba vs. Labrador fur and the fur won. The machine has to be emptied often, during one round of cleaning, so it proves less convenient than I had hoped. But there is plenty of room yet for automating housework.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
4/21/2014 | 12:24:27 PM
Re: Another smart scale worth mentioning
I just went all in with the Nike+ ecosystem so I was disappointed to hear they're killing the Fuelband line. I suppose they're realizing hardware will take care of itself through iPods, smartphones and smartwatches, and they should focus on software. I don't think the Nike+ platform needs to be a completely holistic health platform. They cater to athletes and fitness fanatics so fitness measurement will be enough as long as they're the best at it. They'll have to stretch beyond being a sportswear company, but these days every company is a tech company.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
4/21/2014 | 11:40:01 AM
Another smart scale worth mentioning
Another scale worth mentioning is the Fitbit Aria, which integrates weight and body-fat readings in with your fitness, diet and sleep-tracking data. I'd call that a more holistic approach to health monitoring.

It's interesting to note headlines breaking today that Nike is apparently getting out of the wearables business. Maybe it sees the light that fitness measurement alone will not be enough. It faced going deeper to compete in this game, and that's not really a fit for a sneaker and sportwear company.
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
4/21/2014 | 11:14:19 AM
I Prefer Dumb Robots to Smart Houses
We recently got a Roomba. I wouldn't call it a smart. I can vaccum and sweep faster and more thoroughly than the little rolling disk. However, my wife points out that we can run the robot every day, in contrast to the weekly cleaning I do, so in aggregate, we get a cleaner house with the robot. So I'm sort of a convert there. However, I refuse to hook up thermostats, fridges or door locks to a smart phone or the Internet. That seems like it's asking for trouble.
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