The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a new Apple patent application on Thursday describing a system for controlling your smart home from a single device that can learn new functions. The patent sounds a lot like an iPhone with HomeKit, which is no coincidence at all.
I’ve found a cool HomeKit-compatible device that can turn an ordinary ceiling fan into a smart fan. That’s the one thing missing in my smart home setup right now, my ceiling fan. I can turn my lights on and off with Phillips Hue, but that won’t control those spinning fan blades. Hunter Fans has an accessory that will. The Hunter SIMPLEconnect looks pretty cool and easy to install (if you’ve ever installed your own ceiling fan.) It uses a Bluetooth receiver wired directly into almost any ceiling fan with pull chains. There’s a Bluetooth controller that plugs into an electrical outlet and a remote control for quick adjustments. The final piece in the puzzle is the Hunter SIMPLEconnect app, which you install on your iPhone. Et voilà, you’ll have a smart ceiling fan that you can control straight from your iPhone.
What exactly is “Apple?” The company is changing dramatically, and Bryan and Jeff explore where Apple might be going. They also talk about home automation, and how we are in the Wild West days of this future technology.
If you’re having a hard time wrapping your head around HomeKit and why you might want smart home devices you can now try them out it Apple’s own stores.
I don’t use exclamation points in titles, but come on, Smartduvet Breeze MAKES ITSELF UP! I mean, IT MAKES ITSELF UP! I can’t even type it without going all capslock with a bang. OK, it’s also offers dual-zone climate control, but IT MAKES ITSELF UP! Watch the video. You’ll see it. I love a made bed, but being an overgrown boy at heart, I hate making the bed up. And so do a lot of other people, it seems, because Smartduvet has raised $579,533 on Indiegogo out of an original goal of just $20,000 (4 days left as of this writing). The Breeze part of this product is a system of air passages that delivers climate-controlled air through Smartduvet Breeze. Each side can be controlled through a smartphone app. The self-making part is done through a different set of air passages that essentially inflates to its made state when activated. There are funding options starting at $199 that get a Smartduvet Breeze, with shipping estimated for September.
Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Butts join Jeff Gamet to sort out the EFF’s tech company score card, plus they have some thoughts on home voice appliances calling the police for us.
Amazon is relying on its own smart home consultants to help make it only place you go shopping.
I don’t think he collected $200, either.
The feature works with the Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, and even with the Alexa iPhone app, so you’ll be able to annoy your family from anywhere in the world.
There are smart coffee makers, and then there’s Smarter Coffee. This coffee maker is so smart it can start brewing when you round the bend home from your morning jog. With the explosion in app-enabled appliances and smart home technology, it’s not too surprising. With Smarter Coffee, you can use the app or start brewing with a command to Alexa. That’s not all, though — the coffee maker has a built-in bean grinder. It will grind your beans to the perfect consistence, then brew your coffee just the way you like it. Connect Smarter Coffee to a fitness tracker. The coffee maker will start brewing when you near home after your jog or evening commute. Finally, the coffee maker tells you, through the app, how much water is in the reservoir. If you want to set it to brew eight cups of coffee, you’ll know right away if you need to add more water.
Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to offer up their thoughts on Apple CEO Tim Cook saying we don’t need a Siri smart home controller because we already have the iPhone and Apple Watch.
Andy Rubin’s company, Essential, just set the bar for Apple’s rumored Siri voice assistant appliance.
Kelly Guimont joins Jeff Gamet to discuss Apple’s Swift education strategy, plus they talk about smart home fatigue.
HomeKit compatible products are about to become easier to find and more affordable thanks to IKEA. Dave Hamilton and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to talk about IKEA’s place in the smart home market, plus they noteDenise Young Smith’s new position at Apple, and Huawei’s new laptop that targets the MacBook.
Microsoft has its own Amazon Echo competitor coming, and it’s called Invoke. Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to share their reactions to Microsoft’s new Cortana-based product, voice assistants, smart home fatigue, and more.
Amazon unveiled its Echo Show, and it has a display. Bryan Chaffin and the Maccast’s Adam Christianson join Jeff Gamet to share their reactions to Amazon’s newest Alexa device. They also have some thoughts on the unintended confirmation that the FBI paid $900,000 for the San Bernardino iPhone hack, plus Bryan coins “I’m gonna up that up.”
The biggest un-surprise of the day comes from Amazon and its just announced Echo Show. The well-leaked new Echo model includes a built-in display and camera so you can get visual responses to your Alexa queries and make video calls, too.
The next time you’re driving around California, you may find brand new Apple HomeKit houses built by Brookfield Residential. Other builders have offered HomeKit upgrade packages, but Brookfield will be the first to integrate HomeKit from the ground up, making it a standard.
Looking for a Mother’s Day present? Andrew Orr found a new type of digital art decoration on the market called Meural Canvas. It’s a 27-inch screen you hang on your wall, and change the art it shows using your smartphone. You can upload your own photos to the display, and the company partners with a bunch of big-name art museums. You can choose over 30,000 paintings from Meural’s app and website.
Logitech’s POP Smart Button is getting HomeKit support, and its POP Smart Button Kit will be available in Apple’s retail stores. The button supports a wide range of devices, so you can use it to control non-HomeKit gear, too.