Tag - Thermostat
Devices using Apple's HomeKit technology to allow users to control or monitor devices in the home has been a significant trend at the CES showcase in Las Vegas this year. In addition to upgrades to add HomeKit compatibility to existing equipment and all-new devices along the same lines (smart thermostats, garage door openers, smoke detectors, and lighting control), companies well-established and new are bringing out other "smart" devices for the home. Announcements from Lutron, First Alert, Insteon, and Kwikset highlight some of the versatility of the emerging "smart home" trend.
Honeywell has announced a new, second-generation version of its Lyric Round smart thermostat that appears to be identical to the previous model, but with one key improvement: the addition of Apple's HomeKit technology. The $250 home temperature system control device now has an App available through the iOS App Store or Google Play that allows it to control temperature remotely, set up and manage geofences, and let owners receive notifications for things such as changes in local weather that could affect home temperature. Separately, Hunter Fan Company has announced its first "smart home" products.
Nest has started to roll out an update for its Learning Thermostat that promises to make the heat management device more useful. Arriving to all generations of the thermostat over the next few weeks, the update will in theory help heat the home closer to the temperature set by the user, as well as improving the efficiency of multi-stage heating systems, along with changes to the Time-to-Temperature, Early-On, and Heat Pump Balance functions to make them more precise.
Nest has made a few minor updates to its Learning Thermostat, following earlier changes to the Protect and Cam. The third-generation Thermostat is thinner than earlier models, and uses a larger 2.08-inch diameter 480x480-resolution display. New features included in this version are Farsight, where the device lights up and shows the temperature or time when someone walks into the room, and a Furnace Heads-Up warning on the display and smartphone at the start of a heating or cooling session if it notices potential problem with the furnace. On sale today, the third-generation Nest Learning Thermostat is priced at $250.
After months of speculation on the future of the product with Apple, the popular Nest smart thermostat -- co-developed by ex-Apple employee Tony Fadell, and now owned by Google -- has been purged from both Apple's online store, and also the retail arm of the company. In its place is now the Ecobee 3 HomeKit thermostat.
Nest has made changes across the entirety of its product line, with updates to its existing products and the launch of a new item. The new version of Nest Protect and the Nest Learning Thermostat software update are joined by the Nest Cam, a network-connected camera stemming from its acquisition of Dropcam last year, and a new program that could help homeowners acquire a Nest Protect at a lower cost or potentially for free.
Google is starting to enable customizable backdrops for the Chromecast, a feature it first revealed in June. Rolling out from today, owners of the streaming dongle can customize the image feed from the Chromecast app for Android and iOS, including photo albums from Google+, artwork from the Google Cultural Institute, and news images from various publications. More information about an image on display can be brought up by asking the Google search app "What's on my Chromecast?" on any other mobile device on the same network.
Thermostat manufacturer Ecobee has unveiled its third-generation device, the ecobee3. Much like other smart thermostats, the ecobee3 is able to work out when is the optimum time to raise or lower the temperature, though this time the unit is able to rely on a network of remote sensors to find out whether a room is occupied or not, as well as the temperature of each area.
Nest Labs has confirmed its range of devices are compatible with a number of major home automation systems. Revealed at CEDIA, the company advised its Learning Thermostat and Protect will work with Control4, Crestron, Remote Technologies Incorporated (RTI), and Universal Remote Control (URC) systems, with Dropcam also joining the list of companies in the Works with Nest program.
After nine months gestation, the Nest smart thermostat programmer's API has been released to the public. The cross-platform tool will allow coders on any platform to develop communications and integration tools for the smart device, including bringing new features to it such as geofencing and advanced scheduling tools. Unmentioned in the API documentation is the fact that, contrary to previous statements, Google will collect data from the Nest thermostat and connect its own apps to the product.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE