The connected world is changing the way people experience information and entertainment. Now we can even control and monitor our home, cars and more…everything from appliances and security systems to air conditioning, lights and keeping tabs on our vehicles from anywhere using our mobile devices.
Award-winning Tech Expert Andrea Smith took a look at some of the smart technology making its way into our lives in 2014!
You may think that Home Automation is still off in the future, but new “hubs” are making this idea a thing of the present.
Staples Connect is an exclusive Home Automation offering from Staples, consisting of a universal “Hub” that allow a multitude of devices from the most trusted brands in the industry to talk to each other, all through one easy to use App. The app and hub will allow consumers to control all of their most trusted brands such as Philips, GE, Honeywell, First Alert and Lutron in order to enable activities that both save money and provide peace of mind.
Purchase through Staples.com and select Staples stores, which you can find through www.staples.com.
Priced at $99.
For more information please visit www.staples.com/staplesconnect.
For those that have a number of home-entertainment devices (even up to 15 devices), and for those who follow the latest technology trends…check this out!
Logitech Harmony Ultimate
Get the remote that controls your entire home entertainment system – the Logitech Harmony Ultimate ($349.99). It’s compatible with over 270,000 devices and with just one touch on its 2.4” color touch-screen, you can control everything – including devices hidden behind cabinets or walls. It can even dim your Philips Hue lights or set the mood by playing tunes on your Sonos speakers. With the Harmony Smartphone App, you will have control from anywhere, turning your smartphone into a personal universal remote. With the Logitech Harmony Ultimate, you will finally be able to take total control of the living room.
Purchase at myharmony.com.
Priced at $349.99.
Visit www.myharmony.com for more information.
Looking for something that can add style to your home, provide convenience and give you energy savings?
Bali Automated Window Treatments, Powered by Somfy
Bali® automated window treatments, powered by Somfy, combine style with enhanced functionality to provide comfort, convenience, and energy savings. While a must for heavy, hard-to-reach, and multiple window treatment applications, automated shades are great for any window. Automated controls provide effortless operation with the touch of a button or can be programmed based on a schedule. Unsightly cords are eliminated for a cleaner and more streamlined look that also improves safety for kids and pets. Bali offers a wide range of styles, fabrics and colors for every taste, while state-of-the art Somfy motors and controls make installation and operation a breeze.
To purchase, visit www.baliblinds.com to find your closest retailer such as Home Depot, Lowes or JCPenney.
Pricing for Motorization starts at $212 (Price includes the motor, power source and control, shade is additional).
For more information, visit www.baliblinds.com/motorize.
Busy mom’s who are on the go, men interested in connectivity or who manage the family car, small businesses, parents of teen drivers or those who take care of elderly parents that still drive will love this next connected device!
Delphi Connect enables drivers to carry out any of the following features remotely from your smart phone:
- Virtual key fob*: Lock or unlock vehicle doors, open the trunk, start or stop the engine and operate the panic horn with a virtual key fob on a smart device
- Geo-fencing: Designate up to six circular “fences” around specified locations and receive alerts when the vehicle enters and exits a fenced area
- Live tracking: Enables real-time vehicle tracking with five-second updates, showing vehicle speed and direction
- Trip logging: Summary of all trips from engine start to stop (date, times, distance, starting and ending locations)
- Vehicle health: Diagnose the vehicle’s engine health, vehicle performance issues or monitor overall vehicle status
- Alerts: Receive notifications on all of the above features
Cost of the 4G LTE device is $99 with a 2-year contract or $199 without a contract. When purchased, drivers will need to already have or sign-up for a cellular plan either through Verizon or USCellular. Depending on the cellular provider and the plan, a line access and subscription fee is charged—around $10/mo.– in addition to a data plan depending on the level of data used. Generally, for this device, it’s about 2GB.
For more information, visit www.delphiconnect.com
You’ll want your smart devices to be protected from life’s accidents, especially as we’re outdoors more during the summertime.
Kyocera Hydro Icon
Kyocera Hydro Icon is a 4G LTE Android smartphone designed with everyday durability in mind. It’s waterproof, dust-proof and drop-proof to be protected from life’s accidents, like dunks in the pool, sand at the beach or drops on the hot asphalt. It features an 8 megapixel camera to capture memories and Kyocera’s proprietary Smart Sonic Receiver technology that lets you hear more clearly in noisy places. Hydro Icon is available now at Boost Mobile for just $149.99 plus tax without a contract, and takes advantage of Sprint’s new Enhanced LTE service for faster downloads in markets where available.
Available at Boostmobile.com, or anywhere Boost Mobile phones are sold such as Best Buy, RadioShack, Target and Walmart.
Priced at just $149.99 plus tax with no contract. Boost Mobile offers many flat-rate pricing options for monthly service on smartphones starting at just $40 a month.
For more information, visit www.kyoceramobile.com/hydro-icon