These Lego-Like Batteries Plug In To Store Solar Power At Home

Adele Peters for Co-Exist:   Less than a year after Tesla unveiled its Powerwall battery for storing electricity at home, a startup has designed a much cheaper alternative that you can plug in yourself, without an electrician. The modular batteries, called Orison, can be hung on the wall or set on the ground to double as an LED lamp. If you want more power, you just add the units together. "Think of Orison like Legos," says co-founder and CEO Eric Clifton. "The 2.2 kilowatt-hour unit is really just one piece, so you can actually add as many as you need." The 2.2 kilowatt-hour version is as large as the company could make one unit and keep it under 40 pounds, so it could be easily shipped and moved. With one unit, if your power went out in a storm, you could keep an energy-efficient refrigerator running for about two days. If you want to back up everything in your house, you'd connect a long series of batteries together. For someone with solar panels on the roof, the batteries can store power to use at night. Right now, most people can sell extra solar power back to the grid when they're not using it, but many state laws are about to change so people will make less money. Batteries can help solar homeowners save money by making use of the power they've generated.   Cont'd...

Using Drones for Aerial Photography

If you can envision a shot, the drone can probably help achieve the photograph or video.

Amazon just made another really smart home product

Tim Stenovec for Business Insider:  There are plenty of dumb uses of "smart" technology.Toothbrushes, slow-cookers, anddog collars are just a few, to say nothing of far more expensive products like fridges. But on Monday, Amazon actually released a "smart" product that is incredibly useful: a $45 water pitcher from the king of water filtration products. If you've ever owned a Brita pitcher filtration system, which filters tap water, then you may know where this is going.  The water filter monitors how much water has been filtered, and will automatically order a new filter when it gets close to the time you should replace it. By the time the filters is used up, a new filter will already be shipped to you. But the genius here is that apart from the initial setup, you don't actually have to do anything. Ever!  Cont'd...

CoeLux: Artificial Sunlight

What is CoeLux? CoeLux is an optical system based on nano technology to artificially reproduce the natural light and visual appearance of the sun and sky. CoeLux offers a breakthrough opportunity for indoor architecture by creating the sensation of infinite space... ( product website )

The RoseWater Energy Hub

The RoseWater Energy Hub is the first all-in-one residential and light commercial power solution integrating three capabilities into one platform to serve the complete electrical needs of an entire premises, in essence transforming the electrical system in place into a microgrid

Smart Home Interview - Ray Super Remote

Right now the Ray Super Remote uses BT (4.0/BLE) and 802.11 2.4GHz b/g/n WiFi in addition to several IR protocols. This means we can control hundreds of thousands of entertainment devices in addition to connected devices on a home network.

Child's Play: Smart Toys Will Ease Us into the Great Smart World

As more educational toys and tools go online, the hacks and breaches will affect kids in ways we can't even imagine now.

U.S. Intelligence Head Suggests Agents Might Use Smart Home Tech for Spying

Patrick Sisson for Curbed:  The Internet of Things and smart home technology promise a more wired, intelligent, and—as product designers suggest—responsive environment. But, according to a Guardian story, those internet-connected appliances may also provide information to law enforcement and intelligence agencies. In testimony to the Senate yesterday on threats facing the nation, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told lawmakers that agents might take advantage of this new generation of home technology. "In the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials," he was quoted as saying. Many security experts have warned about the potential security implications of the Internet of Things and smart home devices, but Clapper's statement was one of the most direct by the leader of an intelligence agency.   Cont'd...

Creating The Perfect Home Theater System

Some questions that you should ask yourself should be: What is the main purpose of the system? How will I budget this investment? How large will I expand my system? What speakers fit my needs? What is my setup plan of attack for my floor plan?

What Is IPv6 And Why Is It Considered A Key Enabler Of The Internet Of Things

IPv6 will enable users to connect more devices on the home network that can now communicate end-to-end. Cloud services in the home, such as security or home automation system, depend on the ability to easily connect to cloud store data and IPv6 will enable this communication to happen.

What Do Iot And Smart Home Device Makers Need To Know In Order To Connect Their Devices To The Web

The end game is connected solutions that make our lives easier, safer and more efficient. Device makers and service providers need to look at the BIG picture, not just the components and the individual machines and devices.

What is HDR (High Dynamic Range) and why do you want it?

HDR creates pictures in the same way that the human eye does. It makes videos come to life with shadows and shading details we have never seen on other displays.

From NetworkWorld - Interview with the creators of EZ-Wave, a Z-Wave hacking tool

The synopsis for Breaking Bulbs Briskly by Bogus Broadcastsmentions the promise of smart energy and building automation, as well as the many unintended vulnerabilities that are introduced in the rush to bring IoT devices to market. The researchers believe “the ability to physically damage hardware by abusing network access is particularly interesting.” I agree. Frustrated by the “lack of functionality in current Z-Wave hacking tools,” ShmooCon presenters Joseph Hall and Ben Ramsey created and released a new, open source EZ-Wave tool. Not only did the duo discuss how to use the tool for pen-testing Z-Wave wireless automation networks, they also discussed “a rapid process for destroying florescent lights.” They added, “Once access is gained to an automated lighting system, regardless of the protocol used, we  demonstrate how to destroy florescent lamps rated for 30K hours within a single night of abuse.” Full Article:

The Future of Home Automation

As the number of devices in homes rapidly increases, we expect further integration of smart home products aimed at monitoring and protecting Internet-enabled devices.

The New Home Theater

Today, the electronics stores are promoting a different home theater experience. Their version of a home theater is an HDTV and a sound bar.

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