Sooner or later, every object in existence, including you and me, will be re-created out of Legos.
You may eventually be able to operate your TV, refrigerator, or garage door through Google Glass.
Published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a Google patent application called "Wearable Computer with Superimposed Controls and Instructions for External Device" describes a technology in which a Google Glass wearer could control a real object via a virtual display.
Beyond merely showing you details about an object, Google Glass would present a virtual control panel to let you interact with that object.
As described in the patent, you could "control the target device, provide input to the … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Consumer electronics giant LG focused its attention on the home and living room with a series of home entertainment and appliance announcements.
Chief among them was the pricing and dating of its much-awaited 55-inch OLED TV, which first debuted at last year's CES, though was delayed. The company today said it would begin selling in the U.S. in March for about $12,000. It also promised two new sizes of its 4K resolution television sets, 65-inch and 55-inch versions to join the 84" model.
LG spent much of its presentation touting its smartening up of various … Read more
It's cold. I'm sitting here with a heating pad on my desk chair. I use it all the time, but I have no idea what its real impact on my electric bill is. The same goes for my LED Christmas tree and the glowing smartphone charger I leave plugged in all the time. The big mystery around the cost of electrical appliances could soon be cleared up if a little device called MeterPlug hits its fundraising goal on Indiegogo.
MeterPlug plugs into an outlet. You then plug your appliance directly into the MeterPlug. The gadget reports energy usage over Bluetooth to an app that translates the draw into actual dollars. You can manually enter your local electricity prices or use the app's average for your country.… Read more
Every year, countless vacuums fall to the wayside after accumulated hair clogs the rapidly spinning brushes at the base of the appliance and tangles up within its attachments. My significant other and her copious amounts of long hair can spell out at least five minutes of tediously cutting away tangles from the brush after a floor sweep.
Dyson recently unveiled a new attachment -- labeled the "Tangle-free Turbine tool" -- for its expensive line of vacuums that promises to reduce hair entanglements that occur while cleaning. Instead of a horizontal spinning brush, Dyson's $69 accessory uses a vertical axis of movement. The device features two flexible counter-rotating heads with built-in brushes that actually send hair past the spinners and into the vacuum bin. … Read more
The Princess Compact4All kitchen appliances (available this month) come together to form a "breakfast cube." Designed by Jan des Bouvrie for the Dutch firm Princess Household Appliances, the four countertop appliances each measures 20 centimeters cubed. (To American countertops, that would be 7.87 inches all around.) Composed of a juicer, a kettle, a toaster, and a coffeemaker, the modular set can be stacked together or moved about the kitchen just like any other appliance.
Sometimes finding the unexpected in a collection of appliances only involves putting them all together. In this case, the juicer hides a secret. … Read more
Owners of certain Panasonic smart appliances will soon be able to manage them remotely via their Android phones.
The consumer electronics company has cooked up its own Panasonic Smart App. Android users can remotely turn on and control any compatible appliance, potentially cutting energy costs. Users can even monitor their energy savings through the app.
Included among the smart home appliances are Panasonic air conditioners, refrigerators, and health care devices. New appliances slated to hit the market in Japan on September 25 are Panasonic's X Series room air conditioners, a top-mount refrigerator, and drum-type washer-dryers. The new air conditions … Read more
Extended warranty service SquareTrade announced today it has secured a $238 million growth equity investment lead by Bain Capital.
Terms of the private financial transaction were not revealed.
The company, which sells warranties for consumer electronics and appliances directly and via more than 30 retailers and marketplaces, said its sales tripled in 2011 compared with 2010. It also expects to record "triple-digit" revenue growth in 2012, although the privately held company did not provide specific financial details.
"SquareTrade has been profitable and growing rapidly for several years," CEO and co-founder Steve Abernethy said in a statement. &… Read more
A home full of "smart" devices that can communicate still needs apps to give people a reason to use them.
Grid upstart Tendril today opened up a developer site to encourage the creation of applications that do something interesting with energy-related information. Tendril had already published some of the APIs for its cloud-based platform in a closed beta, but it is now opening up the service to more developers and adding documentation.
The Tendril Connect platform provides some of the plumbing to collect energy consumption data and present it back to consumers on different devices, such as computers, … Read more
Hewlett-Packard is currently working to bring its WebOS mobile operating system to cars and appliances, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
According to the Journal, HP can see a world where many of the products consumers currently use in the home or while on the road will have touch screens that connect to the Web and deliver WebOS functionality.
Speaking to the Journal in an interview, WebOS head Stephen DeWitt said there is an "enormous amount of interest" from companies that want to bring WebOS to their devices, but he wouldn't say which firms are thinking seriously … Read more