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More Digital Home Opinion

  • Opinion: Wi-Fi sprinkler controller Skydrop uses weather data to know when to water

    One bummer about being an adult is suddenly having to pay for stuff that used to be provided for you. I remember being ticked off that I had to start paying for my own toilet paper when I moved out of the dorms, for example, and another rude awakening happened last summer when I bought my first home and got my first water bill. Suddenly saving water had higher stakes than it did when I was renting.

  • Opinion: LG's new child-tracking wearable lets you listen in to uncommunicative kids

    The world's a big and crazy place, but a new generation of wearables is making it easier than ever to keep tabs on your wandering tykes. TechHive recently reviewed Filip, a watch-like wearable that mashes up a GPS locator with a cellphone to keep parents aware of their children's whereabouts, and now LG is jumping into the fray with the LG Kizon.

  • Opinion: Samsung's Gear VR headset reportedly on track for IFA 2014 reveal

    It's looking ever-more likely that Samsung is getting into virtual reality soon, with new reports claiming that the so-called Gear VR headset will launch this fall.

  • Opinion: "3D Touch" Windows Phone and Surface Mini rumors reemerge

    Microsoft has some interesting hardware in the pipeline for later this year--if the rumor mill is churning out accurate reports--such as a 3D touch-enabled Windows Phone and the fabled Surface Mini.

  • Opinion: 30 minutes with Healbe's GoBe, the 'automatic' calorie tracker few believe can work

    Nothing we know about the limits of science and technology tells us that a simple sensor-packed wristband can tell us how many calories we've consumed. Yet an obscure company called Healbe says it's achieved the seemingly impossible. When I heard that the Russian tech startup would be showing its controversial GoBe health tracker--or what the company calls an "automatic body manager"--to the public for the first time at CE Week in New York Wednesday, I knew I had to see it.

  • Opinion: Google Glass will get Android Wear notifications

    As Google builds a smartwatch platform with Android Wear, Google Glass users aren't being left behind.

  • Opinion: Cord cutters, beware: AT&T's DirecTV buy affects you, too

    Having cut the cable cord, you may glance at the current landscape of big cable providers snapping up slightly-less-big-though-still-large rivals and decide that these megadeals have nothing to do with you. After all, you're getting your entertainment from other sources--over-the-air antennas, online streaming services, and the like. What's it matter to you if AT&T buys up DirecTV or Comcast absorbs Time Warner Cable?

  • Opinion: FreeWavz wireless earphones use medical-style sensors to record heart rate data

    First they came for your wrists. Next they came for your eyes. Now the wearable tech manufacturers are coming for your ears.

  • Opinion: Soundhawk is a wearable for your ear that fine-tunes all the world's noises

    The world is noisy. It's a simple concept to understand, and now a simple wearable is bent on filtering out unwanted noise, and elevating only the sounds you want to hear. Soundhawk doesn't boast a long list of features, and it's relatively expensive, even at its "limited time" retail price of $279. But if your frustration with ambient noise is a serious lifestyle problem, then Soundhawk, available for pre-order Tuesday, may be just what you need.

  • Opinion: New Withings wearable Activité is an analog activity tracker

    Few fitness trackers have managed to nail style. Function over form has been the guiding principle when it comes to wrist tech, sometimes to disastrous result. Withings already has a not-so-stylish health tracker on the market, the $120 Pulse, but on Monday announced the Activité. To say it's the opposite of the Pulse would be an understatement.

  • Opinion: A 10-sensor iWatch says Apple's smartwatch will be nothing like Android Wear

    If Apple's iWatch design brief includes 10 sensors, then the all-but-inevitable smartwatch won't be a simple device. It will be aimed squarely at exercise enthusiasts, quantified-selfers, and anyone concerned about an expanding waist line.

  • Opinion: Bowling for (virtual) dollars: Bitcoin to sponsor college football game

    To paraphrase Hank Williams, Jr., football fans: Are you ready for some Bitcoin?

  • Opinion: Reality check: Are DVRs doomed? Depends what you mean by 'doomed'

    The days of the DVR are numbered. And DVD players and cable TV set-top boxes are slated to join them in history's recycling pile. At least that's where Roku CEO Anthony Wood thinks the digital entertainment industry is headed.

  • Opinion: Women's wearable Ringly makes notifications fashionable

    Phones are getting bigger, but women's pockets are not. That sounds like a laughable pain point, a faux problem even in the First World. But when your phone is blowing up with notifications that you don't notice because you have it tucked away in your purse, you could miss out on important real-world connections: a call from your best friend, an urgent email from your business partner, a notification that your Uber just pulled up.

  • Opinion: Honeywell's Lyric brings geolocation to smart thermostats

    The Nest got people to look at formerly mundane appliances like a thermostat in a new way, as something that should be smarter and could stand to get better-looking too. We loved the last Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat that we tested, but dinged its design compared to the circular elegance of the Nest.

  • Opinion: Vivint launches a "learning" home-control system

    The Nest thermostat famously created the notion of home-control gadgets that learn from and adapt to a homeowner's activity patterns. But a thermostat is limited as to what it can sense, what it can learn, and what it can control. Vivint's second-generation home-control system--Vivint Sky--uses dozens of sensors in addition to a thermostat, and it monitors and controls not just your heating and air-conditioning system, but also your home's lighting, door locks, small appliances, video cameras, and security systems.

  • Opinion: The Amazon phone's killer app could be shopping

    If we haven't already reached smartphone saturation, we're awfully close. Walk into any AT&T or Verizon Store and you'll find enough to make you dizzy, everything from cheap plastic affairs to fancy high-end offerings from the likes of Samsung, HTC, Nokia, and LG. It's a bit of a zero-sum game--and a rather cutthroat one at that.

  • Opinion: U.S. ambassador decides to get sworn in on a Kindle

    When George Washington started the tradition of swearing in on a bible, he probably couldn't have dreamed of electronic ink.

  • Opinion: Glance is an $80 wearable that puts smart notifications on your existing wristwatch

    You can stop complaining that all the world's smartwatches are too ugly to actually wear. A new $80 smart accessory called Glance puts a small selection of smartwatch-like functions on a thin slab of hardware that slides underneath the band of your existing wristwatch.

  • Opinion: Nest Protect gets a recall and a software update

    If you have a Nest Protect smoke detector, you'll want to make sure that its software is up to date. On Tuesday, Nest officially recalled 440,000 Nest Protect smoke detectors, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, because of an issue that could prevent the alarm from sounding right away in case of a fire.

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