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More Digital Home Opinion

  • 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.

  • Opinion: Would you like VR with your pizza? Chuck E. Cheese to test Oculus Rift at its restaurants

    It has been decades since I set foot inside a Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant--eateries promising family fun don't really cater to gentlemen in their early 40s unaccompanied by children. So my memories of the place tend to be frozen-in-amber recollections of skee-ball machines, whack-a-mole games, and audio-animatronic animals singing along to songs about pizza.

  • Opinion: Meet Darma, the non-activity tracker you sit on

    Quantified butt. The Internet of chairs. An unactivity tracker. Jokes aside, the Darma cushion might be the smartest thing you ever sit on. Unlike your smartphone, it can't butt-dial anyone, but Darma can dial up stats about how much time you spend in a chair and how good your posture is while you're there.

  • Opinion: Skylock prevents theft while letting you share your bike

    Having a bike stolen is a terrible feeling, and in the hive of scum and villainy known as the United States, it happens 1.5 million times every year. Being able to share your bike with friends while always knowing right where it is, and getting a push notification if it's been in a crash or someone is messing with your lock--that would be pretty great. That's what Skylock thinks too.

  • Opinion: Google Glass once again on sale for all U.S. residents (this time with no time limit)

    The Explorer version of Google Glass is back on sale again--and this time Google isn't limiting purchases to a strict 24-hour period like it did in April. In a Tuesday post on its Glass Google+ page, Google explained that it's "decided to move to a more open beta," inviting anyone who lives in the U.S. to join the Explorer program "as long as we have it on hand."

  • Opinion: Clippers fans look for a hand from the crowd to buy NBA team

    Thanks to crowdfunding, we've been able to back smartwatch makers, help rock legends fund the high-resolution audio player of their dreams, and even bring a long-canceled TV show to the silver screen. So why not use the deep pockets of the crowd to buy up a share of your very own sports franchise?

  • Opinion: Dropcam expands its home security platform with Dropcam Tabs

    Dropcam Pro is one of the easiest Wi-Fi cameras to set up and use--we thought it could have helped the people in the Dexter universe avoid those pesky serial killers, or maybe just assisted the cops in catching them, with its CSI-like zoom-and-enhance feature. But even the best camera can only see so much.

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