Smart Home

Did you know a smart bed can help you with your fitness goals?

A smart bed? Geez. It seems ridiculous that the adjective ‘smart’ is being attached to every object that we see around us. One may think that a smart bed, like most of them, is just another gimmick for a company to get consumers to pay for stuff that they don’t need. Think again.

As someone who regularly works out and does a lot of strength training, I constantly have problems sleeping in the right posture. I wake up with a stiff neck or back. Sometimes I have stiffness even in my abdominals depending on whether or not I have worked out that body part the previous day. I’m sure many of you have similar problems. The good thing with a smart mattress is that it is able to move with your body posture constantly to ensure that you sleep right.

A vital feature that is relevant is the smart cover. This is basically a layer that can be connected to an app in your smartphone and allows you to adjust the temperature. Most top brands in this category like Jupiter+and ReST include this feature. The app does more than temperature adjustment. It also provides a report on your sleep time, comfort and recommendation tips.

Why is this important? If you are knowledgeable about fitness, you know that there are three things that influence it – food, exercise and sleep. We can monitor our diet and exercises with ease. Sleep is normally the one part that we are unable to monitor. Till now, that is.

I hope this article convinces you that smart mattresses are not just a luxury purchase. If you are in a profession where it is vital to be aware of your sleep information, say like an athlete, I would definitely recommend you to check out the various products available in this category.

These miniature IoT sensors can be great for your smart home

If you remember your high school physics, you would recall something called Moore’s Law. Apparently Moore knew what he was talking about. Today we live in a world where gadgets are getting smaller. This increasing miniaturization has led to the hip terminology – IoT – that every toddler on the street knows today. Such IoT devices have successfully penetrated the smart home domain.

IoT sensors like thermostat sensors, energy monitors, moisture detectors can be made extremely small. One such product is Sensorpush’s humidity sensor. It has a 100m line of sight and keeps you updated even from a distance. The sensor can be paired with your phone with no difficulties. And best of all, it is priced below $50 per unit. It is affordable and practical for the small house-owner.

Bosch’s uRADMonitor is a portable environment monitor which detects dust, pollutants etc. It is ideal if you live in an apartment or a congested part of the city. The device fits in your palm and like Sensorpush’s humidity sensor, can be installed with no fuss. You can even maximize the value of the sensor by using it in your car.

Ubiqweus is further pushing miniaturization to its limits with its QBiq sensor series. QBiq is exactly as it sounds. These are one-inch cubes that can perform multiple functions including light intensity and motion detection, once attached to an object. From what we have seen, Ubiqweus is following a different approach by designing its sensors to be diverse and multi-purpose as opposed to a product tailored to one single use-case.

These are some among many great sensors that are being rolled into the market. The idea behind these sensors is to make them affordable, portable and convenient. You may have three rooms in your house, but all you need is one sensor that can be attached to or detached from any object as and when desired.

3 lessons from Nest when installing a smart home surveillance system

Humans are creatures wired towards maximizing their safety and security. Surveillance systems and methods have been used by us for millenniums. With the ever increasing pace of technology adoption, a home surveillance system is available today for the price of a leather jacket. With so many options out there and consumers weighing the price-feature balance, we look at the innovators, such as Nest, to understand the key requirements such a system.

Simplicity

At the end of the day, we have to admit that a surveillance system is purely judged on its functionality, not on its aesthetics. If you and your family are not tech-oriented, as most of us are, a system that is easy to set up and use is key. Nest’s Aware, its monitoring app, can be simply installed on your iPhone or Android phone, and is designed to be used by a dummy.

Compatibility

In an age where software rules, compatibility between different gadgets is vital. If you are a home owner who wants a fool-proof surveillance system with smart alarms, temperature sensors, fail-safe locks etc., you need a single provider in order to minimize your support and maintenance costs. Nest recognized this, and has released 8 different products over the last few years that can be controlled with a single user interface.

Continuous improvement

The life span of a product today is very short. Improvements and upgrades happen at least once a year – case in point, an iPhone. Improvements depend on data availability and usage. The more data your software is able to collect, the more it can learn from that data and the lesser its risk of failing. Fortunately for Nest, data storage and analysis isn’t really an issue as it is owned by a company that holds the single largest data repository in the planet.

These three factors are essential for a home surveillance system and should be kept in mind for your decision making process. Check out Nest’s website for understanding other key product requirements.