remote control

Sonos pulls multiroom to the fore in v5.3 update

Sonos pulls multiroom to the fore in v5.3 update

Streaming multiroom audio favorite Sonos has updated its platform, making controlling several rooms of playback more straightforward, and boosting appeal on tablets. Sonos Software version 5.3, currently available to beta testers before it goes live for all users, builds on the updated Sonos controller app that the company tweaked last year - adding multiple streaming account support, among other things - bringing control over each playback zone further to the fore, as well as individual playback options for the current track, including turning the system into more of a DJ experience.

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Qmote gives users one-click smartphone control

Qmote gives users one-click smartphone control

Qblinks has introduced its new Qmote, a small remote control with a single button and multiple functions, depending on what the user wants to use it for. Smartphone control is performed using click patterns, which are pre-defined for certain actions like making your phone alert when you can't find it or turning on the rear light. This usefulness grows when one is using a home automation system, allowing different click patterns to be set for triggering different smart appliances like lights.

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Ford might just move the driver, not go driverless

Ford might just move the driver, not go driverless

Ford's new Palo Alto research center may have driverless cars on the menu, but technology shifting the human driver from the car to across the country might be closer to primetime if engineers have their way. Virtual valets and remotely-piloted car sharing schemes could take advantage of increasingly electrified cars and faster LTE networks, Ford's Mike Tinskey explained to me, with a controller potentially thousands of miles away taking the wheel when a local driver isn't available or practical. Right now, that means going on a joyride in an Atlanta parking lot, when you're actually sat at a Logitech gaming wheel in California.

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Philips hue heats up to fight smart bulb tide: Interview

Philips hue heats up to fight smart bulb tide: Interview

You could hardly walk five paces through the halls at CES 2015 without stumbling over a wireless light bulb. Connected lighting seems determined to be the point of entry to domestic home automation, and there are plenty - startups and larger - hoping to corner the market. Ironically, then, the company which arguably created the market, Philips, had decamped to a nearby hotel, outfitting a suite with a full array of hue bulbs and lamps. I stopped by to get a demo of the newest 12 Monkeys hue light-soundtrack support, as well as to find out what's coming up next as the smart home accelerates.

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Misfit Bolt hands-on – Wakey wakey, rise and Shine

Misfit Bolt hands-on – Wakey wakey, rise and Shine

Does the world need another connected lightbulb? Misfit believes the answer is yes, and it's taking advantage of its existing place on people's wrists to give its Bolt bulb an edge. Launched at CES this week, the color-changing LED light is quite content to do the usual hue-like switching of tones between different presets; however, it can also wirelessly connect to Misfit's Shine and Flash wearables, along with the Beddit sleep monitor, and tie lighting effects into your sleep patterns.

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This tiny button could solve the IoT’s big headache

This tiny button could solve the IoT’s big headache

Controlling your digital life from your smartphone, or even by voice, is great, but there are times when it'd be a whole lot more convenient to reach out and stab a physical button. That's the idea behind Flic, crowdfunding success from late last year, and here at CES to show off what you can do with a tiny stick-on button, long-lasting battery, and a few simple conditional rules. Flic's primary target is smartphone users looking to gain swifter access to a couple of key features, but as I played with the rubber-coated key I realized it comes surprisingly close to the perfect IoT control.

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Smarter’s WiFi Coffee Maker adds caffeine to IoT

Smarter’s WiFi Coffee Maker adds caffeine to IoT

A coffee machine with built-in WiFi and its own app may not be the weirdest connected gadget CES 2015 has for us, but it could be one of the most useful. Smarter's simply titled WiFi Coffee Machine does exactly what it says on the box, a grind-on-demand drip brewer that can not only be instructed to start the process on a regular timer, but at the touch of a button in the companion iOS and Android app, or even using geofencing. Walking through the front door to a fresh pot of Joe is the future, Smarter explained to me when I checked out the kitchen gadget at the show.

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Elgato Avea Bluetooth LED Bulb Review

Elgato Avea Bluetooth LED Bulb Review

The democratization of the smart home continues, and nowhere is it more visible than in color-changing wireless light bulbs like Elgato's Avea. Pairing Bluetooth Smart with multi-color LEDs and a simple iPhone and iPad app to command them all from across the home, Avea isn't the first such bulb to the market, but with a street price of around $39.95 it's certainly one of the more affordable options. Beyond questions of whether remotely-controlled bulbs are actually necessary, then, has Elgato made a hue-killer or just another flash in the pan? Read on for my full review.

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Jawbone and Big Ass Fans hook up in your bedroom

Jawbone and Big Ass Fans hook up in your bedroom

Finding natural bed partners for wearables and the internet-of-things isn't always easy, but Jawbone and Big Ass Fans are hoping that the promise of a better night's sleep will be tempt us to link our wrists to our ventilation. Set to show up in a firmware update come February next year, the new feature will see enabling sleep mode on a Jawbone UP wearable or in the company's app automatically put the Big Ass Fan into sleep mode too, intelligently adjusting blade speed and lighting over the course of the night so as to maintain things like room temperature.

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Belkin WeMo adds heaters & purifier to smart home

Belkin WeMo adds heaters & purifier to smart home

Belkin's WeMo smart home platform is getting new devices to control, with Holmes throwing an air purifier and a pair of room heaters into the mix of phone-connected gadgets. The Smart Air Purifier is, outwardly at least, a regular HEPA filtering purifier, but thanks to an integrated WiFi connection it can be remotely monitored and controlled from Belkin's WeMo app. From there, not only can it be powered on and off - even if you're not home, current quality ratings can be read and schedules set.

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