Program the Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat from your a computer or smartphone. (Honeywell)
Apps abound for new home products.
With the ever-increasing technology of today’s home products, a member of my staff has been attending the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held annually in Las Vegas, for the past few years to discover new products for your home.
The highlight of this year’s show was that virtually every home-product exhibitor now features products that can be controlled by an app for a smartphone or tablet device. Here are some of the more interesting and useful home app products at the 2014 CES:
Honeywell (www.honeywell.com) was highlighting its Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat that allows you to program your thermostat from your computer, tablet and smartphone. This smart thermostat even learns your heating and cooling cycle times, and sends extreme temperature alerts and filter change reminders to your connected network devices.
Did you close the garage door when you left the house? Chamberlain (www.chamberlain.com) introduced its MyQ Garage Door Controller, which allows you to monitor and control both garage door and house lights with your Android or Apple smartphones or tablets. It will also send alerts to your phone if the garage door opens when you aren’t home or if you forgot to close it.
And if that forgetfulness extends beyond closing the garage door, the Okidokeys (www.okidokeys.com) allow you to lock and unlock home doors, garage doors or gates with any smartphone, cellphone and secure smart key. It features an easy-to-install system using existing deadbolt and keys.
Another way to control your door locks via smartphone technology is with the new SimpliciKey Remote Control Electronic Deadbolt (www.simplicikey.com). With SimpliciKey’s KeyCloud technology, you can use an Apple or Android device to do everything from assigning specific key codes for family members, locking or unlocking doors and even turn your lights on or off.
For a broader smart-home system, the Iris Home Management System exclusively available from Lowes (www.lowes.com) uses a cloud platform and a combination of wireless sensors to enable you to control your thermostat, lighting, door locks, alarm system and security cameras from a smartphone or computer. It also now comes with voice control to make using it with your smartphone even easier.
Even answering the doorbell has gone high-tech these days. DoorBot (www.doorbot.com) was highlighting its Wi-Fi enabled video doorbell system that allows you to see and talk with visitors through your Android or Apple smartphones or tablet devices. SkyBell (www.skybell.com) was touting its version of a video doorbell that also allows you to see who is at your door from a smartphone. When a visitor presses the button, SkyBell sends you an alert and allows you to see, hear and speak to your visitor from both Apple and Android devices.
I am a big proponent of infrared thermal imaging to help detect problems such as heat gain or loss and water leakage in your home.
One company that is at the forefront of this technology, Flir (www.flir.com), was highlighting its new Flir One consumer thermal imaging system that attaches to an Apple iPhone 5 or 5s and displays a live thermal image on the phone’s screen.
For those considering a heated floor in the bathroom or other room in the house, Nuheat (www.nuheat.com) can help you control the heating settings via an Android or Apple smartphone with its Nuheat Signature Wi-Fi floor heating thermostat. It can be installed under tile, stone, marble, laminate or engineered wood floors, and enables you to remotely change the floor temperature or heating schedule and view your energy usage.
Sonte (www.sonte.com) was showing off its digital window shade (or smart film) technology that allows the color of the film to go from transparent to nontransparent, giving you the option for privacy on demand using your iPhone, iPad or Android devices.
If you would like to suggest a question for this column, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to talk to Glenn Haege personally, call his “Handyman Show” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536 between noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The “Handyman Show” can be heard on more than 130 radio stations.