The newest in the lineup of speakers from Sonos is the wireless Play:5. These speakers crank mids and lows via three mid-woofers with six synchronized, custom-designed drivers, while another three tweeters handle the highs. Promising a wide soundstage, the Play:5 can be used alone in a horizontal orientation or can be paired to produce true stereo sound.
Available in matte white and black, the Play:5 will be one of the first Sonos speakers to feature a new speaker-tuning software called Trueplay. This allows you to tweak the sound based on your room and whatever is in it.
Trueplay uses the Sonos app, the microphone on an iPhone or iPad, and a special tone emitted by your Sonos speakers. The app analyzes how the sound reflects off walls, furniture, glass, and other surfaces—and adjusts the sound of the speakers accordingly.
The Play:5 also boasts better wireless performance and new touch controls for flipping through tracks, as well as playing, pausing, and cranking up (or down) the volume. And like all Sonos speakers, the Play:5 will work with other speakers in the company’s lineup.
In addition to the Play:5, Trueplay will be also be available on Play:1 and Play:3 Sonos speakers, as well as iOS controllers. The company plans to add it to other Sonos speakers in the near future.
Nyrius Smart LED Light Bulbs
A few months ago, Nyrius introduced a Smart Outlet that uses wireless Bluetooth technology. Now, the company has another bright idea: Smart LED Light Bulbs. Like the Smart Outlet, Nyrius Smart LED Light Bulbs use Bluetooth 4.0 technology. This means you can control the bulbs wirelessly, but only bulbs in the same room as you.
Designed to screw into most existing light sockets, a bulb can be paired with any smartphone or tablet in seconds via Bluetooth. However, Nyrius also has iOS and Android apps, so you can tweak color options, set daily lighting schedules, sync bulbs with music, set the lights to deliver a wake-up call, and much more. The app can even group up to eight Nyrius Smart LED Light Bulbs so you can control multiple lights with one click. There’s even an option to have the lights flash green when there’s an incoming phone call.
Being able to set schedules doesn’t just mean that you’ll never have to walk into a dark house. It can also save you a few bucks on your energy bill, if you have someone at home who is constantly leaving the lights on. Also, scheduling lights to go on and off at certain times of the day can deter theft, because it always looks as if someone is home—even when you’re out of town.
MSRP: $39.99 each
Lennox Wi-Fi Thermostat
If you love your tablet, the Lennox iComfort S30 may be the perfect smart thermostat for you. This Wi-Fi thermostat looks a lot like a tablet, combining temperature tweaks with a beautiful, big screen that displays all sorts of things, including the current temperature of the house, as well as your local 7-day weather forecast. It even has animated screensavers that are designed to match outdoor conditions.
Besides looking pretty, the iComfort S30 is a smart thermostat, so it should be able to save you a few bucks on your monthly bills. For instance, it has a Smart Away mode that can detect when you’re home or away, based on the GPS on your smartphone. If the iComfort S30 senses you’re away, it will go into an energy-saving mode and flip back to your favorite set temperature when you’re almost home.
It even has a Feels Like temperature setting that takes indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity into account to make the home feel its most comfortable. In other words, you can set the desired temperature to 72 degrees and the iComfort S30 will make it feel like that year-round.
Of course, because this is a Wi-Fi thermostat, you can monitor and adjust temperature settings from inside or outside the house via most iOS and Android devices. Other features include scheduling, pollen and air quality monitoring, moisture control, diagnostics to predict potential problems, and a 7-inch high-definition color touchscreen.
MSRP: Contact a Lennox dealer
Genie Smart Garage Door Opener
Instead of worrying about whether or not you left the garage door opened for unwelcome guests, Genie wants to make all of your high-tech wishes come true with the new Aladdin Connect. Designed for smart houses in need of smart garages, the Aladdin Connect allows you to check the status of the garage door from anywhere in the world. Even better, it can provide access to that door so you can open or close it from almost any smart device.
This garage door controller features a Wi-Fi-enabled control module with the SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3200 wireless MCU from Texas Instruments (TI). It can be used with or in place of the opener’s standard wall console. In addition to the door control module, the setup includes a door position sensor that attaches to the garage door. The sensor can detect the position of the door and relay that message to the module.
The Genie Aladdin Connect, which works with a wide range of garage door openers, comes with one sensor, but you can purchase additional sensors to monitor up to three doors.
In addition to audible and visual notifications, the UL 325-compliant system can deliver alerts when there’s a change in the garage door’s status. Genie plans to add a scheduling option in the near future.
Apple Siri Voice Control for New Apple TV
As if you needed another reason to yell at the TV—Siri is going to be part of the new Apple TV.
The all-new Apple TV will include all of the apps you enjoyed on the old Apple TV. However, the new model allows you to navigate through those selections by using your voice and the Siri Remote. This system uses Apple’s popular voice assistant to search TV shows and movies across iTunes and popular apps, by title, genre, cast, crew, rating, or popularity. All you have to say is “Show me Game of Thrones” or “Find me movies with Brad Pitt.” Siri can even put sports, stock, and weather information right on the screen.
In addition to the voice capabilities, the remote includes a glass touch surface, a built-in accelerometer, and a gyroscope, so you can select, scroll, and navigate through content with ease. The compact set-top box also features the new tvOS operating system, which is based on Apple’s iOS. Most likely, this means that at some point, we should expect to see tons of new apps and games specifically designed for the Apple TV. Each one of those will be available through the new Apple TV App Store.
Other features include the new Apple-designed A8 chip, Metal technology for more detailed graphics, and a new Game Center.
MSRP: $149 for 32GB model; $199 for 64GB model
Kwikset Smart Z-Wave-Enabled Door Locks
Looking to add a little extra security to your front door? Consider something like a deadbolt. Of course, you may not want to add another key to that already crowded pocket. Thankfully, Kwikset just started shipping its Signature Series smart locks.
The Signature Series is a new lineup of deadbolt locks embedded with Home Connect technology. This enables you to access and control these smart locks via Z-Wave communications from almost anywhere by using a smartphone or tablet.
Just know that to use the Z-Wave and other high-tech perks, you will need to pair this lock with a third-party Z-Wave hub or controller. This connection will also allow you to sync the lock with other smart devices in the home. Once connected, you can check in on the door status and even receive alerts via email or text.
Other features include SmartKey re-key technology so you can re-key the lock without having to remove it from the door, BumpGuard technology to prevent lock bumping, and full 128-bit encryption security.
The Signature Series smart locks are also easy to install. Designed to replace existing door hardware, all you need is a screwdriver and four AA batteries. No wiring is required and the batteries should last for about one year.
The locks are available in a traditional round style and a contemporary square model in brass (traditional only), nickel, and bronze finishes.
MSRP: Starting at $149