Faceless sensors and tiny routers needed for the internet of things

Connecting sensors as well as connected devices to build an Internet of things-style service isn’t easy. But new products from vendors that range from Texas Instruments to ThingsSquared and Mobiplug make it easier for product vendors and consumers to build internets of things.

Would Apple want to run your whole living room?

A WSJ report indicates Apple, Google and Microsoft are having acquisition talks with a small home automation company. The talks may not go anywhere. But that this company is interesting to these major players shows how crucial the battle for the living room is becoming.

Say hello to the next home automation standard: Wi-Fi

Choosing a home automation network standard can be a hassle. It’s too bad there isn’t a ubiquitous network standard to use in plug-and-play modules. Oh wait: what about Wi-Fi? Belkin’s new WeMo products use Wi-Fi, which may help move home automation from geeks to the mainstream.

Slingbox Founder Makes Homes Smarter with Android

Slingbox founder, Blake Kirkorian has a knack for turning hobbies into products. His latest, called R2, is an Android application that interfaces with Crestron home automation systems, turning a handset or tablet into a remote control that can tap the system from anywhere in the world.

How-To: Automate Your Home with Indigo

Here at TheAppleBlog, there’s been plenty of instruction and discussion about using Smart Folders, Playlists, Albums and so on, as well as Automator and Folder Actions and other products like Hazel — all of which serve to make your Mac work a little harder to simplify your life a bit.

Hopefully we’ve led many of you in the right direction in using these great bits of technology. If you’re willing to follow us down the rabbit hole again, I’d love to show you how to use your Mac and a product called Indigo to start making your home work for you as well. It’s home automation time! Read More about How-To: Automate Your Home with Indigo

7 for 7: Home Controls on the Apple Tablet

This is the sixth in a series of 7 posts in the 7 days prior to Apple’s January 27 media event in which I explore various possibilities for an Apple Tablet and other potential announcements.

The unlikeliest of all the features I’m hoping for in an Apple Tablet–home controls–made it to the penultimate post in the 7 for 7 series (tomorrow’s article will be a recap and will address some broader concepts about Apple’s mobile strategy). Unlikeliest? I’ve seen very little in the way of rumors or speculation that Apple is intending to include support for home controls in the iSlate, iPad, Canvas or you-name-it tablet device now widely expected to be unveiled on Wednesday. Yet its one of those out-of-the-blue kinds of things that would allow Apple to both surprise analysts and pundits alike, and to totally disrupt the current home controls market while opening it to the masses. So allow me to dream for a day before the reality of Wednesday’s announcement brings me back to earth.

First off, we should probably define home controls, which is also known as home automation. Home controls is the automation of many household appliances and services, such as lighting, temperature, audio-video, and security, among other systems. These systems are integrated into one central control unit, which can then be accessed by multiple devices on the network. Home controls give residents the ability to turn lights on and off, increase or decrease your thermostat’s temperature control, or select options on your home entertainment center. Read More about 7 for 7: Home Controls on the Apple Tablet