This pillow is sleep-inducing music to your ears [Review]

By

Dreampad is a pillow that joins forces with your iPhones to help you sleep.
Dreampad is a pillow that joins forces with your iPhones to help you sleep.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

A good night’s sleep could start with a good pillow. But the part of our bed designed to rest our head doesn’t do anything to shut it off.

But what if it could?

The Dreampad along with an iPhone app promises to do just that. The firm and fluffy pillow uses a patented technology that delivers relaxing music through the pillow that can be heard only by you and not the sleeper next to you.

Harvard and MIT teamed up for this open-source online education platform

By

Education is easy with EDX's learning platform.
Education is easy with EDX's learning platform.
Photo: EDX

Why you can’t trust ‘lifetime guarantees’ on the Internet of Things

By

why-you-cant-trust-lifetime-guarantees-on-the-internet-of-things-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads2016042981086612_84b3902cc2_o-jpg
The looming shutdown of Revolv has some home-automation fans questioning the Internet of Things.
Photo: Andrew Stawarz/Flickr CC

Revolv smart hubs will no longer be supported as of May 15. Even though subscribers have known this was coming since February, there wasn’t a lot of attention until an author’s highly critical piece was published on Medium.

That story has spurred conversations questioning investment in the Internet of Things, or IoT, and prompted Nest to consider compensating users who were early investors in the Revolv hub.

Smartplug’s Hue integration is no substitute for Siri [Reviews]

By

Zuli smartplug smartplugs
The Zuli smartplug and its app have some cool features, but it can't make your living room blue.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Zuli Smartplug Presence 3-Pack

The Zuli smartplug has been out since September, but starting today, it’s gained some cool new functionality: You can now use its companion app to control Philips Hue smartbulbs.

This joins the device’s existing features like Presence, which turns on lights and adjusts the thermostat as soon as you enter a room, and schedules and tracks power usage of connected devices through the app. But if you have Hue devices and don’t already own Zuli, is its new superpower enough to justify the purchase?

Probably not, honestly. But it has enough going on that you might want to check it out, anyway.

Smart gadgets are getting their own Wi-Fi standard in 2018

By

smart-gadgets-are-getting-their-own-wi-fi-standard-in-2018-3-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201409150272362_95f26266a2_b-jpg
A new type of Wi-Fi is on the way.
Photo: Ming Xia/Flickr

With CES, aka the world’s biggest consumer electronics show, coming up this week, we’re about to hear a whole lot more about the Internet of Things and smart, connected gadgets.

Which makes this the perfect time for the announcement of a new type of Wi-Fi called Wi-Fi HaLow, which is an extension of the upcoming 802.11ah Wi-Fi standard, designed to end up inside fitness trackers, home sensors and other smart gadgets.

Siri technology is coming soon to more apps, fridges and even robots

By

Command your robot to find your cat with just your voice.
Command your robot to find your cat with just your voice.
Photo: Nuance

Your smart life is about to get even smarter with a new set of software development tools that will let coders include world-class speech recognition and natural language processing — the same stuff that powers Siri, Apple’s personal digital assistant — to thermostats, refrigerators, apps and, yes, even robots.

The folks at Nuance have created a new system, currently in beta, to allow any company to include code with language commands that are specific to their hardware or apps. It’s called Nuance Mix, and anyone can sign in and create their own speech-recognition code to work with their apps or connected devices.

“Any developer, big or small, can come in and define a custom set of use cases,” Nuance’s Kenn Harper told Cult of Mac during a demo of the SDK. “You’re going to start talking to everything at home and work — speech is about to get more ubiquitous.”

Budget-friendly smartbulb wants everyone to have cool lights

By

Qube Smartbulb
The Qube Smartbulb is taking on more expensive lighting like Philips Hue.
Photo: Qube

I love my Philips Hue smart-lighting kit, but every time I’ve just randomly turned my living-room lights different colors in front of another person, they’ve asked the same question:

“How much did you pay for this?”

And then I just kind of mumble something because while the system has added convenience and versatility to my apartment, I’m still not super comfortable admitting that I plan on paying $60 for a light bulb. Instead, I just say, “It was for work,” and leave it.

But Qube, a new smart-lighting system that launches in April, wants to avoid that kind of awkwardness with bulbs that cost way less than its competitors but offer just as many opportunities for just the weirdest ambience you can design.

Beddi is an alarm clock that’s more like having your own butler

By

The Beddi smart alarm clock has a host of functions. Waking you from sleep is just a start.
The Beddi smart alarm clock has a host of functions. Waking you from sleep is just a start.
Photo: Witti

You may have broke your last alarm clock swiping it off your nightstand as you tried to make it stop doing that one thing it’s supposed to do – get your ass out of bed.

In its place comes Beddi, the clock that teams up with your iPhone to wake you, get the coffee started and even hail you an Uber ride. Dock your phone at night for charging, enjoy some pillow talk with Siri, activate a mood light and fall asleep to white noise.

Fancy new smart lock can see who’s at your door

By

nucli smart lock by westinghouse
The Nucli smart lock by Westinghouse.
Photo: Westinghouse

Electrics giant Westinghouse is getting into the connected-home game, and its first offering is a smart lock that looks like it should be seeing if it can’t lock down a stabilizer in a Star Wars X-Wing.

The Nucli (which is pronounced “new-klee” and not “nuck-lee,” regardless of how your brain sees it) will offer a wealth of features to help you secure your domain.

Apple’s the No. 1 IoT company, despite not making any devices

By

Sorry Tony Fadell. Better turn up the temperature if you want to win customers!
Apple's rivals better turn up the temperature to compete with Apple.
Photo: Nest

Google may have poured billions into buying smart thermostat maker Nest Labs, but according to a new piece of consumer research, Apple’s the company most people think of when it comes to Internet of Things devices.

Conducted by ThroughTek, a leading Machine-to-Machine (M2M) solutions provider, almost half of consumers (48 percent) aware of IoT devices on the market are said to be familiar with Apple’s devices in the category, while just 22 percent know Samsung’s, 15 percent know Amazon’s, and 13 percent know Google’s.

Despite, you know, the fact that Apple’s not really an Internet of Things company at all!