zControl from Actiontec


I had a chance to meet with the nice people from Actiontec, who showed me their latest device, the zControl.

The zControl is a “home management system” that allows you to control devices in your home such as the lights, powered shades, garage doors, even your thermostat!

Actiontec showed me the menu, and it is a control panel that allows you click your devices on and off. Not only that, there were settings that can do an all-off, all-on, or whatever you wish. For example, if you want the lights dimmed for a more romantic or relaxed setting, just set it up and click it into being.

Not only can you control your home devices from your computer, but you can control them from any computer. All you need is an Internet connection, and you can even monitor your home via (non-included) IP cameras. In fact, I am told that you can even use your cell phone as a controller. That will come in handy when you get home, and turn your lights on with your cell.

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TeleMax III combines remote and phone

telemax-iii.jpgThe TeleMax III device combines the idea of a universal TV remote control and a hands free phone that targets living rooms in homes all over the world. The final product would come in a sleek, compact, and easy to use package, featuring a virtually unbreakable body (which works great especially in homes that have little kids who seem to have a penchant of destroying just about every single fragile item in your house) that is tough against accidental spills as well. The TeleMax III is shaped like a small tray, complete with handles on both sides that give you an easy grip as you go about pressing all the individual buttons contained on it. Your comfort is not compromised as it was designed to be ergonomic in nature.

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Husqvarna beats iRobot to the Lawn


It just seemed a given that with the Roomba, the Scooba, and the Dirt Dog, iRobot would eventually come out with a robotic lawn mower. And they still might, but they won’t be first.

That singular distinction goes to the Husqvarna Automower which can mow in a random patter and is corralled by a perimeter wire to keep it mowing your lawn and not your neighbor’s. Capable of mowing up to half an acre at a stretch, it’s large wheels allow the Automower to run on uneven lawns and handle inclines of up to approximately 35%. Built in bump sensors also allow it to move around trees, rose bushes, and anything else cluttering up the yard. What’s cool is that the clippings are mulched and reintroduced into the lawn to help keep it healthy.

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