Smart Home Security Camera Deal (Today!)

We recently wrote a review of home security cameras including the Nest Cam, the Canary and some DIY options. For those interested in this, Amazon have a deal on today.

You can see the original post here: Review of Home Security Cameras: Canary, Nest Cam, iSpy, Tenvis and DIY!.

For those interested in this, Amazon have a deal on today (running out in 22 hours at the time of writing).  This isn’t like the devices we reviewed above which involve no or minimal installation.  Instead this is a multi camera system which can be placed outside too, joined together with network cables to a main recording system. The system is paired with a mobile app. Marked down to $159.99 (a saving of $110 from the list price), you get a complete 4 camera HD recording system.

Whilst this is different to the All In One, no installation systems we reviewed in our article (here), this is a good deal if you are interested in the installed security system route, or if you are looking to put cameras outside the house.

See the deal on Amazon here: Zmodo Security System with 4 HD 720P Indoor Outdoor Night Vision IP Cameras



Open Your Garage Door From The Palm Of Your Hand With Overhead Door’s New OHD Anywhere™


LEWISVILLE, Texas, Jan. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Imagine you’re at work and your babysitter accidentally locks herself and your children out of the house.  Or a stranger somehow opens the garage door of your summer home. To help you with these and many other potential situations, Overhead Door, the inventor of the upward lifting garage door, has launched its new smart device enabled garage door controller, OHD Anywhere. OHD Anywhere allows homeowners to remotely monitor, as well as change, the open/close position of a garage door from their compatible smart device, providing convenience and peace of mind to those who need to know the status of their garage door while away from home. In addition, OHD Anywhere can be especially convenient for families who wish to monitor an elderly parent’s house or a vacation home.

“The OHD Anywhere controller makes homeowners the master of their garage’s security, which for many people is the main entry to their house,” said Ali Isham, marketing director at Overhead Door. “The ability to open the garage door for a loved one or neighbor, or instantly know if there is unexpected operation of the garage door is now literally at their fingertips.”

The OHD Anywhere system uses a Wi-Fi® enabled door control module, incorporating the low-power SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3200 wireless MCU from Texas Instruments (TI)*, to safely allow a homeowner to remotely operate the garage door from virtually anywhere. If the garage door is activated from the owner’s smart device, there will be an audible and visual notification, giving those around the garage door ample warning that it is about to move. The system is UL 325 compliant and can be used in conjunction with, or in place of, the opener’s standard wall console.



Along with the Wi-Fi® control module, OHD Anywherecomes with a door position sensor that attaches to the garage door itself. The sensor relays any change in its position to the control module, allowing the homeowner to know whether the door is open or closed via a signal to their smart device. Unlike remote access systems that are built into the powerhead, OHD Anywhere offers increased security by alerting a homeowner even if the garage door is opened or closed manually after someone has disengaged the door from the opener. One sensor comes standard with the unit; additional sensors can be purchased to monitor up to three doors.

For an up-to-date list of compatible openers and smart devices in addition to a detailed list of helpful FAQs, homeowners and builders can check www.overheaddoor.com for the Home Automation Compatibility List.

*SimpleLink is a trademark of Texas Instruments Incorporated

About Overhead Door Corporation

Overhead Door Corporation, based in Dallas, Texas, is a leading manufacturer of doors and openers for residential, commercial, industrial and transportation applications. The company has five divisions: Access Systems Division (ASD), which features the Overhead Door and Wayne Dalton brands; The Genie Company, manufacturer of remote-controlled garage door opening systems; Horton Automatics, a manufacturer of automatic entrance systems; TODCO, the largest producer of truck doors for the transportation industry; and Creative Door Services, Western Canada’s leader in providing door products and services to the residential, commercial and industrial markets. Overhead Door Corporation created the original overhead garage door in 1921 and the first electric garage door opener in 1926. Overhead Door now employs more than 3,500 people, has 22 manufacturing facilities, 78 regional sales and service and installation centers and more than 5,000 distributors and dealers that service national builders, national accounts, architects, general contractors and homeowners, as well as major retailers in the U.S. and Canada. Overhead Door Corporation is a subsidiary of Sanwa Holdings Corporation of Tokyo, Japan. For additional information, visit www.overheaddoor.com, our Facebookpage, follow us on Twitter or find us on Google Plus.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160120/324335

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160120/324247LOGO

SOURCE Overhead Door Corporation
RELATED LINKS
http://www.overheaddoor.com

 

Original Press Release: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/open-your-garage-door-from-the-palm-of-your-hand-with-overhead-doors-new-ohd-anywhere-300207521.html

Owlet Baby Care Announces Android Version of Smart Baby Monitor


PROVO, Utah, Jan. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Owlet Baby Care announces today the Android-compatible version of its smart baby monitor will be released June 6. The Owlet Monitor, which uses hospital technology designed to alert parents if their baby stops breathing, also allows parents to view live vitals via a simple app on their smartphone, which has only been available on iOS since the product’s launch last year.

“The release of Android compatibility will enable even more parents to use the Owlet Monitor, empowering them with hospital technology made appropriate for the home,” said Zack Bomsta, CTO and co-founder of Owlet. “The feedback and stories we have already heard from parents using the Owlet Monitor with its current iOS companion app has been incredible. More than a dozen families have shared stories of being alerted by the monitor when their babies stopped breathing, allowing them to intervene.”

Owlet will run a private beta test period on the Android version prior to the public release. More information can be found at OwletCare.com/Android.


Owlet has miniaturized hospital technology—pulse oximetry—into a baby sock, the Owlet Smart Sock, that connects via bluetooth low energy to a Base Station, designed to alert you if your baby stops breathing. The Base Station connects via Wi-Fi, and sends vitals data to your smartphone so parents can monitor from down the hall, across town or around the world.

The Owlet Monitor currently sells for $249.99 on OwletCare.com.

About Owlet Baby Care

Owlet Baby Care, Inc. was founded in 2013 by a team of passionate parents who wanted to bring themselves—and other parents around the globe—peace of mind and assurance by developing a monitor that tracks a baby’s breathing and heart rate. Using pulse oximetry, the same technology used in hospitals, the Owlet Smart Sock is designed to send alerts to the Base Station and via Wi-Fi to a smartphone, if a baby were to stop breathing while sleeping. See the device in action by watching this video or visitingOwletCare.com.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160120/324438

SOURCE Owlet Baby Care

RELATED LINKS
http://www.OwletCare.com

Original Article: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/owlet-baby-care-announces-android-version-of-smart-baby-monitor-300207661.html

Answered: How do I extend the range of my home wifi?

Gone are the days when we plugged all our devices into a wired network to access the internet at home. In fact, many smart devices that you buy today don’t even have a network socket so you have to connect over wifi. However, what if the wifi doesn’t extend over your whole house? Maybe your house is rather tall, so the top floors or basement don’t get coverage? Or maybe it is a rather wide bungalow so the ends don’t have coverage? In this article we run through your three options for extending wifi across you whole house. We’ll also provide direct links to the products so that you don’t need to go hunting for them.

I can’t be bothered to read the whole article, please summarize!

The best option for most is to use the power network in your house as a data network which enables you to place an additional wifi access point in the dead zone that needs addressing.  This access point talks to your main router over the power cabling already in your house so there is no additional wiring.  You should buy a kit like this: Netgear Powerline 500 with Wi-Fi – Essentials Edition on Amazon .

For those that want to read on…

The equipment that your Internet provider gives you usually contains a modem (the bit that connects to the internet), a router (the bit that manages traffic on your network and talks to the router) and a wifi access point (the bit that provides the wifi signal). Now, these bits all work in tandem in one box usually, so you don’t need to worry about them being separate. However, what we want to do is get more wifi coverage, so you don’t need another modem or another router, you just need more wifi access points. The challenge is how these access points connect to your main router and hence the internet. We’ll walk through three options here: 1) rewire your home with fast ethernet cabling (extreme solution but the best), 2) add wireless repeaters (ok solution, but we’ve not had great performance) or 3) a powerline solution that turns your existing power cabling into a wired network (our recommendation).

So, in no particular order:

1. Rewire your home adding in network cable across the house. BUDGET: Depends on the local cost of labor
Performance wise, this is the best solution. Network cables are designed to carry computer communication traffic and they do this very well.

You’ll be looking to do two things:

  1. Place a wireless access point which broadcasts a wifi network in the dead spot(s) in your home. You can call this network what ever you like, but make sure you connect to it at least once on your devices so that they know it can be connected to
  2. Connect this new wifi access point to your main router with network cables. One end of the network cable plugs into the back of your router (make sure you have a spare network port) and the other end plugs into your new wifi access point

Whilst this can be done simply by buying some network cable from Amazon you’re going to want it not to look really crappy in your home. This means paying an electrician to lay the cables and place network sockets (as you probably have seen in your workplace) next to your new wifi hotspot.
On the plus side, this solution will give you excellent performance. Generally these network cables can operate at gigabit speed, which is going to be faster than pretty much all but the fastest of internet connections. If you invest in a good wifi hotspot you’ll be getting great performance.

Consider the following access point:Edimax BR-6428nS V2 300Mbps Wireless Range Extender / Access Point on Amazon

In addition you’ll need plenty of network cable, although your electrician should be able to provide this.

2. Add wireless repeaters at the edge of your wireless coverage. BUDGET: $35
This solution is completely wireless and doesn’t require adding any new cabling to your home. The idea is this: your main wifi access point that is broadcasting from your router gets to a certain distance in your home. You place a repeater, essentially a booster, inside this coverage area which in turn broadcasts another network which will extend further than the original signal. When your device connects to the repeater, the communication is then passed on to your main wifi network.

This is a good idea if you are extending your coverage just a little bit. In reality we’ve found that this tends to be quiet a flaky solution for real world use. To get any decent extension in coverage the repeater needs to be placed at the edge of the original wifi coverage area, this means it already is receiving quite a poor signal.

It is significantly cheaper than option 1, but unless there is some reason that holds you back from option 3 using powerline devices, there’s no really compelling reason to go with this option. If you are going to, then check out the following Netgear device:

Netgeart WiFi Extender Essentials on Amazon

 

3. Use a powerline device and a wifi access point. BUDGET sub $60:
This one requires a bit of an explanation. In essence you are doing option 1 (placing a wifi access point in the dead zone(s) and connecting it to your router with a wire) however, instead of placing network cable across your home you use a pair of devices that send the data signal over your home’s existing power network. There’s no need to add any extra wiring to your home.

The devices you need to get plug in to your power sockets and allow you to plug a network cable into them. You need to buy them in pairs, so that you plug one into the mains near your router (and connect a network cable from your router to the powerline device) and then you plug the other device into the mains next to your new wifi access point and connect the network cable from the access point to the powerline device. In this manner your new wifi access point is connected to your router over the power network in your house.

You’ll find that some devices put the wifi access point and powerline device into one unit in one of the pair so that you don’t need to have a separate access point (we’d recommend this option unless you have a good reason to keep the wifi access point separate from the powerline device).

Now, the speed you get will not be the same as running dedicated network cable around your home. It will also be influenced by the quality of wiring in your home. Most devices nowadays conform to the HomePlugAV500 specification – which in theory can transmit data across your powerline at 500mb / sec (you will see some devices which conform to the AV2 specification introduction in 2012, however there aren’t that many of them out there). In reality the speed you will achieve will be much lower, however even if you only get a 100mb transmit rate, this is likely still faster than your web connection and good for most use cases.

One thing to look out for on the devices is whether they allow you to plug other mains powered devices into them (known as passing through the power). This can be handy if you are short of mains sockets, but not essential.

We’d recommend a pair of devices such as these Netgear ones, they are completely plug and play (meaning no configuration) and one of the pair has a wifi hotspot included in it (no extra plugging in):

Netgear Powerline 500 with Wi-Fi – Essentials Edition on Amazon

 


HomeKit enabled iDevices announce tighter home integration

iDevices are one of the leading suppliers of HomeKit enabled smart home devices and today they are announcing gear that offers tighter integration into your home.

The Verge reports that iDevices announced that they will make switches, sockets and dimmers that integrate directly into your home by sitting in the wall… You know… Like normal switches do.

This means that those who want smart tech don’t have to leave lights and sockets permanently switched on (causing conflict between the switches and the smart tech) or feel like you’ve retro fitted something to your house.

Light switches work like light switch should, but they’re also smart inline with iDevices’ usual smart home gear.

This is also the first time this has come to a HomeKit enabled system.

You can see some of iDevices’ existing kit on Amazon :

The full article by The Verge can be found here:

http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/5/10706816/apple-homekit-light-switch-power-outlet-idevices-ces-2016