Live Life a Little Greener


Microsoft Home Automation = Windows 8.1= Insteon Home Automation 

Microsoft an industry leader in home software is partnering up with Insteon another home automation protocol standards to come into your home. it is refreshing to see a tamed down version of Microsoft, a more humbler approach to entering a new market. The old Microsoft used to be more aggressive when it came to new territory or new market . The usual approach is to throw its weight around of being a giant and innovate new standards and new rules of operation. That aggressive style though worked on a few products like the Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer and such did not fair so well on others when it came to rivaling iTunes, Microsoft Connect, Windows media file format as opposed to JPEG for instance.

The newer management under Satya Nadella seems more inclusive and collaborative when it comes to entering new territory. The philosophy seems to be “If you cant fight em, join em” , that said it is a good move to partner with Insteon among other standards like x10, ZigBee, HAL and others. Insteon is becoming the standards for home automation and picking a protocol for home automation by Microsoft looks good for Insteon. The consumers also need a reason to switch to windows 8.1 from Windows7 and Microsoft thinks home automation is the next big thing to get into to convince its uses to get windows 8.1 .
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Home automation is still in its infant stage and still not something an average consumer can pick one without having to do a lot of research. It still requires a lot of understanding and like any new technology there is a learning curve that is steep for an average consumer. Microsoft is trying to change that by partnering with Insteon. True to its origin Microsoft is once again trying to provide solution to the 90% of the population and that is only understood by 10 % as of now.


Internet of things is the name of the game 

Since Microsoft introduced the internet of thing this year and started to back it up in a big way the internet of things market is coming alive. A lot of new start ups have kick started the internet of things idea into high gear, why? Its the culmination of ideas and technology coming together in practicality. Like all major breakthrough like cell phone, internet, GPS, smartphones its time for smart homes. The necessary components to make a home smart is already in place. The hardware manufactures like LG, Samsung, GE and others are not devoted or interested in software apps to control their devices. The software developers were not working for the hardware manufacturers in the past. Now, the connecting bridge is here and it is on everyone’s pocket already, the know it all smartphones! Software developers are very adept in putting two and two together.

With the advent of apps and open source software readily available, the software developers are going to town with writing programs to control devices inside your home. For example this start up company Smart Things sells you a smart hub for $99 that any one with the knowledge to plug a cord into an AC outlet can operate, of course with their app in your smart phone. The appliance manufactures love this whole market place booming because they can sell new appliances wired just for this type of convenience. Its like how the automobile industry got a boost from adding iPhone adapters and options to integrate your phone with the car.

Internet of things is not only an idea for convenience but also a conscious living alternative. The HVAC system in your home does not have to run full throttle when you are not home. A HVAC system tied to your smart phone know when you are home and when you are not, to regulate the temperature to your comforts when needed and conserve when not. A phone tied to your home location with GPS can easily alert the home heating /cooling thermostat to kick start when you are near your home. Things just sound too cool to be true are already happening.

Watch LG smart appliances video


Safe Driving with PAPAGO P3 dashboard camera, reviewed! 

If you care about driving safe for yourself and for others, this is a great product. Here is an out of the box reason to do so, this news went viral.


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We are not sure if the trucker in this video used this dash-cam, but it just goes to show how you can empower yourself and be a good citizen out there protecting you and others. One of the main reasons to have a dashboard video recorder is to protect you in case of a dispute with a fender bender or other accidents cause by a other vehicles and not your fault. This type of recordings have come in handy in many many incidents where one driver blames the other and the videos come in to settle the disputes. Now, to the nitty-grittys of this awesome product. First it records full 1080P video at 30 frames/second on a 16GB SD card that is included in the package. The video is separated into 5 min clips for easy uploading to the cloud and when the SD card gets full the videos repeat and write on the old ones, so if you want to save a video, you must transfer it before it get over written. I would think there is a fix for it in the next firmware update.
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PAPAGO! comes with a front collision warning system, integrated GPS, a lane departure warning system, a driver fatigue alarm, an automatic dim lighting mode, and a speed camera warning system. The monitor is bigger then what we are used to in vehicle monitors but better user interaction. The touch screen option is not out yet, but rumored to be in the next generation. The buttons are not to shabby to use though. The video quality is pretty good even on low light conditions or underground parking garages. The “backup” button lets you store a clip of video you want to save but this only works when the video card is not full, needs a better method to do these backups without erasing the previous recordings. Other then that doe a price of $220 it is a great addition to your vehicle.


Microsoft, Apple and Google all in the Smart Home Automation Efforts! 

Microsoft recently announced its partnership with American Family Insurance in an effort to kick starts its venture into the Internet Of Things (IoT) where this not so futuristic idea today, that all your devices can talk to one another taking us towards an uncluttered life style. Your refrigerator tells your smart phone to remind you to get mile, eggs, vegetables, beer whatever is your way of life. Your smart phone unlocks the front door of your home for a bug spray service while you are at the park playing with your kids. Your window screens gets notification from your home control device about the temperature outside and adjusts to keep the house cooled or heated to maintain a constant 70 degree inside. This is all happening right now and all the big tech companies like, Microsoft, Google, Apple, LG, General Electric are getting in to carve a share of their pie.

With the recent Microsoft teaming up with the American Family Insurance the 8th largest insurance company in United States is a boon to the smart home industry at large. Google recently purchased NEST for a huge sum and that has outed its intentions as well, Nest makes smart digital thermostats that are capable of communication to smart phones and you can see where that will eventually progress. US Home Energy Consumption
You can see from the energy consumption pie chart above that most of our energy goes towards heating our living quarters the most. Thermostats have come a long way since its inception to be able to set for different conditions. But for the most part it is still not the most efficient method to control temperature. Our homes today do not take advantage the natural heating and cooling effects from the suns daily routine. It is much cheaper to heat your home by letting the sun into your home by opening up the blinds then doing it via an HVAC.

Smart home is just not a fancy idea that automates the things in your home to give you more free time, but a smart idea in how we consume.


Revolv Smart Home Systems For Home Automation 

Smart home automation system is trying to provide facility home, since twenty years and it has changed lots of things in these years. The market has rapidly accepted these changes. There are few automation systems in the market, which are perfect for any home. Nest, Sonos,  Philips Hue and Insteon are those brands, which has best of breed solutions and Rovolv is the only best solution, which tie them all together. I am using it in my home for two months and I like to share my experience with that device.

Whenever, anybody wants to have the smart home system, he sees three choices is available for him. Frist is going to end to end product, services and supports play like AT&T  digital life, which has the ability to change the everything for you. This kind of system is best, but also are too expensive. Another one is “worst of breed” solutions, but I am sure that no one of you, ever heard about this. Last one is best of breed solutions. This means choosing the device, which is best for saving the energy, lighting, music. Brands like, Nest, Sonos, Insteon, Philips Hue, Yale provides this kind of devices. These devices are also available at huge cost.

Here Revolv enters to solve all such kind of issues. Actually the main problem with the best breed approach is that, you also have to buy a different smart device using many different mobile apps and other systems. A mainly first problem arises with the mobile application. You have to manage many of the mobile applications for every kind of smart device.  Eery brand like Nest, Sonos, Insteon provide apps to controlling, room climate, music, home lighting etc. Using so many applications for each and very device is very difficult for me and my family also feels frustrated because of this.

What is Revolv, it is the one application, which  control all the devices of my home, office from Sonos, Nest and all other brands.

Revolv Home Automation

When it comes to other hardware devices, I use Sonos bridge, WiFi router, Insteon Hub and Z-Wave hub. Revolv is helping me here also. It removes the use of Z wave hub and Insteon hub and I have also heard that, it will also remove the use of Sonos bridge. In my family, we don’t like cords and cables in my house. Revolv helps to do so.

Revolv helps me to control all the smart devices individually and it also allows me to control them together. For example, if I am not on my home and far way from it, I can even switch on the lights and set the specific temperature in my room. It is the best device ever for my home. All my family is satisfied with this product.

You have to pay huge amount for best breed solutions, but Revolv is available in the market at very cheap prices of @299. Isn’t this cheap. When I didn’t have this device, I had to pay lots of money for every device like for Z wave hub, for Insteon hub and even monthly charges for Nexia services. But Revolv now, save all my money.

Having a home automation system in home is an adventure, but Revolv is much better than that. Maily when it comes to my family. I don’t like that my family face any kind of problem. Now Revolv controls 28 different lights, motion detectors, sound system, room climate and many other devices, which are from Nest, Sonos, Yale, Phillips, Kwikset, Belkin and SmartHome.

It is every easy to install the Revolv hub. All you need to do is pair the hub with the iPhone through the internet. Whenever, you want to add new devices, just click on the button auto search and it will find the new device automatically. In this manner it is very easy to install this device. None find any kind of huddle in installing this device.

One of the most important things you all should know that, right now Revolv system currently only works with the APPLE operating system. Means, right now Revolv is dealing with the targeted customers, who are using iPhones. I can anticipate that, Revolv will also available for android and other operating systems.

Technology has solved many problems of smart home system in twenty years, but it also gives rise to other problems. A research finds that, people don’t want to use multiple apps to control each device at home. So this may reduce the popularity of smart home technology. Revolv is the only best device in market, which provides the best facility by controlling all the devices from multiple brands.