Sport Ditch your hidden tech with these nearly invisible smart gadgets
The 7 best things your smart display can do
While a smart speaker might get the job done, a smart display offers unique features worth considering.While some people may want to keep AI out of their personal lives, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa can be extremely helpful management tools, especially for families who have a lot of moving parts to their schedules.
As much as modern gadgets try to be sleek and alluring, a lot of it still sticks out like a sore thumb. So if you want to deck out your home in smart gear, you usually have to deal with some big dials, dongles and doodads hanging on your doors and walls. There are, but others aim to be completely invisible so you never know they're there.
Ahead, we've rounded up 10 top-rated and editor-favorite pieces of invisible tech to help you upgrade your home without it looking like an eyesore.
TP-Link Kasa In-Wall Smart Plug ($22.99, originally $29.99;)
Smart plugs are the Swiss Army knife of smart tech: If it plugs into an outlet, you can control it from your phone by using one of these. But most smart plugs are bricks that go in between the appliance and the outlet in your wall, making for an ugly little setup. The, on the other hand, replaces the outlet itself and blends seamlessly into the wall.
Level Touch Review: Ushering in a New Generation of Smart Locks
A smart lock is a critical piece of a smart home, so it's important to get the right one to secure your house and family. How does Level's elegant Touch lock work and compare?Large smart locks are not just a problem because of their design or looks. Plenty of them are perfectly suitable. The other half of the equation is requiring space on a door to be able to accommodate a lock with built-in smarts. The Level Touch helps in this regard, too, taking up no more space than a traditional, dumb lock.
You don't need to be an electrician to install it either — we've installed a few ourselves. Just make sure you turn off the breaker before you start digging through your home's electrical wiring. When you're done, you'll be able to control each outlet individually or together using your phone. Kasa offers an app for Android or iOS, plus you can integrate withor the .
Topgreener Smart Dual USB Charging Outlet ($45.99;)
If you're willing to pay a bit more, Topgreener has its own smart outlet with a few standout features. Unlike the TP-Link Kasa, only one ofis controllable over Wi-Fi, but it has two built-in USB outlets in addition to the standard outlets. Not only are the USB outlets great for charging your phone (or Kindle, or baby monitor, or whatever), but they're also great because you can control them using your phone, Alexa, or Google Assistant.
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In addition, Topgreener's outlet features its Smart Meter energy monitoring, which allows you to see how much electricity the plugged-in gadgets are consuming. Coupled with the ability to turn them off remotely, this allows you to be as efficient as possible with your appliances.
Level Bolt Smart Lock ($229;)
It's hard to go back to a manual deadbolt after using a smart lock. The ability to automatically unlock your door when you come home — and lock it automatically at night — is extremely handy. It's one of the best upgrades we've ever made, and most require only a screwdriver to install.
Thebreaks the mold of smart locks by being completely invisible, since it only replaces the actual deadbolt mechanism inside the door. Better yet, it doesn't leave a revealing keypad on the front or a bulky receiver on the inside. It isn't the most full-featured smart lock on the market, but if you refuse to mar the aesthetics of your entryway, the Level Bolt will please you. You might also consider the , which does replace the outside of the lock, but it's still very disguised and adds the ability to unlock your door with the touch of a finger, which is a huge convenience. Both of these rely on Bluetooth for connectivity and integrate with .
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Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Hub ($29.98,)
If you've ever left the garage door open accidentally, you've probably considered some of the new smart garage doors on the market. But you don't need to spend a ton of money to replace your old motor.connects to your existing motor wirelessly, just like the wireless opener in your car, and enables control over Wi-Fi. You can then mount the tiny hub on the ceiling or hide it in a corner where you'll never see it.
Once installed, which takes only a few minutes, you'll be able to open and close your door from the app or with Google Assistant (but not with Alexa, annoyingly) and get notifications when your door is left open. You can even share temporary access with others, or use, to avoid package theft. Even if you aren't super keen on in-garage delivery, using it once will get you $40 back from Amazon, which will more than pay for the hub itself.
TP-Link Kasa Smart Light Switch ($14.99, originally 19.99;)
You probably already know you can put smart bulbs in your light fixtures to control them remotely. But if the style of bulbs available is too limiting, or you have light fixtures that don't take standard bulbs, Kasa also offers a.
What to Know About Kristin Smart's Presumed Murder After Arrest of Classmate Paul Flores
Kristin Smart, a freshman at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, disappeared on May 25, 1996. Paul Flores was a longtime person of interest in the case, on suspicion of murder. Flores was the last known person to see her alive after volunteering to walk her home in her inebriated state from the party, police have said. © Find Kristen Smart/Facebook Kristin Smart Parkinson said Flores' father, Ruben Flores, was arrested on suspicion of accessory to murder. Here are five things to know about the case. 1.
Like smart outlets, these replace the existing switches on your wall so you'd never really know the lights were Wi-Fi connected. Depending on your home's layout, it's also probably a lot cheaper since each switch is so affordable — though if you're willing to pay a bit more, Kasa has aavailable as well.
UTS-1 Wireless Charger ($104.99;)
We're obsessed with wireless charging. Once we got phones capable of the feature, we almost never used cables again. But wireless chargers can be such eyesores, which is why we're on a quest to hide as many as possible. The UTS-1 is designed to stick under your desk and charge your phone through the surface, as long as that surface is less than an inch thick, so you never have to waste space with a round disc on top of the table. Before this product came out, CNN Underscored writer Whitson Gordon literally chiseled out holes for charging pads in his end tables — this is a much better solution, even if it's limited to tables 1-inch thick.
Twelve South PowerPic ($59.99;)
If your table doesn't meet the requirements for the UTS-1, a discreet charger like theis the next best bet. It looks like a standard photo frame — no digital screens here — but when you put your phone inside the frame, it'll instantly begin to charge. It's quite neat, and you can even match your phone's screen to the picture in the frame. No more ugly charging pads or dangling cables on your shelves; you can charge in any room of your house and look at pictures of your kids when your phone is topped off.
Wi-Fi hotspots, pollution meters, gunshot locators: How lampposts are making cities smarter
As smart cities develop, they should leverage the untapped potential of street lights, finds a new report.Urban planners, a new report argues, have everything to gain from exploiting the untapped potential of the poles that illuminate cities at night. Investing in lampposts could even reap near-term benefits: the innocuous masts could provide a welcome helping hand in assisting the re-opening and recovery of cities as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
Ostrich Smart Ceiling Fan Remote Control Kit ($27.99;)
Smart thermostats may be all the rage, but why turn on your air conditioning unless you absolutely have to? Usually a few open windows and some ceiling fans do the trick nicely. And while you can buy a smart ceiling fan, you don't need to run out and buy a whole new model — you can grab a wireless receiver that installs right in the canopy. You never see it, but once installed, you can ditch the pull chain and turn the fan on with your voice.
Just know that, like the smart outlet, you'll want to turn off the breaker before installing. After that, the process is pretty easy if you follow the instructions. Oh, and if your ceiling fan uses a wall switch instead of a pull chain, you can use ainstead of this receiver to give it some smarts.
Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf Speaker ($99;)
Outfitting your home with speakers has always been an exercise in "where to hide the big box," unless you go old-school (and expensive) with in-ceiling models. That's why Ikea's Symfonisk line is designed to put speakers inside everyday things, such as a. We think the best item in the line is its bookshelf speaker, which can either slide onto the shelf next to your other books or mount on the wall to become a bookshelf itself. It sadly doesn't have Alexa or Google built in, but since it's designed in conjunction with Sonos, it should blend into your existing Wi-Fi system nicely.
It's not the only product of its type, or even the most incognito: Bang & Olufsen just announced its own, a far more expensive but slightly more booklike speaker, though for the price it's hard to go wrong with Ikea.
Parents sue father accused of hiding Kristin Smart's body
LOS ANGLES (AP) — The parents of missing California college student Kristin Smart on Thursday sued the father of the man charged with killing their daughter nearly 25 years ago. The lawsuit filed in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court said Smart's body was buried in Ruben Flores's backyard and he moved the body “under cover of darkness” to another location a few days after investigators searched his property in February 2020. Ruben Flores, 80,The lawsuit filed in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court said Smart's body was buried in Ruben Flores's backyard and he moved the body “under cover of darkness” to another location a few days after investigators searched his property in February 2020.
Samsung The Frame QLED Smart TV (starting at $997.99;)
Most of the day, your TV is probably off — and looks like a big black hole attached to the wall.fixes that by turning into a piece of wall art when it's off. It sits flush against the wall with a svelte bezel around the edges that looks just like a picture frame. You can choose from a number of free paintings and photos, or buy one of your favorites from Samsung's art store. You can even use Ambient Mode to have the TV screen mimic the wall around your TV.
While it doesn't quite match the picture quality of other TVs with local dimming built in, which darkens black areas for better contrast in a dark room, it makes for a great daytime TV, and the price premium is well worth it if you care more about how the room looks than how your sitcoms look. We put one in our living room and never looked back. As you might expect, The Frame comes in several sizes, including.
Are we ready for our smart home devices to become truly "smart"? .
For the most part, we still explicitly direct our home technology on how best to serve us, but that's about to change.For decades, the smart home has been a mainstay in pop culture, from Disney's 1999 flick "Smart House," in which an artificially intelligent home takes on the personality of a domineering mother, to the retro high-tech home of "The Jetsons." The 1960s cartoon offered a view of domestic life a century later, from a grooming room that combs your hair and brushes your teeth, to the ever-attentive and overworked Rosie, the robot maid.