Control your whole house with one remote using the Beak by ControlAny

If your home were Middle Earth, the Beak would be the One Ring. Of the many smart home innovations now on the market, this may be one of the more useful. After making its debut at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Beak by ControlAny has made its way to Indiegogo in hopes of raising enough funds to give customers a single device from which to control just about everything in their homes.

Seeking to replace any and all of the other clickers you have lying about your household, the Beak claims to control all your connected appliances to make keeping up with your smart home less of a chore.

The Beak features a hub and scalable app that ought to let you control “thousands of remote-controlled appliances, light bulbs, locks, wireless cameras, video-enabled doorbells, security systems, and even internet-connected devices.” It’s able to do this by supporting a wide range of wireless protocols, including Z-Wave, Zigbee, BLE, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. In order to control signals generated by standard remotes, the Beak has an IR transceiver that allows it to control IR devices, and also claims to be able to monitor temperature, humidity, ambient light and proximity sensors.

Manufacturer-agnostic, one of the most useful purported features of the Beak is its compatability with a number of different devices. The list already includes Philips Hue, SmartThings, Nest, Wink, and Sonos, and the ControlAny team says that it’s only growing.

While we haven’t tried the Beak out first hand, the team behind the device received the CES 2018 Innovation award in the smart home category, which might make the Beak seem less like a pipe dream. Of course, you should always be wary of products that are seeking funding via websites like Indiegogo or Kickstarter.

As it stands, the Beak Smart Hub and Universal Remote Control is being offered at a discounted price through its Indiegogo campaign, where it has already raised over $40,000. With more than three weeks left, it looks likely that the team will reach its $50,000 goal. An early bird pledge of $130 should get you a Beak in June 2018, although the ControlAny team says that it will soon offer the Beak for $190 on its website, too.

Product Review

“World’s Smartest Camera” is let down by not-so-smart omissions

Ooma Butterfleye’s high quality, auto-adaptive imaging, wire-free operation and free cloud storage delights, but there are some flaws to be aware of, including a lack of proper night vision.
Smart Home

How to set up your Lenovo Smart Display

Here's how to set up your Lenovo Smart Display, including what information you need to provide to the Home app and how to choose the right Google Assistant settings for your new smart screen.
Smart Home

Ward off porch pirates with these best outdoor security cameras

Worried about porch pirates stealing your packages, or intruders entering your home? Always be in the know about who or what is on your property by installing one of these outdoor security cameras.

Time to upgrade! Here are the best 4K TV deals for August 2018

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level so you can enjoy all of your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Smart Home

Samsung SmartThings adds A.I.-based Wi-Fi for faster, smarter home networking

Samsung introduced the SmartThings Wifi, an A.I.-based multifunction mesh networking router with an integrated smart home hub. The device intelligently allocates network speed and bandwidth based on device and application needs.
Smart Home

Cortana and Alexa can now call each other as new relationship begins

Microsoft and Amazon announced a public preview of Cortana and Alexa integration. U.S. customers can now open Cortana with Alexa and vice versa. Basic functions such as calendars and shopping lists are available with the preview.
Smart Home

Hands-on with the Glas, the most beautiful thermostat you’ve ever seen

Johnson Controls today opened the doors for consumers to buy Glas, the company's answer to Nest and Ecobee, the Honeywell Lyric, and basically every other company that thought it would turn that simple round dial on the wall on its ear.
Product Review

Philips Hue’s Color Ambience makes smart home lighting simple and stylish

It’s not the cheapest smart lighting available, but for those seeking style and sophistication, it’s certainly the best.
Smart Home

The Glas thermostat is now available and works with Cortana, Alexa, and Google

Microsoft just debuted its very own smart thermostat (the first that it's created), and of course, it can be controlled via voice with Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana. It also works with Alexa and Google Assistant.
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Smart Home

Fraudulent sales of home alarm systems are on the rise nationwide

According to a new consumer survey from the Consumer Federation of America, there are increasing reports of bad actors using scare tactics and manipulation to sell fraudulent alarm systems.
Smart Home

A school district subsidizes a tiny home community for teachers

The lack of affordable housing in Arizona's Vail school district prompted the plan for a community of tiny homes reserved for educators. Other cities in the U.S. use the tiny abodes for homeless and economically disadvantaged people.
Smart Home

Kroger supermarket chain tests driverless grocery deliveries in Arizona

Kroger and autonomous delivery innovator Nuro began a pilot program in Scottdale, Arizona, for grocery home deliveries with Prius cars to test the self-driving concept. The first tests do not use the purpose-built Nuro vehicle.
Smart Home

Vitamix recalls 100,000 blender containers after multiple ‘lacerations’

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of about 105,000 Vitamix blending containers after 11 customers reported accidents, including lacerations due to a design flaw in the product.