Let just the right amount of light in with Halio smart-tinting glass

Smart homes, once a fantastical element of sci-fi stories, are quickly becoming the new normal, as ever more “smart” appliances hit the market. With the growing popularity of digital assistants like Alexa (a 2017 study by the Consumer Technology Association predicted that 44 percent of adults in the United States plan to buy a smart speaker in 2018) consumers automate many of the daily tasks that clog up home life, from big things like keeping your home secure to less pressing details, like combining the weather report with breakfast. Kinestral, maker of the Halio smart-tinting window, wants to do away with pesky blinds, offering a window that can darken to dim incoming sunlight.

The Halio “came out of the need to solve one of the oldest problems in buildings,” vice president of marketing Craig Henricksen told Digital Trends, “which is as soon as you put glass or a window in, suddenly there’s all this light coming in, which we love, we love the views, until that point where it’s too much; too much glare, you can’t do your work.”

Like the thermostat wars, the battle over whether to leave the shades open or closed can be a contentious topic in offices. Some people want to let the sunshine in, others hate the overbearing glare of the sun on their computer screen. Unfortunately, blinds and shutters are generally a binary solution. Halio offers a more nuanced approach, allowing users to adjust the exact amount of light that comes through the glass.

How does it work? Henricksen described the process. “There’s two special chemicals on a piece of glass, separated by a conductive layer. And when you apply a voltage, it moves ions from one side to the other, and depending on which side you push it to, it either blocks light, or lets it through.”

The Halio can connect to digital assistants like Alexa, and users can fine-tune the tinting with remarkable precision. There are two models: The Halio, which allows 70 percent of light through when in its clear state and blocks up to 97 percent of light when tinted, and the Halio Black, which can block up to 99.9 percent of light, perfect for those who hate to be awoken by morning light.

You’ll likely see Halio in your office before your bedroom. Henricksen said that the company is planning to launch Halio for commercial buildings around mid-2018, with residential sales closer to the end of the year. Although the price is not yet set, Henricksen estimated the price will be around four to five times that of a traditional window.

Smart Home

Whatever happened to those dumb smart products we wrote about in 2017?

A smart salt dispenser? As manufacturers rush to get the next new smart item out there, we wonder if all these new inventions are really necessary. Here’s a list of 10 of the quirkiest home smart gadgets available, and where they are now.
Emerging Tech

Desk lamps take on a new task by converting their light to power

What if we could charge devices using light from indoor sources like desk lamps? A group of scientists working on a technology called organic photovoltaics (OPVs) aim to do just that.
Mobile

The best Moto G7 Power cases you can buy for your power-full phone

The Moto G7 Power's 5,000mAh battery certainly has the stamina to go for all twelve rounds. But the glass back could be a glass jaw of sorts. Protect your power-full phone with the best Moto G7 Power cases.
Gaming

Don your pirate threads and hunt for treasure with our Fortnite weekly challenge

The Fortnite week 3 challenges are now here for all players around the world. The challenges this week aren't too hard but the biggest one is the Fortnite magnifying glass challenge. We are going to show you where the magnifying glass sits…
Product Review

Motorola's sexy Moto G7 will change the way you look at budget phones

With glass curves, a large display, and an eye-catching price tag the Moto G7 will turn plenty of heads in the budget smartphone market. We tested it out to see if Motorola has done enough to top the value charts.
Smart Home

Ikea isn’t throwing shade with the delayed release of its smart blinds

Ikea planned to release is Tradfri-compatible smart blinds in April 2019, but the products have been delayed until later in the year for a firmware update that promises better functionality.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

Lutron’s Fan Control makes ceiling fans smart, but has some turnoffs

Lutron recently came out with a smart switch that controls ceiling fans, the Lutron Caseta Fan Speed Control Switch. How does it stack up? Here's a first-hand review of the Lutron Fan Control switch.
Cars

Amazon and Kia team up to simplify EV home-charging station installs

Kia Motors announced a new program with Amazon for electric vehicles. Customers planning to purchase a new Kia EV or PHEV can check out recommended Level 2 240-volt home charging stations and arrange installation in their homes.
Smart Home

Traeger’s latest wood-pellet grills are smoky, smart, and spacious

Traeger is famous in the world of barbecue and heavy-duty grills for its signature pellet grills and now the company is expanding this year by adding three new brands of redesigned
Smart Home

The five best teeth-whitening kits you can buy on Amazon

Teeth whitening can have a major impact on a person’s smile and overall appearance. You don't necessarily have to go to the dentist to get your teeth whitened though. Here are the best teeth-whitening kits you can buy.
Smart Home

Is your Keurig making gross coffee? Might be time for a cleaning

No one likes a dirty, scaled, or smelly Keurig, but how are you supposed to clean them? Before you throw yours out the window, here is a quick guide on cleaning your machine out thoroughly.
Smart Home

Which is better, the original Echo or the Echo Dot? We compare them

Amazon Echo vs. Dot: Having Alexa answer your questions is nothing short of futuristic, but which device should you get? There are some big differences between the two, especially in size, sound, and cost.
Product Review

Gate’s Smart Lock is locked and loaded but ultimately lacks important basics

In a world of video cameras and doorbells comes the Gate Smart Lock, a lock with a video camera embedded. It’s a great idea, but lacks some crucial functionality to make it a top-notch product.