This adorable pod will give you voice control over your smart home

lovelinku uses voice commands to control smart homes home hub
Who says smart-home controllers have to be bulky and unattractive? LoveLinkU is proof that gadgets can come in adorable, modern-looking pods that would look right at home on the set of a Katy Perry video.

Despite its candy-colored exterior, its creators call LoveLinkU the ultimate voice-controlled robot, complete with a motherboard chip, an infrared controller, a speaker, and a microphone. All that gear supposedly lets you control all your smart-home devices with your voice. Your iPhone or Android device acts as the remote control for the device, complementing your voice commands.

The list of what LoveLinkU can do is long and ambitious, perhaps overly so (“With the ability to turn on home appliances, you can get dinner ready before you even arrive home!” promises the Kickstarter): turn on the television, adjust your room temperature, etc. The creators didn’t have a specific list of brands that work with the LoveLinkU, however, though they say it sends IR codes to appliances with that capability. Otherwise, it uses an outlet accessory to control non-connected appliances.

Other features include the ability to preprogram the device to execute multiple commands with one word and the option to queue up media from local storage. LoveLinkU also acts as a push-content receiver, meaning you can receive items such as audiobooks from online resources automatically from the device.

LoveLinkU smart home hub lightIf you need to keep an eye on certain members of the family, such as infants or elderly adults, LoveLinkU can collect health data and share it with you in real-time. You can also charge your smartphones wirelessly through the device, and all of these features can be activated with a secret password.

If you pledge $113 or more on the Kickstarter campaign page, you’ll get one of the devices shipped to you by September 2015. The retail price for the product will be $199.

Smart Home

With focus on interoperability, is Nevo Butler a smarter home hub?

Universal Electronics is the latest company getting into the smart home market, announcing at CES 2019 that it intends to market the Nevo Butler, a new smart home hub with onboard A.I. and voice control technology.
Smart Home

The best sous vide machines cook your food perfectly, every single time

Want to make four-star meals from the comforts of your own kitchen? Here are the best sous vide machines available right now, whether you prefer simple immersion circulators or something more complex.
Smart Home

Want a smarter home? Ditch the keys with these great smart locks

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.
Smart Home

GHSP makes a (back)splash with its touchscreen concept kitchen

One of the coolest concept kitchens from CES 2019 came from GHSP. It created a backsplash entirely made of touchscreens. That means the control panel for your kitchen is accessible no matter where you are.
Smart Home

Amazon patents a technology to help Alexa fight fake voice attacks

Amazon filed a patent this month for a new technology that looks like it would help its digital assistant Alexa fight fake voice attacks that could potentially fool Alexa's biometric security protocols.
Smart Home

Amazon Prime members number more than 100 million in the U.S., survey says

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated there were 101 million U.S. Amazon Prime members as of December 31, 2018. Last April, CEO Jeff Bezos wrote there were more than 100 global million Prime members.
Smart Home

The Instant Pot Lux is a gateway drug into the pleasures of pressure cooking

The 3-quart Instant Pot Lux is one of the most affordable Instant Pots you can buy. Is it still a solid pressure cooker? Here are our thoughts on the Instant Pot Lux, a great IP baseline model.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

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!
Emerging Tech

Google’s radar-sensing tech could make any object smart

Computer scientists have shown how Google’s Soli sensor can be used to make dumb objects smart. Here's why radar-powered computing could finally make the dream of smart homes a reality.
Smart Home

The best air fryers deliver fried food with a fraction of the calories

What is this magical mechanism? It's an air fryer, and when used correctly, it can mimic the effects of frying while using just a little bit of oil. You still get that crispy, golden exterior and the fluffy center.
Emerging Tech

‘Tech vest’ prevents Amazon workers from colliding with robot co-workers

Amazon workers at its fulfillment centers are using "tech vests" to help protect them from collisions with their robot co-workers. The robots already have obstacle avoidance sensors, but the belt offers another layer of safety.
Smart Home

Legrand’s Smart Lighting touts security, interoperability, and simple setup

Near universal connectivity including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, Ring, and the Internet of Things is the theme of Legrand's Smart Lighting Radiant collection of switches, dimmers, outlets, and plugs.
Smart Home

Abode Systems upgrades its smart home gateway with new chip and Z-Wave Plus

Palo Alto-based Abode Systems is adding an upgrade to its popular smart home starter kit by replacing its central gateway with a second-generation version that supports cellular backup and enhanced Z-Wave support.
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.