News Digest: Tech for the Senses

News Digest: Tech for the Senses

The new Honeywell Lyric thermostat uses geofencing to adjust to your needs.

One Cool Thermostat

Honeywell launched its newest product June 10—the Lyric thermostat. Using geofencing, the thermostat will adjust the temperature accordingly. In other words, when your smartphone is a few miles away from the house on a cold day, it will boost the temperature. When you leave, the thermostat will take it down a few degrees. And yes, there’s an app for that. The Fine Tune feature factors indoor and outdoor temperature, humidity and weather into its algorithm, enabling it to provide the most comfortable temperature for homeowners. The thermostat can also be managed via the device itself. And don’t be surprised when the proximity sensor turns the temperature status display on as you approach. The thing even lets you know when a filter needs to be changed and the furnace needs servicing. But with a name like Lyric and a price tag of $279, I’m surprised it doesn’t play tunes.

For more information check out the Honeywell website.


QisDesign's Aurelia suspension lamp looks like a Moon Jellyfish.I Love Lamp!

BenQ America Corp. announced last month that its QisDesign brand of LED lighting fixtures is now available online for purchase in the United States at The company boasts innovative LED lighting that also mimics aspects of nature. Its Aurelia suspended lamp pictured to the right, for example, looks like a Moon Jellyfish. It also has a two-way light switch for easy luminosity adjustment. As part of an introductory offer, the complete QisDesign collection of table, floor, wall and suspension lamps is offered at 10 percent off to celebrate the launch by using the promotional code QisDesign10. Now is as good a time as ever to cash in on this deal and incorporate a cool lamp into a new home.

For the details click here


Two Senses Are Better Than One

Soundwall, art that hangs on your wall and plays music wirelessly, announced an exclusive partnership with famed Brazilian artist Claudio Souza Pinto. These works are now available for purchase in the new Claudio Souza Pinto gallery on the Soundwall website. Pinto Claudio Souza Pinto's artwork will be incorporated into Soundwall speakers.transforms daily situations into surreal, romantic and funny images. And now those images can be blended with the music of your choice. Just play music on your smartphone or iTunes, and your Soundwall shows up under Airplay devices. You can also connect the Soundwall to another sound system like Sonos. The technology combines a distributed mode speaker, advanced digital amplification and a versatile computer called the Raspberry Pi. The picture is the speaker, so the larger the Soundwall, the bigger the sound. It’s bound to be a conversation piece for potential homebuyers.

Click here for the complete press release


If These Walls Could Talk…

University of VirginiaKamin Whitehouse, a University of Virginia associate professor, is leading a team in building software that lets users monitor the activities of household members and analyze their behavior. This software would allow users to track who is forgetting to shut off the lights and how long each family member showers. All this is possible through in-wall sensors that are programmed to identify individuals by height. Sure, this will allow homeowners to be more aware of their energy consumption and cut down where possible. But all this information is also bound to either A: Make the family more a more cohesive unit, or B: cause a lot of fights. The program is being tested in four households, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Click here for the full article


A Royal Flush

Gerber Plumbing Fixtures has added a dual-flush toilet to its popular Logan Square Collection. The two-piece toilet features two buttons on the top of the tank to dictate the flush rate: one flushing 1.1 gallons per flush (gpf) for liquid and one flushing 1.6 gpf for solid. This high-efficiency toilet is WaterSense-certified for its contributions to water conservation. The Logan Square Dual Flush toilet also has an elongated rim for comfort and a fully glazed trapway to ensure high performance. Sounds like a royal flush to me! In addition to the new dual flush toilet, the Suite offers an under-counter sink, a pedestal sink, a 1.28 gpf toilet configuration and several matching faucet styles available through Gerber’s sister company, Danze.

For the complete press release click here. 

About The Author

Kelly Mello is a TecHome Builder Staff Writer, creating timely, investigative articles for its eMagazine and Special Reports. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in English: Communications & Rhetoric. She began her writing career in 2007 as editorial assistant for GateHouse Media. From 2010 to 2013, she was local editor for various Patch sites, including

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