Once upon a time, when the connected home was a new idea, bringing a home online meant getting all the lighting, comfort, and audio-visual components from a single company. Now, with more widespread adoption of open platforms, more manufacturers are joining the digital home market, and homeowners can communicate with those products through familiar Android or iOS interfaces, and easy-to-use apps. Here’s a look at a few new products that have recently entered the high-tech home world.



1. Cold comfort

A new “winter mode” and connectivity with Nest thermostats is letting Big Ass Fans products help users reduce their heating bills up to 25% in the colder months. Accessing fan controls through the maker’s SenseMe app lets users adjust the Nest thermostat set point and turn on the fan to help mix air more efficiently without running the furnace harder. Big Ass Fans research has shown that running the fan at a low speed—even in the winter—will keep the room comfortable even with the thermostat set to a lower temperature, and that users can see savings of up to 5% for each degree the temperature is lowered. bigassfans.com


2. Safe Zone

Kidde’s latest product, Remote Lync, gives users peace of mind about the safety of their home when they’re away, and a chance to take quick action even if they’re not. The smart device is designed to recognize the alarm sound of a smoke or carbon monoxide detector, and will send a message to the homeowner’s smartphone if either device goes off. Users can then contact emergency services, or reach out to their loved ones. Remote Lync will work with any smoke and carbon monoxide alarms UL-listed after 1999. kidde.com


3. The More You Know

Carrier is the latest HVAC manufacturer to bring a smart, wireless thermostat to market. The Cor thermostat does more than allow users to adjust their comfort via their smartphone. A Web-based dashboard also provides a wealth of information regarding heating and cooling energy use in the home with comparisons against non-programmable thermostats, previous month’s energy use, and even the energy use of other Cor users in the state. Carrier representatives expect Cor will see a return on investment within two years. carrier.com


4. Lock It Up

Insynctive window and door sensors offer a level of home security in a DIY, retrofit package. The sensors talk wirelessly with a wall-mounted status indicator that tells users when the window or door is open, closed, locked, or unlocked. The sensors can also integrate with some existing home automation systems, including Nexia, Wink, Crestron, and Savant. Pella will offer factory-installed sensors on its own window and door products, but homeowners can also purchase individual sensors for retrofit with any existing window or door. Also on the Insynctive platform are remote-controlled motorized shades-between-the-glass for Pella’s Designer series windows. insynctive.pella.com