Connected Objects

Remo lets you connects your air conditioner to the internet no sweat

Anybody who owns a home knows that one of the costliest expenses is running an air conditioner, especially during the hottest months of the year.

Remo is a universal smart controller that transforms any window-mounted or through-the-wall air conditioner into a smart AC. Users can remotely turn it on via a smartphone, pre-set different temperatures for different times of the day, or set the unit to automatically turn off based on the motion sensor. Remo ships in August at future pricing of $119. But Kickstarter backers can get one with a pledge as low as $49 for super early birds. Its makers are out to raise $50,000 by June 22.

Remo joins several similar products have already done much the same thing, including tado. For now, Remo supports any AC with a remote control, its makers say. But support for ACs without remotes is planned for Remo units that ship after December.


Connected Objects Home

Noria makes air conditioning cool again

Air conditioners do wonders to help stave off the brutal heat of the summer months. They don’t do any favors for your back, though. For some reason, and for far too long, air conditioners have been heavy chunks of awkwardly shaped metal that practically required a body builder to install safely and without the risk of endangering anyone’s toes. (Or head, for that matter.)

It’s obvious that in creating air conditioning units for the average apartment dweller or small home owner, ergonomics and design weren’t taken into account. Noria’s laser focus on their many problems completely reinvigorates the idea. The result? A lightweight, attractive air conditioning unit that weighs in at just 30 pounds and is 40% slimmer than the average model, letting users keep their view even when installed. Still, it’s no pushover in the cooldown game: at 5,000 BTUs, it can effectively cool a 160 square foot room without leaving pockets of warm air like others.


You may become a fan of the Evapolar personal air condition

Some people are cool and some people just want to be cool. For those in the latter camp who don’t want to make things uncomfortable for the former, the go-to option is generally a small desk fan. But those have limitations. It can be loud and distracting to have air blowing in one’s face.

patent-claimedThe Russian team behind Evapolar seek to create personal microclimates with a personal air conditioner. The cubic illuminated device fills up with water and a special material called Eva Breeze allows it to slowly evaporate. The Evapolar team compares its pint-sized product to the price and energy efficiency of a room air conditioner, but the area covered by the smaller device is only about 100 square feet.

The campaign suggests using two two to cool a larger room and also touts the products air purification and environmental benefits as it uses no freon. Alas, there’s no way to control or monitor the product from a smartphone. Evapolar seeks $100,000 by October 21st. An Evapolar personal air conditioner will set backers back a cool $179 with the final retail price expected to be $250.

Despite its claims, the Evapolar certainly isn’t the first device to market itself as a personal air conditioner although to be fair most of the other products are more like misting fans. On the other hand, those products cost a fraction of what the Evapolar does. The Evapolar’s price requires that it perform well versus real room air conditioners. Doing so will be an impressive feat given its size.

Smart Home

Ambi is another connected add-on that tells air conditioners to cool it

For air conditioner lovers, the scene is all too familiar. The house is the perfect temperature when it’s time to go to sleep, and then in the middle of the night, it feels like a new ice age has arrived. Ambi Climate is a smart brain for any model of air conditioner with an infra-red remote that senses outdoor and indoor conditions to adjust the air conditioner to the perfect temperature. Monitoring humidity, time of day, weather, motion, and indoor temperature, Ambi Climate adjusts the air conditioning to the perfect setting before anyone can even consider adjusting it.

Like any good smart air conditioner, Ambi Climate can also be adjusted manually using its app, even while outside of the home. Ambi Climate also pays attention to the situations in which manual controls are used to learn more about the user and better predict the temperatures he or she wants their home to have. By adjusting automatically, Ambi Climate not only find the perfect A/C setting, but also saves on energy bills. Ambi Labs has set its goal at $25,000. Buyers will feel the perfect indoor climate for $99 in time for the 2015 summer.

Smart Home

tado° lets you keep your cool with your smartphone and air conditioner

The Premise. As summer approaches, homeowners everywhere are coming home to hot, sticky houses that take time to cool down. The alternative is leaving the air conditioner running all day, but that strategy requires spending more on utilities and isn’t environmentally conscious.

The Product. The tado° is a cooling system that can be controlled through an app, but will also power off the air conditioner when nobody is in the home and turn it on within a set proximity to make rooms nice and cool upon arrival. The system can be controlled from room to room as well, so that only enough cooling that is needed is used. The app is available for iOS and Android devices, and the tado° system is compatible with virtually any remote-controlled air conditioning system.

The Pitch. We learn about tado° through Harold and Lizzie, a couple who prove the axiom of opposites attracting. tado° helps keep their energy costs down while Lizzie is at work and Harold is out shopping, reading, and generally forgetting to turn the air conditioner off when he leaves. Because Tado, Inc. is already launched and experienced in climate control in Europe, their presentation is well-shot, attractive, and eye-catching. From explaining the app to listing the various brands of compatible air conditioners, almost any question about the tado° system is answered. Tado wants to raise $150,000 to

The Perks. A tado° system with app is available to backers who pledge at least $99 per unit. For those who have a uniquely colored room and want the tado° panel to match, color can be customized for $179. Developers who want to use the same technology behind the device for other purposes can get a developer kit for $299. All rewards will ship out in August 2014.

The Potential.  Similar systems are already rolling out for lighting and heaters, so air conditioners are a natural step. And while tado° may not be first to market, the sleek presentation, easily hidden sensor panel, and compatibility with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and infra-red make the tado° a solid choice for anyone wanting to come home to cool temperatures without having a massive power bill. The functionality is comparable to the Friedrich Kuhl or Quirky+GE Aros air conditioner, but part of the beauty of tado° is its compatibility with a wide variety of different brands of air conditioner, meaning a new system doesn’t need to be purchased and any brand loyalty can remain firmly in place.