Controliss Blinds News

  • People Power's Presence App

    Posted on 17th July 2013 by Andy.


    If you’re looking for a reasonably priced but effective security camera and have a spare iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch hanging around then app developer People Power has the answer. Its new app, Presence, can turn your Apple device into a security camera for free. Simply install the app on a device that’s connected to the internet and also on your regular iPad or iPhone. With both devices logged on to your account you now have access to a video camera with real-time video and audio streaming. So you can keep an eye on your home, your pets and elderly relatives, and even have a two-way conversation with someone at home via the app. The best bit is that the app also features motion detection, so if someone or something is moving about your home it’ll take a video clip and send it to you as an alert. It’s an effective and affordable way to get some peace of mind when you’re out. Presence marks People Power’s biggest bid so far for taking over your home. The Silicon Valley based company has also recently joined with a US electronics firm, Monster Power, to produce an app that monitor the power consumption going through specially adapted multiplug extensions. You can log on at any time of day and see how much power is being consumed as well turning off appliances or programming what times they should be active. People Power aims to make further deals with technology manufacturers whereby its energy saving and security software can put you remotely in touch with your home. While it is facing off against similar systems from giants such as Google, Verizon and AT&T, People Power’s simple and affordable wireless options have the potential to define the market. Find out more: Get the app:

    This Post was posted in Smart Home and was tagged with app, camera, people, power, security, Smart Home

  • Break out the Boretti barbeque!

    Posted on 15th July 2013 by Andy.

    Now that summer has finally arrived you probably want to fire up the barbecue, get large quantities of processed meats and cook it to within an inch of its life. Boretti is a leading Italian designer of high-end kitchen equipment but it also does a nice line in barbecues. It has taken its signature stainless steel finishes and robust designs and put them out on the patio. Here are just a taste of the some of the kit that could make your summer:


    Boretti Carbone £275 A familiar set up for a barbeque, simply fill it with charcoal, light it and get on with the business of burning some meat. A warming rack and a built-in bottle opener go to show just how much Boretti have thought about the design. But it still needs a lot of cleaning once the last guest has gone home.


    Da Vinci £849.99 A four-burner gas barbecue that’s a few steps up from a regular barbecue. The four burners ensure everything is cooked to perfection while a warming rack will let you keep things hot before dishing out. It even comes with a built-in rotisserie. It will easily cater for large groups, which means your biggest problem is rounding up enough family and friends to feed.


    Marciano XL £3,999.99 This extra large outdoor kitchen is the Rolls Royce of barbecues. Not only does it have a five-burner gas barbecue but also comes with lighting, a sink, a bin, a 50L fridge and plenty of storage. It even has a thermometer to ensure everything is cooked properly. It may be a bit of a stretch if your patio is only a short walk from your actual kitchen but if you’re looking to cook up a storm by the pool house this is ideal.

    This Post was posted in Home & Garden and was tagged with barbecue, boretti, kitchen, Summer

  • Add some colour to your desk

    Posted on 15th July 2013 by Andy.


    If you work from home and want to make your office a more fun and interesting place to be then you could start off by visiting Bureau Direct. This online stationery website specialises in quirky and interesting brands from around the globe that offer new approaches and interesting designs that make the ordinary seem fresh an innovative.


    They stock high-end notebooks from the likes of Rhodia and Whiteline and quality pens from names such as Stabilo and Lamy so writing can be a pleasure rather than a chore. They also have some things to create a stir in meetings such as the Baggage Tape memo stickies from Mark’s Tokyo Edge or the staple-less stapler from Kokuyo. See if there’s anything to catch your eye or brighten your day:

    This Post was posted in Home Office and was tagged with home, office, stationary

  • Splinter Works striking designs

    Posted on 8th July 2013 by Andy.


    Worried that you may have the same furniture as everyone else? Is your living room starting to resemble an Ikea catalogue? Well UK design company Splinter Works can change all that. The company was created in 2009 by Miles Hartwell and Matt Withington with the idea of making inspiring sculptural furniture and to ‘elevate the experience of everyday life’. Their strikingly original twists on familiar objects are still functional and are always of a high quality of finish.


    Working on a commission basis as well as producing a range of limited edition furniture their work is very exclusive. Commissions involve working closely with clients to create pieces that meet their needs and personality. As a result a lot of their work can be location specific, resembling art installations as much as they do furniture. A prime example of this is Vessel, a carbon fibre bath in the shape of a hammock. It takes the idea of luxurious and relaxing baths to extremes to produce a bath that looks nothing like anything else on the market. Working across a variety of materials nothing is off limits to Splinter, resulting in some extremely experimental and theatrical designs that become the focal point to any space. Their breath-taking Tipping Point open-plan kitchen design remains user friendly while also appearing to defy gravity, thanks to clever design and some sleight of hand. The knife edge on which it appears to rest beautifully echoing kitchen utensils.


    They’re also happy to turn their hands to something smaller. The Tipsy stool also has fun with physics to create something that looks like it’s about to topple over, while the Stiletto table evokes the elegant lines of women’s shoes but creates something entirely new. Find out more:

    This Post was posted in Colour & Design and was tagged with bathroom, design, furniture, kitchen, splinter works

  • What is the Apple iWatch?

    Posted on 4th July 2013 by Andy.


    Yrving Torrealba's iWatch Rendition

    The internet has been awash with news that Apple have applied for the iWatch trademark in Japan. The first official sign that the tech giant is seriously considering wearable tech. This would be a sensible move as a wristwatch would easily incorporate many of the tech and functions currently available. It could connect to other mobile devices such as a smartphone to allow you access to more apps. It would also fit well into a control method for home electronics as it would always be with you. However, there is some uncertainty over what exactly the trademark application could be for with some reports suggesting it could be a TV product. Although Apple already has AppleTV but it is thought that they want to develop smaller devices that could work with their other products. Currently Apple’s biggest problem seems to be that the European trademark for iWatch is currently owned by an Italian company. Although this may be a minor issue for a company with Apple’s might.

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    This Post was posted in Technology and was tagged with apple, iWatch, technology

  • How to know when you’re number one

    Posted on 4th July 2013 by Andy.


    Described as the most exclusive address in the world One Hyde Park is a residential development designed for the super rich, situated squarely between Hyde Park and Knightsbridge. If you’ve got the money to live here you can count Harrods and Harvey Nichols as local shops, while all the best art and culture are a short walk from your doorstep. That's if the residents of One Hyde Park ever walked anywhere of course. The development is adjacent to the Mandarin Oriental hotel and has a few shops, including Rolex, McLaren Automotive and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. The building was designed by Sir Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners in quite a conventional glass and steel construction that lacks the character of his more famous work, such as the Lloyd's of London. Candy & Candy were partners in the development and also designed the interiors with an accent on opulence and luxury. The building, which cost a cool £1.5 billion, was started in 2006 and finally opened in 2011. Rumours circulated that the penthouse was on sale for £140 million, which would have made it the most expensive property in the whole of the UK. However, it is now thought to have been sold for the more affordable £40.5 million. But don’t worry if those numbers are a bit eye watering, among the 80 apartments there are a few one-bedroom flats for just £3.6 million. By January of this year 76 of the residences had been sold for a total of £2.7 billion. Although you’d be lucky to find out who many of the owners are, most were bought through private holding companies. So few apartments are regularly occupied that it’s said the façade of the building at night is often in complete darkness. Find out more:

    This Post was posted in Home & Garden and was tagged with apartments, building, development, one hyde park

  • The next generation of HD is here

    Posted on 3rd July 2013 by Andy.


    Sony’s new FMP-X1 4K media player and distribution service has been announced for imminent release. 4K is the new high definition format (4096 x 2160) that Sony says delivers ‘a vibrant and natural picture that is four-times clearer than high definition’. The Japanese electronics giant already has 4K TVs available to buy - the 55-inch X9005A is priced around £4,000, while the 65-inch model is about £6,000. Although 4K content isn’t currently available these TVs do a good job of up-scaling HD content. But the release in the next month of the FMP-X1 media player will bring with it some new 4K content. The media player will come with 10 pre-loaded 4K movies and will also provide access to Sony’s own 4K distribution service, which launches later in the year, while 4K movies are also expected to be released on Blu-ray. Sony has always been ahead of the game at launching new formats in a bid to dominate the market and, without any other major contender in the wings, 4K looks likely to be the format to beat in the future. Find out more:

    This Post was posted in Home Cinema and was tagged with 4k, hd, home cinema, movies, sony, TV

  • Le Tour de France Interior Bliss

    Posted on 2nd July 2013 by Andy.

    Now that the Sun has finally decided to show it’s face and the Tour de France is in full swing you may be tempted to dust off your old bike or get a brand spanking new one to get out and hit the road. If you live in a city, cycling is a quick and cheap way of getting around. It’s also a great way to exercise or unwind. But the biggest problem is where do you keep it when you’re not using it? When you’re out and about you need to find safe bike stands or cages, and lock up your bike with the biggest lock you can find. But when you get home, unless you have the luxury of a garage or a shed your only option may be to keep it in your apartment. The easiest option is to prop it up in the hallway, but then it is always there, lurking ready to topple on the unwary. Here are just a few ideas on how to store your bike:


    Hang it out of the way One way is to find a closet or a corner of your house or flat that you don’t use much and store it vertically. There are a variety of simple bike hooks that will take the weight of most modern bikes, and can hold them in place just by the front wheel. US designers Byografia have even gone as far as creating the Bookbike, a hybrid bookcase and bike hanger to make full use of a space.

    Put it on display The alternative route, particularly if you have a very nice looking bike, is to get creative and put your bike on display. There are a selection of bike stands that will keep your bike upright with little fuss and effectively make a sculpture out of your bike. London-based firm Cycloc has created a particularly good range of sturdy hangers that let you have you bike on display horizontally or vertically. Find out more:

    This Post was posted in Home & Garden and was tagged with bike, cycle, interior design, le tour de france, storage

  • Summer festivals with a difference

    Posted on 29th June 2013 by Andy.

    It’s the Glastonbury Festival this weekend so the British Summer of music festivals is officially in full swing. But it doesn’t always have to be about the music. Coming up this summer are a couple of alternative festivals that mix music with a spot of culture. Latitude Festival Where: Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk When: 19th to 21st July

    To the untrained eye the Latitude Festival, now in its eighth year, looks like a conventional music festival with names like Bloc Party and Foals topping the bill. But this family friendly festival is a much bigger melting pot of arts and culture with multiple stages and tents hosting full schedules of comedy, theatre, dance and literary events across the festival site. It’s possible, if you so desire, to visit Latitude and never see a musical note played, although you’ll be missing the point as the real pleasure of Latitude is the opportunity to dip in and out shows from obscure acts as well as big names. The highlight must surely be German techo geniuses Kraftwerk headlining the main stage on Saturday night with a 3D extravaganza. Find out more: Vintage Festival Where: Glasgow When: 27th to 28th July


    The brainchild of designer Wayne Hemingway the first festival was created in 2007 to celebrate the rich heritage of British creativity. It plunders every field of creativity and culture such as music, fashion, art, design, film and even food from the 1920s all the way up to the 1980s. It will showcase how style through the years has influenced modern design while also celebrating the revival of retro and vintage design. It’s unlikely you’ll find another festival this year where you can learn hair and beauty tips from specific decades of the 20th Century and enjoy ‘Make do and Mend’ workshops. Find out more:

    This Post was posted in General Posts and was tagged with culture, design, glasgow, latitude festival, suffolk, vintage

  • One app to rule them all

    Posted on 28th June 2013 by Andy.

    The truly connected home is getting ever closer as Intel has revealed it is working on a new system that allows a variety of devices to ‘talk’ to each other. So lighting, music, heating, blinds etc can work in harmony. The problem faced by many home automation systems is that with so many companies making products using different control methods and ways of connecting it becomes difficult to synchronise them with a single system. Recognising this Intel is creating software that will work with most current and future systems allowing them to seamlessly work together. The final software will provide a simple interface via which you can simply tailor your home automation systems to perform how you want. To find out more see the full story at Engadget:

    This Post was posted in Home Automation and was tagged with Home Automation, Smart Home, software, systems

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