Tag Archives: Smart Home

Extreme Home Automation

Just when you thought you had finally found a form of cooking your partner could assist with, the BratWurst Bot sausage robot looks like making the man of the house redundant!

Now we all have increasingly busy lives with heavy workloads but do we really need a robot to turn our sizzlers?

Here at Controliss blinds we are all about automation and technology, but this is surely simply a bridge too far! (unless of  course it can hoover, iron and put the seat down, then I am in!)

Automated blinds, especially at this time of year, controlled at the touch of a remote control are definitely an essential part of modern living. Set them to raise and lower in your absence or close when the temperature rises, on days like today, is simplicity personified.

With the Telis 6 Chronis RTS electric blind handset for example, you can set your blinds to lower as dusk falls, ensuring greater security as well as much need energy savings.

Who needs to traipse from room to room, manually pulling cords, when a cold beer & bangers-in-buns beckon us to the outdoors.

The summer is finally upon us, lets get out in the sun, enrich our bodies in natural vitamin D and go barbecue bonkers!

People Power's Presence App


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: http://peoplepowerco.com/

Get the app: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/presence-by-people-power/id618598211?mt=8

One app to rule them all

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: http://www.engadget.com/2013/06/25/intel-research-diy-programmable-home-automation/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget

Wifi puts you in control

A team of researchers from the University of Washington have discovered a way of using the wifi signals passing through our homes to detect human movement. The system, called WiSee can detect movement from multiple people across multiple rooms.

It uses an algorithm that can track small changes in the wifi signal and is currently programmed to recognise nine different gestures with 94% accuracy. The team hope to increase its vocabulary and accuracy so that it can be used in a number of household applications. It can already be used to switch on lights and change TV channels.

The system is still in development and isn’t currently as accurate as other gesture controlled tech, such as Microsoft’s Kinect, but it’s still early days and is a clear indicator of where home automation is heading.

Cooking Up A Storm The Smart Way

The evolution of the latest home automation ‘mod-cons’, that start out as a gimmicky gadget and then often become a common home appliance, is driven by our desire for added functionality and convenience. Many appliances can now fully automate – or lessen the effort required for – everyday tasks in all areas of the home. Our own remote control blinds can be fully automated to operate at certain times of the day, offering the highest in convenience for window blind operation.

The kitchen is a major area for ever-improving functionality in appliances. Predictions for the kitchen of the future involve devices that utilise modern technology and materials to reduce the amount of hard work necessary to get what you want from your kitchen.

Examples of the appliances that could be coming into the home kitchen include a remote controlled cooker that will switch itself on to be ready as soon as the user returns home, a smart fridge that incorporates a display to show information such as your nutritional needs, and the captivating idea of a 3D food fabricating printer.

The sales of 3D printers has been rising since 2003 and, consequently, the costs have decreased. The 3D food printer is currently only at the design and development stage, but has the potential to transform the way we obtain certain foods by offering a choice of foods that can be fabricated, in the home, from liquids, gels or pastes that are loaded into the ‘printer’ in the form of cartridges.

Another interesting development in kitchen technology, that is closer to becoming domestically available, is Philips Green Cuisine Concept. The Green Cuisine features a large centre island tabletop that will sense everything you set down on it and can cook or cool food and beverages wherever they are placed. In accordance with the increasing eco-friendly nature of home appliances, beneath the tabletop is a composter that could allow you to reuse much of your waste.

Smart appliances can even be obtained today that are unlikely to look out of place once the kitchen is filled with future hi-tech conveniences. In particular, the stylish, yet practical, design of the Samsung RFG299 French Door Refrigerator shows a lot of consideration with regards to maximising the product’s storage space. It uses urethane insulation, that allows the wall thickness to be reduced while remaining just as efficient with regards to power demand. This refrigerator also features a 7-inch LCD touch screen that allows control of the temperature and the water filter and provides access to calendars, schedules, nutritional facts and unit conversions, as well as the ability to showcase photos.

Thanks to the continuing improvements in home appliance technology, the next time you are doing a tedious task at home and think: ‘I wish there was an appliance that could help me with this’, it is possible that someone somewhere could already be working on the appliance you need.

In The Auto-Garden

This year has brought us the warmest April in the UK since Met Office records began, over a century ago. On those sunny mornings, drawn to the windows by the streaks of sunlight breaking through the gaps in our curtains or window blinds, we looked out and immediately started to make this year’s ‘To Do’ list that will transform the garden we see before us into our own sun-blessed delight.

The usual routine of mowing the lawn, weeding the flower beds and then giving the area it’s necessary water can be a back-straining or, at least, time consuming process. There are, however, ways to make this easier on the back and your schedule as gardening is yet another act that can now be automated.

As mentioned in the previous Controliss blinds blog, ‘Robot Chores‘, there are a range of robot lawn mowers available to buy, such as the MowBot. The MowBot works by sensing the signals sent from a border wire that is laid down to separate the areas that do need mowing from the areas that do not. It can also detect objects such as trees and then work around them.

While there is currently no practical technological device capable of removing weeds from your garden effectively, there are many chemical weed killers that are formulated to target specific types of weeds.

An impressive gardening development that is becoming more and more common, is the automated micro irrigation system. This consists of a water computer or water timer, a pressure reducing unit, and any watering components that are required for the garden. The system can be set up and programmed to water the garden at a constant rate or at certain times through a series of water outlets including drippers, that will allow an accurate set amount of water to a particular pot or row of plants, and spray nozzles or sprinklers, that will cover the other areas. Automated micro irrigation systems not only make the task easier for you, they are also more efficient because they use the exact amount of water that is required.

Just imagine, next time the sun graces your garden with it’s radiance, you could get up in morning, open your blinds, and be presented with a glorious garden that is actually maximising its own magnificence while minimising your labor.

From House To Home

Getting the keys to a new home is one of the most exciting experiences for us all, however stepping through the the door for the first time often brings home the realisation that actually your new house will need a great deal of TLC to turn it into your ideal home. Sob, the tears start rolling down your face and the bank manager needs to be phoned!

But there is not necessarily any need to panic, a new home should be seen as a new venture, it is exciting, fresh and new, after all you want something that you can put you own mark on and add your own character to.

Let’s face facts, unless you are not constrained by small details like a budget then achieving your ultimate abode is not something that will happen overnight, no instead (as my in-laws keep telling me) it takes more than a few years to get your house to look like a home.

Although this may be the case (sadly), there are a some great cost effective steps you can take to make your new house seem more like a home sooner rather than later!

Firstly, a lick of paint can do wonders for any room. A fresh, new colour palette really can make a drab room appear fresh and new!

Secondly, remove those moth-bitten curtains from the window and instead replace them with our inexpensively priced and super fabulous roller blinds, vertical blinds, venetian blinds or wood blinds. Dressing your window really will make a difference as it is common knowledge that people look towards a window when they enter a room.

Third and finally is that old furniture and home accessories that your grandma kindly gave you (disgusting but appreciated).  All you have to do here is adopt a little imagination. Sand down and add a lick of paint to that old, dark wood sideboard, spray that distressed mirror frame black and dye those pink sheets red. Imagination really can turn something drab into something fab in no time.

So, wipe away those tears, get excited about your new venture and let the process begin!

Smart Windows: The Windows of the Future

Being in the window blinds business, we here at Controliss have always been fascinated with the latest innovations in window technology. On the horizon are windows that can be incorporated into air conditioning, heating, and energy systems within the home. What’s keeping us excited are the smart window technology that we’re seeing more and more of, such as that of electrochromic glass technology.

Although they’re not yet commercialised, electrochromic glass technology can pave the way to smart windows. The theory is that a pane of glass will be able to change its opacity from transparent to translucent through a remote control. The translucent window will completely block out the sunlight whenever you prefer it. Electrochromic glass will change how it transmits light as a response to the voltage and electricity that will be applied to it. In this way, light and heat that passes through the glass will be controlled.

This kind of technology will need all windows to be wired electrically so that windows can be opened and closed for security and ventilation purposes. When this kind of technology is mass-marketed, having windows control light and heat will be commonplace. Imagine the possibilities that this kind of technology can do to our society. At this very moment, solar powered windows are being developed to generate electricity although this electricity might only be used to power the windows itself.

Although these developments in window technology very exciting, we know that these kind of smart windows sold to the general public are extremely expensive and out of reach for most people. The closest things to smart windows are smart window blinds, such as electric window blinds. Controliss electric blinds do not need any professional installation in order to work and are powered by standard  AA and AAA batteries that you can commonly find anywhere. Choose from our extensive range of wooden blinds, venetian blinds, vertical blinds, and roller blinds. We’re sure that we’ll have the perfect window blind to fit your personal preferences.

Innovative Window Blinds to Excite Your Imagination

At the forefront of window blinds innovations, Controliss is always on the lookout for quirky trends in the window industry. Controliss makes luxurious remote-controlled window blinds affordable for everyone and we’re proud to present to you some cutting edge industry concepts:

The Discreet Window Blinds

Designers Ishac Bertran and Giyem Boyacioglu are in the process of creating Discreet Window Blinds inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s movie called “Rear Window”. These window blinds look at first glance like vertical blinds, but each column can be raised or lowered like typical horizontal blinds. With these blinds you can create a standard look blind or display your slats in a funky staggered format.  The ability to adjust the slats in this way gives you greater light control in your room.

Solar Powered Blinds

We love energy-efficient design and of course solar-powered blinds are at the top of our list. Solar-powered blinds work like typical vertical blinds but have solar panels on the window side. During the day, you can keep the vertical blinds closed while the solar panels charge a power source. A great feature being that the louvres are fitted with LED lights that glow at night using the power captured from the solar panels during the day.

Air Conditioner Blinds

Taking the solar-powered blinds even further, the air conditioner blinds function like ordinary blinds but with an air-conditioning unit built inside its mechanism. The rear side of the louvres is made up of solar panels that can power the AC unit connected to the window blinds. You can then block the sun and cool the air at the same time.

Speaker Blinds

When space is an issue and you haven’t got room for a home theatre with speakers, then the speaker blinds give you an excellent-looking solution. These entertainment speakers are made to look like typical electric blinds. The speaker louvres can be tilted and raised like any ordinary window blind.

These window blinds concepts are exciting if you’re into the latest in home automation. Controliss electric blinds provide you with the luxury of light and privacy control at a single touch of a button. You don’t need professional installation for Controliss electric blinds because they are powered with batteries. Browse through our extensive collection through our website now.

Stealthy Electric Switches & Remote Control Dimmers

Stealthy Electric Switches

A member of the Controliss Blinds team came across these ultra covert electrical accessories available in various guises for light switches, sockets and dimmers.
Approaching the electrical fitment market from an aesthetic perspective, Forbes & Lomax transparent, acrylic plates allow wallpaper and paint to show through the fitment combing an aesthetically pleasing finish with up-to-date electrical components. The Invisible range is available with a choice of toggle switches including Brass and Stainless steel and the user friendly dimming system allows custom programming scenes with remote control options.