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5 Ways to Manage Your Home with a Smartphone

posted by on February 16, 2012 in Health and Home, Phones and Mobile, Mobile Apps, Android Apps, BlackBerry Apps, iPhone/iPad Apps, Home Safety & Security, Guides & Reviews, Nest :: 3 comments

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Nest thermostatMy smartphone is my Swiss Army knife. I use it for a hundred different things—making calls, playing videos and games, taking photos, and controlling my TV.

Now, a slew of new products are letting me use my smartphone to control the very house I live in. There's not yet an app that will let me order up "Tea. Earl grey. Hot." a la Captain Picard on Star Trek, but we're getting close.

Turn up the heat

You don’t have to suffer the chill of a cold house to save on heating bills in the winter. With the Nest thermostat ($249 on, you can turn the heat up remotely with your iPhone or Android phone so your home is just the right temperature when you arrive.  Over time, Nest learns your habits so it can make adjustments automatically. It also has sensors built-in so it knows when your away and can go into energy-saving mode.


Foscam FI8910W Wireless IP Camera Check on Fido

Ever wonder what your pet does all day? You can check in anytime when you set up the Foscam FI8910W Wireless IP Camera ($94.67 on You can log in to view video from your iPhone, Android phone or Blackberry, and even operate the camera—panning, tilting and zooming in on whatever catches your eye.  


Insteon Light Control KitTurn on the Lights

Don’t like coming home to a dark house? You can turn the lights on with your iPhone as you drive in the driveway with the Insteon Light Control Kit ($295.96 on In the box you’ll find two SwitchLinc dimmers and on SwitchLinc switch and a plug for a lamp.


Unlock the front door

The Lockitron deadbolt ($295 on gives you one-touch door unlocking via it's iPhone app. And when your in-laws arrive early, there’s no need to leave them waiting in the cold. You can text them a temporary key to your front door. If the power goes out, you can always enter the old-fashioned way with the included set of keys.


Craftsman AssureLinkOpen the garage door

Ever have that moment when you’re second guessing whether you remembered to close the garage door? When you install a Craftsman AssureLink garage door opener ($289.99 on you can check and operate it from any phone with a web browser.

Discussion loading

New technology for your windows

From LeAnne on February 16, 2012 :: 12:27 pm

Pella Windows just announced that they are getting ready to launch smart apps for raising and lowering your window blinds remotely. Isn’t that cool!!!!  If the sun comes out while you are at work, you can raise your blinds to let the sun in!!! This is SMART SYNC…..


Pella's SmartSync Technology

From Hillary B., Pella Community Manager on February 24, 2012 :: 4:05 pm

Great post, Suzanne! We are very excited about all of the smart home technology that’s creating ways to conveniently use technology and help save energy in your home. You can add Pella’s SmartSync technology to your list of products that help you control your home. With SmartSync you can quickly and conveniently adjust blinds or shades in your Pella windows to control light, privacy and help save energy in your home or business.

Leanne, we’re so glad you’re excited about Pella’s newest innovation, SmartSync technology! How did you hear about it?  You can learn more about Pella’s SmartSync technology here: Look for more information about the availability of SmartSync later this year!

Hillary B., Pella Community Manager


How we knew - to Hillary

From LeAnne on February 24, 2012 :: 10:30 pm

Our son works with you in Pella (UNIX admin, in IS) he told us, and then we saw it (and you!) on WHO. Very cool technology!!! Very smart that you monitor social media.


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