Design Your Dream Bespoke Man-Pad

When planning your ultimate man-pad you probably have some idea of your dream requirements. Widescreen or Projected TV? Check. Xbox or PlayStation? Check. Surround Sound System. Check. Pool Table. Check. Universal Control from an iPad? Check. Room design like something out of Alien? Double Check.

Alien Themed Cinema
Alien Themed Cinema

Perhaps the reality may end-up being something a little more budget conscious for most of us but for those who can dream big UK-based bespoke home automation company “The Private Cinema Company” are ready to turn those dreams into a reality.

Alien Themed Cinema
Alien Themed Cinema

One of the latest installation designs for the company has been an Alien themed cinema room complete with alien eggs, shadowy lighting, leather seats, surround sound, movie projection, and all the dramatic intensity of the movie the room is based upon.

The images are pretty impressive and really capture the essence of a bespoke installation. We’re big fans of science fiction movies so this design really gets us wanting to fetch the cat and load in the Blu-ray Alien Anthology set. For those for whom Alien holds little appeal the company say installations are not just limited to the man-pad as home automation can be styled into the lounge, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and even the swimming pool if you have one.

For us, it’s grab the snacks, lights out, start the movie, and make sure there is someone to cling tightly onto. I’ll bring the popcorn, you bring the Xenomorph.

To learn more head over to the The Private Cinema Company website.

InterHome – smart house ‘learns’ from its inhabitants

More good (and cool) news from the home automation field. The University of Hertfordshire has put together a working demo of a house they called InterHome that is able to ‘learn’ and adapt to its inhabitants lifestyles. Using X10 technology and embedded devices, the house can text its owners in the event of unlocked doors or wasted energy (ex: lights unused or thermostat too high/low). In turn the owner can control the InterHome via web browsers, smartphones and SMS messages.

As more such projects are unveiled and their cost to implement comes down, we’ll should see more homeowners jump at the chance to add their houses to the list of eco-friendly, energy-saving, carbon-neutral abodes. For example, take a look at the wireless temperature monitoring project. In time, such features will no longer be add-ons, but standard. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

ZigBee’s latest spec, ZigBee Pro aims to consolidate Home Automation market


We all got a little fed up of hearing about HD-DVD battling Blu-Ray and various other format wars we’ve had over the years, but we seem to have found ourselves caught in another – ZigBee, INSTEON and Z-Wave are battling out to try and win you over for your home automation needs. Both ZigBee and Z-Wave use RF networks to allows you to control various home automated appliances around the home and now ZigBee has a new update to their offerings.

ZigBee are soon to be releasing their new update, ZigBee Pro, which allows communication across numerous different manufacturers’ products, most notably Control4, LG and Black & Decker (door locks, not power tools!) and will be available with a simple firmware update for these appliances. Perhaps the future will see some of the bigger home automation companies jumping on board as well which may help ZigBee to get the market leader title.

Freezer Failure Sensor Kit

Freezer Failure Sensor Kit

A little while ago we pondered what a gadget/gizmo actually was and found one of the definition to be a ‘device or control this is very useful for a particular job’ well, I think we can safely say we’ve found something to fit this bill perfectly – presenting the Freezer Failure Sensor Kit.

This nifty little device being offered by Smarthome will notify you if your freezer’s (or any cryonics units you happen to have lying around the house ;-)) temperature goes above 39°F via a range of different INSTEON home automation kits available from their website. Snag this gadget and  prevent food loss or house flooding!

Buy now!

Price: $64.99
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)

Touch-Free Infrared Faucet Adaptor

Here’s another touch-free gadget to add to your touch-free arsenal, a touchless faucet adaptor. All you need to do is attach this infrared-based adaptor to your existing water faucet. Just place your hands near the gadget and the water comes on. Not much more to it. There is an override switch so you can turn on/off the faucet manually (but that’s so 2007).

No need to hire a plumber to have this installed either. But you will need to get a few AAA batteries.

Price: $38.99
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)

NetLinc – Control your INSTEON devices from the Web, Phone or PDA

This is exactly the type of product that you may have once seen at an EPCOT exhibit or a future-looking tech documentary, but the difference is this is real. NetLinc is an INSTEON Central Controller that allows you to schedule and control your INSTEON home automation network from the Internet, via a browser on a PC, your Web-accessible smartphone or PDA.

The main NetLinc controller simply plugs into your existing INSTEON network, and from there, you can configure it with your computer network to grant you control from outside your home via your broadband Internet connection. NetLinc even support IP-based cameras so you can view those cameras in real-time from wherever.

This is super-cool application for your iPhone or iPod Touch. If you want to see NetLinc in action, take a look at this video.


Price: $119.99
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)

Orbit Professional Outdoor Mist Cooling System

Mist Cooling System

Do you love to entertain friends and family often? If you are like me, you probably feel like you are going to melt outside during the hot summer evenings. Unfortunately, for a lot of people out there with the same aversion to heat like me, it just doesn’t seem like much fun to get out there and slave over a hot grill or even spend time on the back patio. This professional quality mist cooling system will turn your back patio into a nice place to go on those scorching hot days. The mister appears to be extremely easy to setup. It is just a matter of snapping everything together, putting the line where you want it, and connecting a water hose to it. The gadget requires no power and without any expansion will cover a 100 square foot area.

Price: $47.99
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)

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