Daily Archives: May 30, 2015
Your home’s air quality might be suffering thanks to the traffic or businesses around you, but you might not realize it. Many of the problems in the air can’t be detected without help until they reach fairly serious levels, and so to prevent them from reaching that point we turn to air monitoring technologies. Fortunately, those technologies have become relatively inexpensive over the years and as such have found their way into homes. Awair is the latest example of this, serving as a stereo-like device (it looks like a stereo, is all) that keep tabs on nasties in the air.
Awair is the brainchild of Bitfinder, a San Francisco startup looking to improve your home’s air quality. Awair is a rectangular device that sits on a stand and creates a score based on its analysis of the air it pulls in. This includes basic things like humidity and temperature, as well as more precise things like volatile organic compounds, CO2, and dustiness.
There’s smart home functionality, in that Awair can be connected with other related products like air purifiers and humidifiers, expanding their usefulness by feeding them data. There’s smartphone connectivity, as well, with a related Android and iOS app. Connectivity, quite obviously, happens over the home’s WiFi network.
Awair has gone up for pre-order and will be shipping this fall. The regular price is $199 USD, but those who pre-order from the maker’s website can get it for $149 USD, with extra discounts for larger purchases: $259 USD for two of them, and $479 USD for four of them.
One of the biggest things Google announced at its I/O keynote was Android Pay, a service to rival Apple Pay and help the company win back some of its pride in the mobile payments segment.
However, Android Pay is more of the company playing catch up with Apple, and over at Googleville that’s not how things work.
The company has already announced a new project called Google Hands Free, that allows users to make in-store payments without ever touching their smartphones.
The service will be tested out in San Francisco at McDonalds and Papa John’s in the coming years, with Google engineers pointing out that it would be massively useful in drive-thru situations where pulling out a phone is still too fiddly.
The company made no mention of how Google Hands Free works or intends to work though, leaving it up to our imagination to figure out what could actually be happening.
PayPal has been toying with handsfree payments for some time now with things such as Beacon, that used Bluetooth to know if a customer had entered the store. In all probability, Google too deploys some form of geo-fencing tech to make it hands free work.