Turn Any Appliance Into a Smart One

intelliplugThese days, everything is becoming smart, and the more things you can control from a single device, the better off you are.  You don’t have to remember lock combinations anymore, thanks to smart locks, and now, you can have a smart electrical outlet that will turn any device that you plug into the wall into a smart one.

Smart outlets have been around for a while, but so far, they’ve been expensive, unattractive and sometimes hard to use.

Intelliplug says they’re going to change that, with a soon-to-be-released device that’s small, attractive, easy to use and affordable.

The Intelliplug will allow you to control nearly any device that you plug into the wall.  Just plug the Intelliplug in, and then plug your device into the Intelliplug.  You can control the device via your smartphone using either Android or iOS phones.

Here are a few of the nice features about the Intelliplug:

  • Works with smart phones or wifi-enabled devices
  • Small enough that it will not block off adjacent plugs
  • App can control multiple Intelliplugs at once
  • You can set a timer or schedule to turn a device on or off as you like
  • Amazon Alexa compatible
  • AES256 encryption

The one thing I couldn’t determine about the Intelliplug is the load rating.  I don’t know exactly how large an appliance you can plug in.  In the demo, they show lamps and coffee pots, but those draw relatively little current.

On the other hand, the company creating the Intelliplug, cnct, says they’re trying to bring the thing to market through an Indigogo campaign.  Because of this, there’s an early bird special that will allow you to get a single Intelliplug for just $10, plus shipping.

The cnct app will be continually evolving, but the company promises that you won’t have to worry about compatibility.  As the software gets upgraded, your existing plugs will continue to work.  The Intelliplug also has a built-in on/off switch, just in case you want to turn your device on or off manually.

They also have upgrades, if you’d like to donate more money.  Their funding target is $25,000, which is relatively modest, and estimated delivery is just two months away.

Admittedly, not everyone is going to need this device, but it’s handy if you’d like to have lamps turn on and off at random times when you’re away.  It’s also good for starting a coffee pot when you wake up, rather than having it start at a preselected time via the built-in timer that most coffee makers have.

People will likely also come up with other clever uses for the thing.

You can read more about Intelliplug at the Indigogo site.

Vintage Vinyl Becomes a Bluetooth Speaker

vintage vinyl bluetooth speakerIf you like vinyl, and lots of people do, and you also like the convenience of modern technology, then you should check out the new Kickstarter project for a Bluetooth speaker that uses vintage record albums for the cone.

The project was created by Jeff Davis, who owns a company called Vinylux.  He’s been repurposing old albums and turning them into bowls.  He got the idea of using the bowl shape to create a speaker horn, and the idea for the Bluetooth speaker was born.

He partnered with a company called UncommonGoods to create the speaker, which comes in a wooden enclosure and features Bluetooth connectivity so you can connect a music source.

While I’m not all that crazy about seeing a record destroyed to make a speaker, it turns out that tends of thousands of records are discarded every year, and many of them are in such poor condition that they’re unplayable as records.  It’s not a bad idea to find some way of putting them to use again.

Jeff has spent the last 15 years recycling old, worn-out records and turning them into useful devices.  He got his idea when someone looked at one of his bowls and asked, “Will it still play?”  That gave him the idea for a speaker that made use of a record in the design.

Production will take place in Philadelphia, and the production process will make use of all the parts of the record, including the cover.  The label will appear in the center of the speaker.

There are several price levels involved for those who pledge this project.  At the lowest level, you can simply select a genre of music, and the company will select a record for you.

At the next level up, you can create your own artwork.

For a few dollars more, you can submit your own record, and they’ll use it to create the speaker.

Finally, you can spend a few dollars more, and they’ll acquire the record for you and use that newly-acquired album to create your speaker.

Genres include:

  • 60s Rock
  • 70s Rock
  • The 80s
  • R & B
  • Diva
  • Show Tunes
  • Crooner
  • Disco
  • Jazz
  • Classical
  • Opera
  • Folk
  • Classic Country


Starting  prices for the speaker is about $175, and prices range up to $250 if you want them to buy the record for you.  The finished speakers are expected to ship later this year.

If you’re interested in this Vintage Vinyl Bluetooth Speaker,  you should check out their Kickstarter site.