Petnet SmartFeeder review: Robot pet feeder meets smartphone app with mostly good results

PCWorld

When I first heard about the Petnet SmartFeeder, I bristled. How could something so basic as feeding a pet be in search of a smart solution? I deposit a half-cup of dry kibble in my dog's bowl twice daily--done and done. Is no human endeavor sacred? I can see that there are times when an automatic pet feeder makes sense: an unpredictable work schedule, say, or an impromptu invite, either of which could step on the toes of your pet's meal time.


Aquanta and its smart water-heater controller are back with new promises to slash your energy bill

PCWorld

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating water accounts for fully 18 percent of the typical household's annual energy consumption, second only to the amount of energy consumed to heat and cool their residence. And because the typical tank water heater keeps 40 to 50 gallons of water piping hot 24 hours a day, seven days a week--whether or not anyone is home to use it--20 to 50 percent of the energy is completely wasted. Following an aborted crowd-funding campaign in late 2014, Aquanta (formerly Sunnovations) is now taking pre-orders on its Aquanta "learning" water-heater controller, which it expects to ship in July. In a note to its would-be backers when it cancelled its Kickstarter campaign, the team said while its campaign was unsuccessful, the exposure it garnered lead to "a sizable number of large and exciting strategic and distribution partners to contact us." Fast forward 18 months and Aquanta CEO Matthew Carlson tells me his company has "had test units in the field for more than a year."


From autonomous cars to foldable phones, 2019 looks promising for 5G wireless technology

USATODAY

A monochromatic bird's-eye view of a city with multiple connected wireless points (Photo: GETTY IMAGES) MAUI, Hawaii--After a relatively ho-hum 2018 for mobile phones, 2019 is looking to be gangbuster year for smartphones and the whole wireless industry. In addition to the launch of foldable phones, next year also promises to see the debut of the world's first devices that can connect to next generation 5G wireless networks. Current smartphones use 4G LTE networks to send and receive all the photos, videos, texts, social media updates, emails, phone calls and other types of information that we consume on our trusty devices. While 4G networks have gotten faster and more reliable since their debut in 2009, technology innovations continue to move forward and the entire industry is on the verge of a once-a-decade generational shift to the next "G"--hence 5G. And 5G promises to bring with it not just faster connections to the mobile telecom networks offered by AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint--although that's certainly an important part of it--but the ability to create new types of experiences as well.


Best robot vacuums: We name the most effective cleaners

PCWorld

Your message has been sent. There was an error emailing this page. Vacuuming is one of the most loathed household chores. While it doesn't come with the ick factor of cleaning the toilet or the tedium of dusting, pushing and dragging a noisy, cumbersome vacuum is its own kind of torture. No wonder most of us only break it out the bare-minimum-recommended once a week.


Eufy RoboVac 11 review: A budget-friendly dust buster

PCWorld

With their budget-busting prices, robot vacuums are a convenience many of us can't afford. That makes the Eufy RobotVac 11 a welcome addition to the brigade. You won't get premium features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, mapping, or camera navigation with this $250 vacuum, but you will get cleaning power comparable to premium models, at a fraction of the cost. Its charcoal finish is adorned with nothing more than an Auto button and the Eufy logo on its tempered-glass top. Its front bumper houses the 11 infrared sensors that help it navigate, and an ample-sized dustbin takes up the bulk of its backside.