Homes get smarter with connected bulbs, carpets, and A/C units

This week’s SmartHome roundup features a new smart bulb entrant, an air conditioning unit that learns your preferences, and a smart carpet.

LG Smart Lamp

LG’s Smart Lamp

South Korea’s LG is joining the likes of Philips with the introduction of its Smart Lamp, a smart bulb touted as being 80 percent more power efficient than ordinary incandescent light bulbs, which means you’ll save more on your electricity bill.

Unlike other smart bulbs with limited compatibility, the Smart Lamp can be controlled using a device running on Android 4.3 or higher and iOS 6.0 or higher, as it uses Bluetooth 4.0 for connectivity.  According to LG, the Smart Lamp can last up to 10 years if you turn it on an average of five hours per day.

You can use the app to control the brightness of the bulb, turn it on or off, and even comes with Security and Play modes.  The Security mode allows the bulb to act like someone is home even when it’s empty, while the Play mode syncs the light with music currently playing, and even sets it to flash when you get a phone call.  The Play Mode will initially be available for Android devices.

The Smart Lamp will retail for $32.


Last year, GE invested $30 million into Quirky, a crowdsourcing platform for product ideas that mostly center on the smart home.  Aside from the monetary investment, GE made its industrial patents available for thinkers and investors to use on their projects, all in the hope of finding innovative solutions.

Aros Smart AC Unit

Aros Smart AC Unit

Garthen Leslie has never built an air conditioner in his life, but has worked at the Department of Energy for years helping to cut costs and conserve resources.  His dysfunctional air conditioning unit was what inspired him to come up with the idea for a smart air conditioner.  The Quirky community and GE made it possible to turn Aros, the smart air conditioner, into a reality.

Aros features a touchscreen control panel, classy blue vanishing LED temperature display, 8,000 BTU, suited for 350 sq. ft. rooms, has three cooling modes, three fan modes, and works well with the Wink app so you can remotely control Aros.  Aros is like Nest  as it learns your habit so it can automatically decrease the temperature based on your previous preferences.  You can set it to turn off when you leave the house, turn on before you get home, adjust the temperature based on the weather and a lot more smart features that will help you cut down on your electric bill.

You can now pre-order Aros on Amazon for $300 and will start shipping in early May.


Future Shape, a German technology company, wants to make homes safer with its SensFloor technology.  SensFloor is a super thin textile studded with sensors and radio modules that allows it to measure capacitance, or the changes to the local electric field, when a person touches it. The flooring will transmit that data to a control module, where the data can be monitored and analyzed in real time.

Future Shape's smart floor installation

Future Shape’s smart floor installation

SensFloor is designed to be installed underneath your existing carpet.  It was recently installed in a nursing home in Alsace, France to monitor falls of elderly patients.  When a patient falls, the SensFloor immediately sends a notification to the nurse’s station to assist the elderly.

SensFloor has a huge potential in the smart home industry as it can be used to automate actions of smart appliances – for instance, stepping inside a room could trigger a smart light bulb to turn on.  It can also be used for security, as it can be tied to a person’s smartphone and the user will get alerts if the SensFloor detects movement when no one is supposed to be home.

Currently the price of SensFloor is at $270 for every 11 square feet.  The price is expected to drop when demand increases.