Unplggd posted step by step manual to jailbreak AppleTV2 and install XBMC on it. Unfortunately you need a Mac for jailbreak process. It makes hacker’s life harder (for example, I should get Mac from somebody from my friends). But anyway, except that there is nothing complicated. So, use it to build small, quiet, stylish and non expensive media client for your home with power user interface and rich functionality.
Company produced kitchen appliances continue to make glad of consumers. We already wrote about smart kitchen from LG and Kenmore, smart fridge from Samsung or Electrolux. Now it’s time for iChef oven by Gorenje. The oven sports large finger-friendly touchscreen to display a cooking program menu from SIMPLEbake, AUTObake, MYbake, EXTRA and PRObake to STEPbake. Like in digital camera you can choose fully automated mode, adjust it a bit or set your own cooking parameters. Unfortunately there is no possibility to control the iChef or receive notifications about cooking progress using smartphone like it’s done in LG Thinq. But maybe Gorenje will add that feature before the iChef will be available in Europe this spring.
After Philips decided to discontinue its line of luxurious Pronto remotes Sony announced the HomeShare Wi-Fi Universal Remote Control. It has built-in IR transmitter and WiFi 802.11b/g adaptor. So, you can control moder AV devices via DLNA and old ones via IR. The HomeShare Wi-Fi Universal Remote Control will be vailable in March for $300. Unfortunately it isn’t universal as I understand. But Sony fans should be happy with it.
CRISTAL (Control of Remotely Interfaced Systems using Touch-based Actions in Living spaces) is an unusual user interface to control AV equipment and home automation system. The idea behind it following. There are camera and projector mounted on the celling. The camera, connected to the main controller, captures room picture and the projector projects an image on the table. User can touch objects, resize or drag them and the system will react according to the specified logic. For example, you may see on the video to watch movie the user just drag DVD cover to the DVD player. The same for photos. To control lighting he just touch the lamp on the projected image on the table.
The idea of CRISTAL looks amazing. But, of course, it has some serious limitations. For example, with quality of projected image in the dark or bright light. Also it isn’t clear how to control devices in the other room or outside the house. Anyway, we’ll see how CRISTAL will progress in the future.