The business of vacation rentals has grown quickly in the last few years. Platforms like Airbnb, Expedia, and more have made it easier for people to bring attention and customers to their private rental properties. However, the process of running the business is far more difficult than bringing in customers, and it only gets more difficult when you’re managing more than one property. You have to interact with tenants, possibly on multiple platforms. You need to have the property cleaned after each visit. You have to deal with maintenance requests promptly. These are exactly the challenges that are being addressed by Hostaway.
Hostaway is a platform for vacation rental property managers designed to bring all of the regular tasks that are involved in the running of the business into a single management dashboard. It integrates with all of the essential tools of the trade, including Airbnb, Expedia, Booking.com, and more. That means that the tasks that happen through those platforms can be generalized, reducing the need to bounce between sites. Now you can interact with the tenants in a single dashboard, no matter where they booked. But it also integrates with other tools that are designed to improve your tenants’ stay, like smart locks, allowing the tool to change the lock code between visits.
On the inside of the business, Hostaway also allows you to manage contractors, like cleaning services, repair services, and more. Schedule your cleaning service based on booked stays, schedule repairs when visitors have a problem. By creating efficiencies around all of these regular tasks, property managers can save a lot of money, resulting in lower prices and higher profits.
Hostaway is available now for managers to try out. To book a demo or learn more about the service, check out the website.
The evolving smart household has reached the stove-top with the introduction of SmartyPans. The app-enhanced cookware offers both nutritional information as well as assists users in the cooking of their food.
SmartyPans uses built-in temperature and weight sensors to help compute nutrition as you cook. Use the app to tell the pan the ingredient you are adding to efficiently track information about your meal in real time. Users can either add ingredients on the fly or pull recipes from the app, which also can assist you in properly preparing the food. The pan is dishwasher safe and detaches to also serve as a serving dish.
Co-founder and CEO Prachi Baxi said at CES that the product should be available for mass retail by the end of the year and is expected to be priced at $289. More information can be found on the company’s website.
Not all of the technology being shown off at CES is designed to give consumers convenient and faster access to the latest forms of information and entertainment. Some of it is created with the idea of making certain tasks just a little bit easier.
That’s the thought behind Somabar, a fully robotic bartender that can create and mix a beverage without so much as the unscrewing of a cap. The app-controlled drink mixer uses six different pods to blend together over 300 different cocktails, or the user can program their own creation into the app. Following feedback from its Kickstarter campaign, Somabar also comes with a full water-flushing system for automatic cleaning.
Inspired by CEO Dylan Purcell-Lowe’s travels to Japan, where he witnessed prepackaged rum and Cokes being served from a machine, Somabar is set to be released in July and will retail at $449. The robotic bartender can be purchased at http://www.somabarkickstarter.com.
Pinball machines are making a huge resurgence in both arcades and home game rooms. They are also a great example of a healthier gaming experience since you play them standing up. Health Tech Weekly host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic got the chance to stop by the Stern Pinball booth and chat with founder Gary Stern about the latest offerings from his company.
Pinball games associated with popular entertainment properties like the Avengers, Star Trek, and Spiderman make the gaming experience more fun for the player. For the home enthusiast, the Stern Pinball company now offers not only a full line of commercially operated pinball games for arcades, bars and other businesses, they also have a full line of home-based machines. These large sized home pinball games offer many of the features from the larger machines including a full-sized playing area, professional bumpers, flippers, sling-shots, and more!
Find out more about how you can get one of these awesome machines for your home game room or entertainment center. Visit the folks at SternPinball.com for more information and pricing.
Oh, no! The power’s out, what are you going to do? If you have the Blackout Buddy CO from Eton, you’ll have a gadget that will not only help you through the power outage but keep you safe at the same time. Skip Orvis from EtonCorp.com chats with Health Tech Weekly host Jamie Davis, the Podmedic at the CES Unveiled event. The Blackout Buddy CO is an upgrade of the previous Blackout Buddy. The new device is not just a rechargeable flashlight that comes on when automatically when the power goes out and provides a night light the rest of the time. It also incorporates a carbon monoxide detector and alarm, too.
We’re seeing more tools for the home or office that provide additional safety features like the Blackout Buddy CO. Blackout Buddy doubles as an LED nightlight, so you can keep your kid’s rooms, hallways, or office illuminated during normal power cycles at night and when the lights are turned off. With the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless and poisonous gas that can be a silent killer when people are using generators during long power outages, the Blackout Buddy CO doubles now as a true life saving device. The Blackout Buddy CO will be released by this summer in time for hurricane season on the East Coast and will retail for $59.95. Look for it as an important part of your family or business’s preparedness kit.
Nest, known for its groundbreaking interactive thermostat and mobile device app for controlling your home heating and air-conditioning, is now following up this success with a new device called the Nest Protect. The nest protect is a high-end combination smoke detector and carbon monoxide (CO) detector. But, as we expect from Nest, this home safety and wellness device is also connected to the Nest mobile app, sending you an alert when the device is activated and what kind of emergency is detected.
There are other user friendly features built in to the Nest Protect. The Nest site says it all – “Safety shouldn’t be annoying.” When alerting to a potential emergency Nest Protect gives you an early Heads-Up telling you what the danger is and where it is. If the problem is that you just burned something on the stove, no problem. No need to swing towels or get up on chairs. Silence nuisance alarms, like burning toast or bacon, with a wave of your hand. And the typical annoying battery-low chirps of other smoke detectors is a thing of the past. Nest Protect will send a message to your smartphone if the alarm goes off or if the batteries need replacing.
The introduction of LTE technology and high speed data can’t eliminate dead spots within homes or buildings. Both 3G and 4G technology is still reliant upon basic radio transmission, and so there are still situations where the signal from the local cell tower will not be sufficient. The unit can handle a number of phones in a small business warehouse or in homes Wi-Ex has a variety of amplifier systems that can be used in commercial applications in challenging interior layouts, connecting units with coaxial cable.
TPN Interview by Andy McCaskey, SDRNews and Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.
The great thing about CES is that every now and then an unknown shows off something cool. I’d never heard of Fulton Innovation but they have smart products based around wireless power transmission. Todd learns more about eCoupled from Dave Baarman.
Fulton Innovation have developed an inductive coupling solution that scales from simply making a magazine cover light up as you walk past to being able to charge a whole bag of devices without taking them out of the bag. Electric cars could be recharged by parking in the right spot and not by plugging them in.
Not all of these products are ready for market just yet, but inductive charging efficiencies are on a par with plug-in chargers though economies of scale are needed to bring the prices down to a point where it’s built-in as standard. Palm’s Pre range of smartphones used inductive charging with the Touchstone and the Motorola Droid 4 has inductive charging as an option. As a Pre 3 owner, it’s brilliant not having to fiddle with cables and I hope more devices come to the market with inductive charging in 2012.
AirPlay is a standard introduced by Apple, but it has been picked up by many audio hardware makers to get their products integrated with the Apple and iTunes ecosystem. Philips is introducing a whole new line of AirPlay-compatible products from entry-level all the way up to the high-end of audio.
Philips has a stand-alone speaker with built-in WiFi and a WPS button to easily connect to your home router and you can control them through an app of your PC, Mac, or mobile device. They are also introducing a new pair of headphones that are towards the high-end of this category as they made from premium materials like leather, memory foam, and have a durable, cloth-lined wire. You can see both products in the video below and also visit Philips online to get more info.
Craftsman may not be a name you expect to see at the Consumer Electronics Show, which is generally all about computers, home theater, smartphones, and the like, but you may be surprised by the fact that they were there and they had some cool things to show off. How does the world’s first internet-connected garage door opener sound? This garage door opener has an app for checking it’s status and opening and closing it remotely. Handy for those time you drive away and forget to hit that close button.
There are apps to control it available not just for the PC, but also for both Android and iOS devices. This also eliminates the need to give out keys or passcodes to repairman and others, because you can simply let them in remotely. The device is already available from Craftsman at their website and at Sears locations. They are also working on many future improvements, like integration with home security systems. The device begins at $349 and you can learn more from Craftsman.