Fibaro home automation system comes to the US, company releases smart power strip (video)

If you've heard of Fibaro already, you'll just have to forgive us this post: although the home automation system is already available in 43 countries, it's just arriving in the US, with the main box about to go on sale for $699. In a nutshell, the system works not over WiFi, but using the Z-wave protocol. The base station itself can connect to as many as 240 lights and switches, with support for all sorts of devices: heat and cooling systems, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, doorbells, dehumidifiers and motion sensors. For each of these, you can program any number of macros -- e.g., "close the shades when the temperature reaches 68 degrees". Like Nest (a North America-only product) it eventually learns your usage habits, and offers up tips on how to conserve energy.

In particular, though, the system uses geolocation to track members of the household, so you an also do things like set the heat to come on when you're a mile away from home. Separately, the company is also releasing a smart power strip, which logs your energy use for various gadgets, and then sends that data to an iOS app. (An Android version is in development.) No word on how much it'll cost in the US, though in Europe it'll cost 64 euro, tax included.