Items tagged with smart home

Wink its telling its customers they have an important choice to make: start paying a $4.99 monthly subscription fee or lose access to critical features for products they already purchased. Customers have just one week to make a decision, as the subscription (and features cut-off) goes into effect starting May 13, 2020. This decision is not sitting well with Wink's customers, as one might expect. Angry Wink device owners have taken to social media and web forums to accuse the company of extortion and IoT ransom, while pointing out that the timing of the announcement makes the situation even more egregious. Incidentally, timing played a role in Wink's decision to start charging a monthly fee. "Wink... Read more...
Five years ago, Google in down and acquired Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in what amounted to an all-cash offer. It seems Google hasn't quite figured out how best to leverage its acquisition, which has been shuffled around the organization a couple of times, and is now considering a rebrand of its Nest line of products. It's been an interesting road for Nest since Google took over in 2014. In 2015, Nest operated as its own subsidiary under the corporate Alphabet umbrella. Then earlier this year, Google announced that Nest was "coming home" by rejoining its hardware division. The hope was that by meshing Nest with Google's own hardware team, it would be able to bring more innovative products to the... Read more...
Robots may not yet be doing [all of] our household chores, but we are getting a little closer to this fantasy. The Brilliant Smart Home Controller with Amazon Alexa built-in is now available for purchase. The product promises to simplify the smart home experience and eliminate the use of smartphones and smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home. The Brilliant Smart Home Controllers will replace any existing light switch in one’s house. The user will then have touch and voice control over Sonos, Nest, Philips Hue, Ecobee, Ring products in their home. Users will be able to control their Sonos Home Sound System, adjust the room temperature, be able to see who is knocking on their... Read more...
TP-Link has been making mesh routers in the Deco range for a while now that are designed to give you WiFi access all around a home or office. Last year, the company launched the Deco M5 mesh router and now the company has announced the new Deco M9 Plus. This mesh router is notable because in addition to offering WiFi coverage, it also has an integrated smart home hub for IoT devices. The M9 Plus supports AC2200 speeds and tri-band WiFi with dedicated 5GHz backhaul for faster speeds and dependable connectivity for over 100 devices across the entire home. The router uses TP-Link Mesh technology to eliminate dead spots in the home or office with a single Deco M9 Plus kit with a pair of the access... Read more...
Amazon and Ring, the maker of video doorbells and security cameras, have come to an agreement where the former will acquire the latter. The deal is said to be worth over one billion dollars. While nothing has been specifically said about what plans Amazon has for Ring, it's easy to guess what will happen based on what Amazon has done with its past acquisitions like that of Twitch and others. What this will mean is that the Ring brand will likely carry on. Ring already has integration with Amazon Alexa via skills launched in June of last year, and you can bet that Amazon will expand its integration into the Ring line of products, even if some of the products that overlap with what Amazon already... Read more...
You win some and you lose some, and unfortunately for Otto, a smart lock startup that was ever-so-close to shipping its first product, the door is now slammed shut on the company. Otto founder and CEO Sam Jadallah stated in long-winded Medium post that an acquisition deal crumbled at the least minute, leaving the startup in shambles and forcing it to shut down despite having shown off its smart lock product just months earlier. Otto's fate is a cautionary tale to other startups. Sadly for Jadallah and company, the decision to move away from investments and go all-in with an acquisition offer proved fatal, as the company's hands were tied during the buyout process that never came to fruition.... Read more...
Equipping your home with smart products can be an expensive proposition. Blink, one of the major players in the smart home market, is hoping to lessen the financial burden on potential customers with a new battery operated smart doorbell system with video capabilities. It's supposed to be easy to install and costs $99 for existing customers who already own a Blink sync module, or $129 for new customers. Granted, that's way more than a regular doorbell costs. But in the realm of smart products where Internet connectivity rules the day, the asking price is not egregious, especially for what the doorbell is capable of. It has a motion sensor built into it and provides customers with live HD video... Read more...
The smart home movement, while still in its relative infancy, is in full swing with various companies offering complete (or near complete) solutions. August is one of them, and it has gone and refreshed its smart home product lineup with new and more affordable versions of its smart lock, and a professional edition doorbell camera.This the third generation of the August's Smart Lock product, and it looks unlike either of the previous ones. It is compact with an oval-shaped industrial design that now features a thumb turn dial. The new version also doubles up battery life compared to the previous model, and sports a DoorSense sensor that can detect when the door is open or closed. The sensor also... Read more...
Nest has introduced new, cut down version of its smart thermostat that parent company Google hopes will appeal to a wider audience. Part of that entails making the new Nest E cheaper than the regular Nest thermostat, which it is. However, even though Nest E is not quite as feature-rich as the regular Nest, there is not much separating the two thermostats in the way of functionality. The new Nest E can do almost everything the regular Nest can do, save for a feature called "farsight" that allows the thermostat to detect when you're across the room, and then turn on the display to indicate the time or temperature. Beyond that, Nest E owners are not missing much, other than the heftier price tag... Read more...
A smart thermostat like the Nest is a great way to help you save money on your electricity and heating bills. Nest is able to do this by learning what temperatures you like and then setting itself automatically depending on the time of day. It also learns when you are out of the home using integrated sensors and the location on your smartphone to turn the temperature up when you leave, saving money.The catch for many people who would like to own a Nest Learning Thermostat is that they are expensive at $249, and are decked out with a metal ring around the outside in stainless steel, black, white, or copper colors. Back in March of this year, a rumor started floating around suggesting that Nest... Read more...
Sometimes, smart home technology can automate seemingly mundane tasks to make our lives easier. Smart thermostats, smart light switches, and other devices can be programmed to activate with a touch of a button, the sound of our voice, or automatically with schedules or geofencing settings. But while smart devices have the ability to make our lives easier, they can be downright hellish to deal with when things go wrong. Take the company LockState, for example. LockState manufactures a line of RemoteLock smart locks that can be used by residential homeowners and businesses. They are particularly popular (and approved) for the Airbnb Host Assist program, which allows a host to generate codes for... Read more...
Most people do not think of a smart speaker being a potentially life saving gadget, but with the ability to dial up the police in emergencies, there is the potential for such items to serve as much more than just an entertainment gadget that can relay the weather and fire up playlists. That is the case for a woman and her daughter who were house-sitting in Tejaras, New Mexico last week. While house-sitting, an argument broke out between the woman and her boyfriend, Eduardo Barros, which turned physical, according to Deputy Felicia Romero, a spokesperson for the Bernalilo County Sheriff Department. The argument escalated to where Barros allegedly brandished a gun and threatened to kill his girlfriend.... Read more...
In a perfect world, we would not have to worry about intruders breaking into our homes and pilfering our belongings. Of course, we do not live in such a world, and the sad reality is that burglars and thieves exist. Fortunately there are home security products that make life tough for the bad guys. One of them is the Nest IQ Cam, a smart "security camera that outsmarts other security cameras." Behind that witty tagline is a smart camera that was built from ground up with completely new hardware with unique functionality. It's an inside version of its outdoor security camera released last year. Armed with an improved lens and beefed up processing power, the Nest Cam IQ can see better and think... Read more...
Companies are embracing the smart home movement in a number of fun and creative ways. Thanks to smart home speakers and technologies, you can bark out commands to the cloud to do things like dim the lights, play music, look up the weather, and even order a pizza. Amazon hopped out in front of the trend with its Echo speaker and Alexa digital assistant, but here comes Google with its Google Home speaker. In a bid to be more competitive, Google has added a dozen new partners to its smart home initiative. These new home automation integrations introduced with the latest update add a wealth of functionality to Google Home powered by the company's Google Assistant. Here is a look at the list of players... Read more...
Smart home technology is on the rise and everyone is looking to get in on the action. That includes big players such as Amazon and Google, and pretty soon you can count Microsoft among the contenders as well. However, Microsoft's solution won't be a hardware product. Instead it has been working on a software solution called Home Hub since before the Anniversary Update for Windows 10 arrived.The Anniversary Update actually includes some features designed to work with Home Hub, such as being ability to summon Cortana from the lock screen. Even more features that link Home Hub's functionality with connected Windows 10 PCs will be included in the forthcoming Creators Update, though it's the next... Read more...
The smart home category is one of the fastest growing segments and everyone wants a piece of it. That includes Apple, which is looking for another breakout product like the iPhone. Apparently Apple believes that product could be a smart home device similar to Amazon's Echo gadget, but powered by Siri instead of Alexa and sporting a few additional bells and whistles.People who claim to be familiar with Apple's plans say that Apple began work on the smart home device two years ago, and that the project just recently exited the research and development phase. Apple has yet to finalize plans for whatever hardware it's cooked up and it could even decide to sideline or trashcan the project altogether,... Read more...
Nest Labs pounced on the emerging Internet of Things market by making and selling Internet-connected smart thermostats and smoke detectors. That caught the attention of Google, which in 2014 acquired the company for $3.2 billion. Since then, Google's had trouble figuring out how best to utilize its acquisition, though parent company Alphabet has an idea. Alphabet's made the decision to pluck Nest's entire platform team and make it a part of Google.The idea is to creat a unified IoT platform. Google executive Hiroshi Lockheimer will spearhead the effort, though it's not clear if he'll also continue in his current role as senior vice president of Android. Either way, the IoT group will focus its... Read more...
Some people have the ability to light up a room just by their very presence. So can you, says Philips, when you use its Hue gen 2 app for iOS and Android. The new generation app for the company's smart lighting system gives you better control over your home illumination along with some intuitive ways of brightening up a room. One of the new features is called Rooms. Using the Rooms feature, you can group all of the lights in one room together to control them all at the same time. This can be handy for rooms like kitchens and the basement where you might have lights installed in different locations, each of which is controlled with a different switch. The second generation Hues app also supports... Read more...
It's still relatively early in the smart home movement that's been making headway into the mainstream market and that means there's a ton of untapped potential for creative and innovative solutions. One of them was just introduced by Logitech—it's the Pop Home Switch, or basically a programmable button that can control multiple smart home devices. You can program up to three different action sequences in each switch, which in turn are initiated by a single press, double press, or a long press. For example, you might program a single press to turn lighting on or off, a double press to lock the doors, or a long press to initiate an activity like movie night whereby the Pop dims the lights and turns... Read more...
When you think of your home, your belongings and your family, it likely automatically invokes various feelings of love, happiness, care, etc. And because of this, it is no surprise that people throughout time have looked for new and inventive ways to ensure the safety of their home via different monitoring and security tactics, and as technology has evolved, so too have the number of technologically oriented products for home monitoring and security. That having been said, home security cameras are currently among the most popular home security products available to consumers today. Ideal for anyone who is looking to keep an eye on their home for whatever reason, (whether it be security from... Read more...
While smart home innovation is still in its infancy, the number of products being introduced to the market on a monthly basis is increasing significantly. Devices that give you the ability to control your lighting, thermostat, or even your crock pot from your mobile device are making lives easier and increasing overall efficiency. Meanwhile, users are adapting quickly. In the United States, household penetration of smart home technology is at 5.82% in 2016, with penetration expected to hit 18.62% in 2020. If you’re not part of this 5.82%, you could be on the fence - and we totally get it. With such innovation, you might be wondering what connected technology can actually do for your home - and... Read more...
D-Link is expanding its Connected Home line of products with the addition of the DCH-S165 mydlink Smart Alarm Detector. This sensor will alert you when your existing smoke or carbon monoxide detectors go off. The sensor can also be programmed to listen for other sounds such as glass breaking or your doorbell ringing. Devices such as the Smart Alarm Detector make it easy for anyone to have a smart home without the hassle of replacing a bunch of sensors or re-wiring your home. The device plugs into any AC outlet and can be used with other mydlink devices to help protect your home. After plugging in the smart alarm, you’ll need to press the button on the side of the sensor to connect to your... Read more...
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