Home Automation

Voice-controlling Nest thermostat via Google Now almost ready

Voice-controlling Nest thermostat via Google Now almost ready

It didn't take long after Google's purchase of Nest, the makers of the internet-connected thermostat and smoke alarm, for expectations to begin of how the home devices would begin to fit into Google's various apps and services. In June, a "Works with Nest" program was launched, and it was then teased that in the future we would be able to set a temperature with the command "Ok, Google…" via the Google Now app. Now it looks like the service is almost ready.

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Sony gets into connected home market with Qrio

Sony gets into connected home market with Qrio

There’s something really ironic about Sony, who have been hacked thoroughly, wanting to discuss or offer any form of security. For you, the consumer, the front door to your home serves as your main sense of security, and likely holds your stiffest door lock, and maybe even a few deadbolts. Sony, though, they want to help you protect your home, and are introducing something called the Qrio. You won’t see Qrio on your store shelves any time soon, though. Sony is also crowdfunding their efforts.

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Belkin WeMo adds heaters & purifier to smart home

Belkin WeMo adds heaters & purifier to smart home

Belkin's WeMo smart home platform is getting new devices to control, with Holmes throwing an air purifier and a pair of room heaters into the mix of phone-connected gadgets. The Smart Air Purifier is, outwardly at least, a regular HEPA filtering purifier, but thanks to an integrated WiFi connection it can be remotely monitored and controlled from Belkin's WeMo app. From there, not only can it be powered on and off - even if you're not home, current quality ratings can be read and schedules set.

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SmartHome Ventures adds Nest and Philips hue to PEQ

SmartHome Ventures adds Nest and Philips hue to PEQ

The team at SmartHome Ventures have expanded their PEQ smart home service to include Nest Learning Thermostat and Philips hue devices. This system will be able to work with Nest and Philips hue devices immediately if not soon, with a PEQ app update letting interaction happen with a tap. The PEQ app is available for both iOS and Android devices and PEQ devices in stores should all work with this newly integrated system as soon as the app update arrives for smartphones and tablets.

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SkyBell v2.0 gets better eyesight for your WiFi door

SkyBell v2.0 gets better eyesight for your WiFi door

WiFi-enabled doorbell SkyBell has been upgraded, with version 2.0 of the wireless ringer getting better eyesight and stronger connectivity. The doorbell, which hooks up to a WiFi network and beams video and two-way audio to a smartphone or tablet, has been revamped with a new wireless chipset that, so SkyBell claims, will add up to smoother video and faster reconnections to the network. Meanwhile, there are Dropcam-style cloud DVR features in the pipeline.

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Scout Alarm review: DIY home security you’ll want

Scout Alarm review: DIY home security you’ll want

DIY home security — it seems like everyone is doing it. After being privately funded, Scout is ready to toss their hat into the ring as well. The interesting thing with Scout is that you get a bit more off-the-grid security, but still remain connected. In bridging the gap between modern hardware and software in new ways, Scout is aiming to become the new darling of the home security world. Is Scout worthy of praise, or is their system too clumsy and dated for a modern world?

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ecobee3 smart thermostat can now be bough from Apple Store

ecobee3 smart thermostat can now be bough from Apple Store

Brace yourselves folks. The tech giants are bringing their turf wars out of your pocket and into your homes. Apple has now just started to carry in its online Store shelves the ecobee3, the latest smart WiFi thermostat from ecobee, who market themselves as the original smart thermostat. This can be seen as another direct competition between Apple and Google, as the latter's Nest Learning Thermostat is also being sold through Google Play Store. Let the smart home wars begin!

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Manything app update brings remote features

Manything app update brings remote features

With home security becoming easier to get hold of, one small issue remains. There are solutions — popular ones, too — but home security cameras are still fussy, and often require a heft investment. Manything doesn’t ask that you make any kind of big investment, though. In fact, Manything is a free app, with free cloud recording, and works with a device you may already have. Could it really replace the home security camera, though? For many, it just might, and might even be a better option.

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Video: SmartThings working with Gear S voice prompts

Video: SmartThings working with Gear S voice prompts

In an ideal connected home, you open the door, and the lights turn on. Maybe the TV also comes on, and flips right to the game. Your heater kicks in if it’s cold, and your phone silences itself. At least to some degree, that’s what we’re looking for with regard to home automation and the Internet of Things. At Samsung’s Developers Conference today, they displayed their concept for what the connected home would be via SmartThings, the platform they purchased not long ago.

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Spark.io brings the IoT to everyone with tiny board

Spark.io brings the IoT to everyone with tiny board

The DIY aficionado has a new toy: the Spark Photon. Today, Spark is releasing their Photon board, which has the ability to add WiFi to just about any device you’d like. About the size of a postage stamp, the Photon is designed more for prototype devices, or the aforementioned tinkerer. While Photon is the board for your WiFi endeavors, Spark is also introducing the P0 and P1 modules, which are what actually go into your end product. The pricing for each is pretty special, too.

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