Home Automation

Nest Safety Rewards promises Protect insurance cut

Nest Safety Rewards promises Protect insurance cut

Nest is teaming up with insurance companies to offer a price cut on coverage for those with a Nest Protect smoke alarm installed. The scheme, dubbed Nest Safety Rewards, will trim up to 5-percent off home premiums, Nest says, for those who give information on their Protect setup to their insurance company, though initially it'll only be offered via a pair of firms.

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Nest Protect 2nd-gen adds Split-Sensor and silencing

Nest Protect 2nd-gen adds Split-Sensor and silencing

Nest Protect has been updated, with a smaller, more effective second-generation version promising more convenience and safety features. The revamped smoke and carbon monoxide alarm now uses a brand new twin-sensor system which Nest claims is both even faster at detection than before, as well as less likely to go off accidentally such as when you're burning the toast.

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Nest Cam adds 1080p and new stand to Dropcam

Nest Cam adds 1080p and new stand to Dropcam

Nest has revealed its latest product, Nest Cam, a streaming security camera. First fruit of the company's Dropcam acquisition back in June 2014, the new camera bears a distinct resemblance to models like the Dropcam Pro, with a rounded top section atop a newly-slimmed stand that also offers wall-mounting. Inside, there's 1080p video support along with both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

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Nest updates to protect from smoke and temp extremes

Nest updates to protect from smoke and temp extremes

Nest is pushing out a new software update for its smart learning thermostat, further integrating it with the Nest Protect for handling fires. The new firmware, which is being released today, will automatically control the HVAC system to avoid pushing smoke around the home. Meanwhile, it will also include the ability to warn users if their home is reaching dangerously high, or low, temperatures.

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Misfit adds fitness dash and smart home control to wearables

Misfit adds fitness dash and smart home control to wearables

Misfit is revamping its fitness tracker, with an online dashboard and added smart home integration, while Apple HealthKit support gets a boost. My Misfit is a new browser-based hub for reviewing health data from the Misfit Shine and Flash wearables along with the Beddit sleep-tracker; it'll have a count of steps, calories, and distance travelled, along with overviews of weekly and monthly trends.

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How HomeKit embraces Siri, Apple Watch and iCloud

How HomeKit embraces Siri, Apple Watch and iCloud

Apple is bolstering HomeKit, bringing more smart home kit under the automation umbrella and adding Apple Watch, Siri, and iCloud integration to boost usability both when at home and away. The new functionality, based on iOS 9, will see HomeKit potentially take on a more serious role thanks to integration with security systems, while improvements to the setup process should make home automation installation less of a headache. However, there’s good news for those with existing gadgets they don’t want to replace.

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Apple’s plugging HomeKit’s biggest shortcoming

Apple’s plugging HomeKit’s biggest shortcoming

Apple’s HomeKit in 2014 was a promising start but lacked depth; it’s only with the arrival of iOS 9 that the smart home platform will begin to seem truly useful rather than a gimmick. What will arguably make the biggest difference to actual users is the new support for Event Triggers and Conditions. That will allow for conditional macros: strings of not only actions, like lights turning on and doors unlocking, but the rules and exceptions that govern them.

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Philips Hue Dimmer Switch and brighter bulb incoming

Philips Hue Dimmer Switch and brighter bulb incoming

Philips has a new remote control for its hue wireless lights in the pipeline, along with a brighter version of its color-changing bulb. The new products, revealed during regulatory testing at the FCC, include an update on the original hue bulb with an 800 lumen version. However, it's the new Hue Dimmer Switch which is arguably more interesting, given how it potentially addresses a common complaint among those with the remote-controlled bulbs installed in their homes.

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Philips’ first wireless Hue lamp hits stores

Philips’ first wireless Hue lamp hits stores

Philips' latest hue color-changing lamp has arrived in stores, with the Hue Go offering a more portable take from the smart home staple. The bowl-shaped lamp is Philips' first battery powered option in the hue line-up, offering both the normal gamut of user-selectable custom colors together with a set of presets that can turn it into a flickering yoga candle or a meditation lamp, even if you don't have your smartphone to hand.

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Musio intelligent robot aims to grow with you

Musio intelligent robot aims to grow with you

A new robot has bee unveiled that is designed to learn, adapt, and grow with its owner. The robot is called Musio and according to the creators, the robot can be a great learning tool for kids. Musio can’t move around on its own and the more you use the robot the smarter it becomes. Some versions are web connected to give them access to information you are looking for.

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Brillo is Google’s Android play for the Internet of Things

Brillo is Google’s Android play for the Internet of Things

Google has announced Brillo, its play for the Internet of Things, and the Weave common-language that devices from connected locks, fridges, and alarms can interact. "We've taken Android and polished it down - hence the name - this is basically the kernel, the hardware abstraction layer, and the connectivity," Google SVP of Product Sundar Pichai said on-stage during the Google I/O 2015 keynote. And, as rumored, it's Google's most ambitious play for the smart home to-date.

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Neato reveals new Botvac D series of robot vacuums

Neato reveals new Botvac D series of robot vacuums

Neato, the makers of the Botvac robot vacuum cleaners, have just announced two new models of the their laser-guided floor cleaners, focusing on hardwood environments, as well as homes with pets. The Botvac D75 and Botvac D85 have been updated with a slick new black and white design scheme, fitting in well in modern homes and offices. Like many robot vacuums, Neato's D Series offers the basics of automated cleaning and scanning the environment for obstacles, as well as several improvements over past models.

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