Home Automation

PetChatz “Greet and Treat” webcam helps you interact with pets online

PetChatz “Greet and Treat” webcam helps you interact with pets online

PetChatz is a web cam that lets you interact with your pet on a number of levels from anywhere in the world. Install it over a wall outlet, secure it to a stud, connect it to your home WiFi, fill it with treats and a special scent, and you're set to go. The device was conceived as a way to reduce pet owner separation anxiety, but its maker Anser Innovation also claims it makes for healthier, happier pets.

Continue Reading

ivee Sleek arrives to be Siri of the smart home

ivee Sleek arrives to be Siri of the smart home

Shouting at your smart home like it's the Starship Enterprise is one step closer, with the ivee Sleek internet connected hands-free digital assistant finally on sale. Born of a Kickstarter earlier this year, and headed to Staples this month, the $229.99 clock-radio-lookalike aims to be the Siri of the smart home with support for voice commands across 33 categories including wireless plugs and lighting, temperature control, weather reports, and alarms.

Continue Reading

Staples Connect launches to tame the smart home

Staples Connect launches to tame the smart home

Staples has launched its smart home platform, Staples Connect, bundling third-party sensors, lights, wireless sockets and locks, and more, with a universal control hub that links them together. The $99 Staples Connect hub - which works with Honeywell, Philips hue, Lutron, Yale, GE, First Alert, and other brands of home automation kit - will be sold alone as well as in themed kits, such as for those wanting to take remote control over lighting or security monitoring, with a single iOS and Android app to manage them.

Continue Reading

Goldee Light Controller wants to be Nest for smart lighting

Goldee Light Controller wants to be Nest for smart lighting

Smart lighting like Philips' hue is great if your phone or tablet seldom leaves your hand, but sometimes you want a light switch on the wall where you'd expect it to be. The Goldee Light Controller promises to be just that, but it's no ordinary switch: the minimalistic black square hides touchless-gesture sensors, an AMOLED display, and Nest-style intelligence for automatically managing your lighting schemes.

Continue Reading

Belkin WeMo Insight Switch arrives for power-tracking home automation

Belkin WeMo Insight Switch arrives for power-tracking home automation

Belkin's WeMo Insight power-tracking wireless power socket has finally launched, offering internet-of-things and home automation fans a way not only to remotely control appliances, but see how much electricity they're sucking down. The switch, revealed back in September, works with Belkin's existing WeMo line-up of motion-sensors and remote plugs, with control from an iOS or Android device whether inside the home or outside it.

Continue Reading

Netatmo smart thermostat unveiled with mobile connectivity and e-ink display

Netatmo smart thermostat unveiled with mobile connectivity and e-ink display

Smart thermostats aren't terribly uncommon at this point, though the most popular maker of such devices is arguably Nest. More options are slowly cropping up, however, the latest of which is Netatmo, a French startup that has introduced its smart thermostat, aptly named Thermostat. The Netatmo Thermostat comes with a variety of functionality, including wireless control from a mobile device.

Continue Reading

Revolv Hub Review

Revolv Hub Review

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then "node zero" is the heart of the smart home, but in today's plug-and-play world of lifestyle automation that doesn't have to mean a cabinet full of rack-mounted hardware and professional installation. Startup Revolv aims to be the hub of the new generation, a central point at which automation favorites like Sonos, Philips' hue, and more can gather for more intelligent control. With no single leader in the smart home space, however, and numerous competing wireless standards in play, that's a lot to ask from the teardrop-shaped gadget: so, is it home sweet home or fit only for the mad-house? Read on for the SlashGear review.

Continue Reading

Apple patent automates your life via locations, devices, tasks

Apple patent automates your life via locations, devices, tasks

Apple has patented a home automation technology that can turn your lights on when you enter your home, fire up your home entertainment system when you're on your way, adjust HVAC settings depending on your activities in remote locations, and untold other applications, Apple Insider has revealed. The system would combine geo-fencing with activity detection, so that not only your location but also your specific activities inform the automated tasks. The patent was awarded today.

Continue Reading

Philips hue adds BR30 and GU10 bulbs plus Disney StoryLight

Philips hue adds BR30 and GU10 bulbs plus Disney StoryLight

Philips promised more focused lighting options for the holidays as part of its hue wireless bulb range, and the company has delivered, revealing not only two new bulb types, but a tie-in with Disney that integrates special Mickey-themed lamps with interactive story books. The hue BR30 is headed to the US first, targeting the popular recessed downlighter fittings found in many American kitchens, offices, and living rooms, while the GU10 will do the same for European track- and task-lighting.

Continue Reading

Philips hue BR30 Review

Philips hue BR30 Review

Philips' hue range of wireless lights has come a long way from its ZigBee beginnings, but it's the new BR30 downlight bulbs that the Dutch company expects to really crack the US market. Still packing the same multi-colored, Android and iOS controlled convenience for the DIY smart home, these latest hue bulbs now fit into the recessed and spot-track fittings common in American homes. They're on sale today, but SlashGear has been testing them out over the past few weeks; read on for our full review.

Continue Reading