Home Automation

August Doorbell Cam Review

August Doorbell Cam Review

Home security is one of the cornerstones of the Internet of Things, and seeing who is at the door - and then optionally letting them in - is a growing market. August is following up its popular Smart Lock with the August Doorbell Cam, a handsome WiFi-connected streaming video camera which gives you a sneaky eye on the front door frame. At $199, though, before you've even bought the Smart Lock, it's not a cheap upgrade for your home security, but does the convenience make it worth it?

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Amazon Alexa voice control for Nest’s Thermostat is live

Amazon Alexa voice control for Nest’s Thermostat is live

The integration between Amazon's Alexa voice control system and Nest's Thermostat has gone live, allowing owners of the Echo, Fire TV, or other devices to control their heating by spoken command. Announced earlier this month, the functionality has gone live in the Alexa companion app, allowing users to link the smart HVAC control to their Amazon account.

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Philips Hue Ambience offers white light from warm to cool

Philips Hue Ambience offers white light from warm to cool

Philips has a new Hue light set for smart home fans, and this time the connected bulbs aim to bring every shade of white light into your bedroom or living room. The Philips Hue White Ambience kit introduces a new bulb, which although only offering white light - rather than the colors Hue is perhaps best known for - can be adjusted in light temperature.

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Amazon Echo can now talk finances with Capital One customers

Amazon Echo can now talk finances with Capital One customers

The third-party integrations with the Amazon Echo speaker and its assistant Alexa just keep on coming these days, and the latest is Capital One. Those who use the bank can now take advantage of voice commands to do things like check their account balances, make a payment, and even ask when a bill is due. This makes Capital One the first financial institution to integrate with the Echo.

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Nest products get family accounts and better home or away detection

Nest products get family accounts and better home or away detection

Nest has announced the introduction of two new features today for its smart home products via software update. Dubbed Family Accounts and Home/Away Assist, they allow a home's network of Nest devices to not only work automatically, but also smartly by detecting if someone is even home and allowing multiple people to make adjustments with their own account.

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Aido home robot plays with kids and controls smart appliances

Aido home robot plays with kids and controls smart appliances

Aido is a new personal robot that has turned up at Indiegogo and looks a bit like Wall-E's girlfriend Eve if she were much taller and had a hunched back. Aido is designed to do all sorts of things for you inside your home and is packed with sensors, microphones, and can have a projector. The bot has six different microphones to help it hear and understand voice commands in noisy environments.

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Amazon is using Dot to make you more comfortable with Echo

Amazon is using Dot to make you more comfortable with Echo

If you want to get your customers to take your product and utilize all of its features, there are a lot of good ways that you can do it. Amazon has been pushing Alexa pretty hard, and with today's newest additions to the family, they found one way to encourage owners to use their Echo for ordering products from them. And not everyone likes the idea.

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Amazon Tap and Echo Dot join Alexa in the connected home

Amazon Tap and Echo Dot join Alexa in the connected home

In an unexpected surprise this Thursday morning, Amazon has just announced two new devices in its Echo connected speaker lineup. Dubbed the Amazon Tap and Echo Dot, both units feature the Echo's digital assistant Alexa, or connect to it in some way. Both are available for pre-order starting today, although the Echo Dot has a pretty interesting buying process, which we'll get to in a moment.

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Zuli adds Hue support to presence-tracking IoT plugs: Hands-on

Zuli adds Hue support to presence-tracking IoT plugs: Hands-on

In the smartest Smart Home, everything plays nicely together, and IoT smartplug maker Zuli is further joining up its dots with the addition of Hue support. The Zuli smartplugs, which differentiate themselves by using Bluetooth to figure out when rooms are in use and adjust devices accordingly, can now command Philips' color-changing LED bulbs too.

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Passive WiFi uses 10,000 times less power than normal WiFi

Passive WiFi uses 10,000 times less power than normal WiFi

A group of researchers at the University of Washington has made a WiFi breakthrough that could result in wireless networks that consume much less power. As it is now, WiFi-enabled devices give up a significant amount of their battery life to stay connected to wireless networks. The researchers have made a passive WiFi discovery that uses 10,000 times less power than current WiFi methods.

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Elgato Eve Energy can make any plugged appliance smart

Elgato Eve Energy can make any plugged appliance smart

The recent surge of Internet-connected appliances and home electronics is leaving out a lot of people who are wary of giving up their favorite living room companion for something newer, smarter, but also more unfamiliar. There are, however, a few gadgets available that offer a compromise. Elgato's latest member of its Eve line is one of those. The Eve Energy is a simple yet elegant small box that sits between the wall socket and any traditional appliance, connecting the latter to your iPhone or iPad via the magic of Apple's HomeKit platform.

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Silk Labs’ Sense wants the IoT to have some style

Silk Labs’ Sense wants the IoT to have some style

The smart home may be fashionable right now, but it's hardly attractive, something one startup created by a former Mozilla exec aims to change with Sense. Brainchild of Andreas Gal, who until 2015 was chief technical officer on the Firefox team, Silk Labs has visions of a connected camera that's pretty enough that you want to look at it while it's watching you.

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