Home Automation

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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Logitech updates all Harmony hub remotes to control your smart home

Logitech updates all Harmony hub remotes to control your smart home

Accessories maker Logitech has rolled out a free software update today for all of its Harmony hub-based products, giving users better control over the number of interconnected devices making up their smart home. The new update allows the Harmony Ultimate Hub, usually used to control various aspects of you home theater setup, to perform the same functions of the Harmony Home Hub, which was launched with smart home features in mind, like adjusting the lights or temperature.

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Logitech Harmony now speaks with Nest Protect, Rheem EcoNet

Logitech Harmony now speaks with Nest Protect, Rheem EcoNet

The number of smart appliances you can put in your home is increasing exponentially to the point that keeping track of them, much less controlling them, is becoming a chore, which nullifies the premise of a smart home. The peace of mind that comes with orchestrating all these disparate pieces together is exactly the promise that Logitech Harmony makes. Today, it is increasing that peace of mind by adding Nest's Protect smart smoke detectors and Rheem's EcoNet smart water heater to the list of supported devices.

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The simple Smart Home: Where to start

The simple Smart Home: Where to start

Controlling lights, appliances, and keeping an eye on home security has never been easier, but as smart home technology proliferates, picking the best place to start can be tough. I’ve been upgrading my apartment for the past few years, now, and I know that the first step needn’t be too risky, however. Since home automation can be intimidating, I’m going to focus on products that require the minimum of installation effort. I’m a big fan of non-permanent options: it makes a lot of sense if you’re renting, but it also gives you flexibility to change things up as you get used to your newly-smart home.

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Apple denies HomeKit launch delay [Updated]

Apple denies HomeKit launch delay [Updated]

This might not be much of a surprise when you consider the back story, but a new report says Apple is delaying the release of their HomeKit framework. HomeKit is poised to take on the likes of Nest and SmartThings in providing a framework for devices to be built for, which connect to each other via a loose network of connectivity. According to Fortune, Apple is pushing HomeKit’s official launch into the Fall, which will leave us wanting at WWDC. Update: Apple has denied the report; check out the full statement after the cut.

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