Home Automation

Amazon Tap Review – Alexa’s not listening

Amazon Tap Review – Alexa’s not listening

Amazon landed with a splash in the smart home space, the Echo smart speaker opening our eyes to the potential of voice control, and Alexa hasn't stopped accelerating since. Now Echo has a baby sibling, Amazon Tap, a Bluetooth speaker that allows you to take Alexa on the move with you. At $129.99 it's fifty bucks cheaper than Echo, not to mention untethered from an outlet, though there have been some compromises made along the way.

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Nest extends olive branch to angry Revolv owners

Nest extends olive branch to angry Revolv owners

Smarting from bad publicity over the decision to kill off Revolv hubs in mid-May, Nest has quietly begun offering an olive branch to owners of the death row hardware. The Alphabet-owned smart home team prompted IoT ire this week, when it became more widely realized that as of May 15 users of the Revolv system - which Nest acquired in 2014 - would need to find a new centerpiece to their automation.

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Nest bought and abandoned Revolv – now it’s killing it completely

Nest bought and abandoned Revolv – now it’s killing it completely

Owners of Nest-owned Revolv smart home hubs will find their automation platform no longer works come May 15th, with the IoT box killed off in favor of Nest. Revolv was one of the earlier attempts at a multi-platform hub, aiming to join the dots between products from different companies rather than try to make every component itself, centralizing control in a single app.

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August Smart Keypad Review

August Smart Keypad Review

The smartphone may be the remote control for your smart home, but there are times when a simple button makes a lot of sense. August's Smart Keypad has eleven of them, a $79 add-on to the company's Smart Lock that allows you to unlock the door with a PIN code as well as grant access to visitors who might not have an iPhone or Android device.

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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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