Home Automation

Samsung Family Hub fridge finally available for purchase

Samsung Family Hub fridge finally available for purchase

It might sound like a tablet, a cylinder, or even a touch-enabled table, but if you saw Samsung's big reveal at CES early this year, you probably already know that the Samsung Family Hub is, in fact, a glorified refrigerator with a gigantic touch screen. To some, it might have sounded too futuristic to be true, but the Korean manufacturer has just proven them wrong by making the Samsung Family Hub available in the market at long last. Now you won't have to worry about forgetting if you need to buy eggs or not, or about the kitchen being only about food.

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Roost now has its own Smart Smoke Alarm

Roost now has its own Smart Smoke Alarm

Last year, Roost made an interesting proposition. Keep your traditional smoke detectors but make them smarter simply by using its 9V Smart Battery. That was practically all you needed to do to get things like alarm notifications, battery level alerts, and even naming your smoke detectors. Today, however, Roost is finally jumping in all the way in the smart appliance market. It is announcing the Roost Smart Smoke Alarm that gives all that and more in one single package. And yes, it still includes the smart battery.

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Google’s OnHub router now supports IFTTT

Google’s OnHub router now supports IFTTT

The OnHub is an odd and unexpected surprise from Google. While it has a very strong resemblance to Amazon's Echo, OnHub is primarily a wireless router. It's a smart router, though, allowing for more control and information via a smartphone. It is also meant to be the hub of Google's smart home ambitions. But there are only so many things you can do with a router, right? Google is now challenging that perception by opening up OnHub to popular web platform IFTTT, allowing almost anything to be done with the router.

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August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled Review: Siri, lock my door

August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled Review: Siri, lock my door

The Internet of Things may be the Wild West right now, but if Apple has its way, HomeKit-enabled devices like August's new Smart Lock 2nd generation will tame the confusion. It promises to act as your virtual doorman courtesy of the soothing tones of Siri, though at $229 it's not an inexpensive upgrade.

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Switchmate’s DIY-free wireless light upgrade hits stores in May

Switchmate’s DIY-free wireless light upgrade hits stores in May

Renter-friendly ways for a smart home upgrade are few and far between, but lighting at least is getting a blast of the IoT, no screwdrivers required. Glowing from its successful crowdfunding campaign last year, Switchmate is finally bringing its Bluetooth-connected adapter for your existing light switches to market.

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This ceiling mount for Amazon Echo makes perfect sense

This ceiling mount for Amazon Echo makes perfect sense

Amazon's Echo is already proving its worth in thousands of kitchens and living rooms, but when your smart speaker is entirely voice controlled, why does it need space on your coffee table? One enterprising Redditer has taken the obvious next step and moved his Echo completely out of the way, cooking up a ceiling mount that not only helps keep things tidy but could improve performance, too.

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Amazon Echo’s newest trick: adding events to Google Calendar

Amazon Echo’s newest trick: adding events to Google Calendar

Amazon's smart home-connected speaker Echo continues to get regular updates with new functionality and connected service, including everything from controlling the lights and thermostat, to playing Spotify and ordering a pizza. However, while the Echo, and in turn its digital assistant Alexa, has long had plenty of basic yet useful features like readying the news and sports scores, one limitation has been that it can't schedule new events in Google Calendar. After the latest update, that's no longer a problem.

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Nest is now offering full refunds to Revolv hub owners

Nest is now offering full refunds to Revolv hub owners

Revolv owners have had a pretty rough couple of weeks. It all started when the language on the Revolv site changed from saying that the hardware would continue to be supported, to telling customers that their devices would cease functioning starting next month. Today, they've once again updated some of their language, and it may mean that you'll be eligible for a full refund.

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Kwikset debuts smart lock with no physical keys

Kwikset debuts smart lock with no physical keys

Lock-maker Kwikset has done the unthinkable: they've built a smart door lock that has no physical keyway, but relies solely on a touchscreen to open the deadbolt. That means there's no metal key to use in the event the battery dies or the hardware malfunctions in some way — something nearly every smart lock before this has used as a backup. The still-unnamed product was revealed in prototype form last week at an industry show in Las Vegas.

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Now Amazon Alexa can control Lutron Caséta lighting too

Now Amazon Alexa can control Lutron Caséta lighting too

Amazon's Alexa is getting her claws into even more of your smart home, with the news that Lutron's Caséta Wireless lighting can now be controlled by voice. The company's Echo speaker - as well as the Amazon Tap, Fire TV, and Echo Dot - can all remotely operate the Caséta range of wirelessly-enabled dimmer switches, including turning them completely off or on, and adjusting brightness.

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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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