Home Automation

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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Now Amazon’s Echo takes charge of your thermostat, too

Now Amazon’s Echo takes charge of your thermostat, too

Amazon's Echo has added what could be one of its most useful abilities to-date: voice control over your home thermostat. The update, which as with all Echo feature-adds will be pushed out invisibly through the cloud, allows owners of the cylindrical smart speaker to turn the heating up or down simply by calling out.

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Amazon Echo will now request an Uber too

Amazon Echo will now request an Uber too

Amazon seems to be on roll this week with adding new capabilities to its Echo smart home speaker. First it was ordering pizza for the Super Bowl, then came support for listening to Spotify, and now users can ask digital assistant Alexa to order them an Uber ride. The ride-sharing company has announced that its API is now compatible with Echo, so those in need of a driver don't even need to take their phone out, let alone open the app.

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Samsung SmartThings ads show how you can have super powers

Samsung SmartThings ads show how you can have super powers

The past few weeks have been rather hard on the Internet of Things market. Despite the slew of new trinkets and ideas that were paraded at CES 2016 earlier this month, bugs and security holes in currently marketed devices cast a rather negative light on connected home appliances. Perhaps Samsung thought it was time to lighten up the mood, especially considering it too has some IoT products to sell. In a set of ads revolving around its SmartThings platform, Samsung reveals how IoT can give you superpowers. Or at least the semblance of it.

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Nest software update leaves users without heat

Nest software update leaves users without heat

What happens when your smart home devices receive a bad update that make them not-so-smart anymore? Many Nest owners are finding out the answer to that exact question this week. Users have reported a variety of issues suddenly occurring, from dead devices to overworked heating systems.

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Sony Multifunctional Light has a ridiculous amount of sensors

Sony Multifunctional Light has a ridiculous amount of sensors

CES 2016 is long over, but Sony seems unfazed and has a yet another product it should have probably shown off at last week's event. Then again, it's launching it in Japan only so far. It is calling it a multifunctional light, though that might be a bit of a misnomer and a disservice. A "smart home hub with light" might actually do it more justice. While this connect lighting does do what most smart bulbs do, it also has a ton sensors that would put your smartphone to shame.

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Update your Ring smart doorbell to protect your Wi-Fi

Update your Ring smart doorbell to protect your Wi-Fi

Ring, formerly known as Doorbot, has been around for quite some time. It's a smart doorbell that lets your monitor and even respond by voice to visitors at your door. Some consider it to be one of the few Internet of Things devices that makes a lot of sense and can be considered really beneficial to an automated home. However, while Ring might protect your door and your house, it might not be doing the same for your home Wi-Fi network, potentially exposing home owners to hacking.

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D-Link Smart Alarm Detector gives regular smoke alarms new powers

D-Link Smart Alarm Detector gives regular smoke alarms new powers

Smart appliances are all the fad these days, and smart smoke and CO detectors have been one of the earliest to claim the IoT space. But not everyone has the budget, time, or skill to replace their perfectly working smoke and CO alarms. At the same time, homeowners might indeed want to be part of the smart home revolution. Is there a middle ground? D-Link is saying yes with its new mydlink Smart Alarm Detector, which gives those UL-certified alarms the ability to notify you of the situation on your smartphone, even if they themselves can't connect to the Internet.

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Senic Nuimo hands-on – The IoT’s tactile smart controller

Senic Nuimo hands-on – The IoT’s tactile smart controller

With the smartphone offering a near-infinitely flexible interface, do we really need physical controls for digital services? Senic believes so, and the Nuimo controller is its solution, a touch-sensitive wireless scroll wheel that can manage your streaming music, connected lights, and more.

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Netatmo Welcome getting ear for alarms plus FTP backup

Netatmo Welcome getting ear for alarms plus FTP backup

Netatmo is giving its Welcome face-recognizing camera a fresh batch of smarts, allowing it to keep an ear out for danger among other things. Launched in 2015, the distinctively-styled Welcome not only reacts to movement in its field of view, beaming back HD video to its owners' smartphone app, but can identify faces in the frame and, over time, recognize who they are.

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