Home Automation

Scout gets IFTTT channel, runs away with DIY home security crown

Scout gets IFTTT channel, runs away with DIY home security crown

Home security doesn’t have to be expensive any more. In fact, you can get peace of mind for a few hundred bucks upfront, and never pay another dime. It’s one of the benefits of the ‘Internet of Things’ we keep hearing about. DIY home security is probably best realized with Scout, which lets you migrate between connected monitoring and home-grown security. Already one of the better options around, Scout just got a lot better with a new IFTTT channel.

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‘Terribly buggy’ Nest Protects can’t be hushed for one unlucky Googler

‘Terribly buggy’ Nest Protects can’t be hushed for one unlucky Googler

Any time a smoke alarm goes off, it’s troubling. Either your home is on fire, or the blackened tuna you’re searing caused a panic in your home. When cooking, getting your smoke alarm to silence quickly becomes priority one, but what if it just won’t shut up? Even worse — what if there was no smoke to begin with? Google’s Brad Fitzpatrick recently uploaded a video to YouTube, showing just what happens when your Nest Protect smoke alarm can’t get right, and just won’t shut up.

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Smart home, smartphone, smart selling: Xiaomi’s power plan

Smart home, smartphone, smart selling: Xiaomi’s power plan

Xiaomi's schemes for smart home domination rest on a three dollar gizmo and a willingness to practically give it away, a warning note for rivals that, should a US launch happen, the Chinese curiosity could upset the game considerably. The Xiaomi Mi Module is a 22 yuan add-on linking regular appliances - whether they be heaters, rice cookers, or, as Xiaomi has already created for smog-heavy China, an air purifier - to the cloud, but rather than trying to fence the whole thing in, the company hopes to offer them at cost. It's a strategy that's at odds with how many of Xiaomi's competitors do business, and one which symbolizes quite how well a different approach can resonate with consumers.

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August Connect and August Smart Lock review

August Connect and August Smart Lock review

Your connected home is only complete if it’s secure, and that starts at the front door. Though several cameras and motion sensors plan to tell you if something is going on, there’s no better first step for security than a locked door. There’s also nothing cooler than locking and unlocking your home from a phone, and the peace of mind you get from checking in on your front door from anywhere is comforting. Beautiful enough to reside in the Apple Store, we wanted to know if August was just a pretty face, or a home automation must-have.

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SmartThings joins Z-Wave board as IoT gets strategic

SmartThings joins Z-Wave board as IoT gets strategic

Samsung's infiltration into the Internet of Things continues, with SmartThings - its recently-acquired home automation platform - now grabbing a spot on the Z-Wave Alliance board of directors. Z-Wave is one of the lingering wireless standards that still prevails among smart home devices, connecting things like remotely-controlled outlets, lamps, and thermostats, though while popular has nonetheless failed to dominate and thus unify the interconnectivity between automation devices. Given that SmartThings has proved that the smart home is worthy of big money, Z-Wave is now hoping some of that shine rubs off on it.

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Lockitron Bolt replaces original as company aims for mass production

Lockitron Bolt replaces original as company aims for mass production

During its crowdfunding days, Lockitron was a breathe of fresh air. A connected home gadget that required no re-assembling of your door’s existing locking mechanism, Lockitron was great for home owners, and a dream come true for renters. Unfortunately, they ran into the same long delays many crowdfunded hardware platforms experience, causing year-long delays in some cases. Rather than continue that same path, Lockitron is announcing the Bolt, which has the same solid functionality as the original, but has mass production in mind.

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Misfit Flash fitness wearable now also a connected life gadget

Misfit Flash fitness wearable now also a connected life gadget

the Misfit Flash may not be the flashiest fitness wearable around, but it’s handy. A small Bluetooth button, which then slides into a watchband or clip-on, Flash is good at tracking your activity levels. Starting today, Flash is getting a whole lot handier, as Misfit announces they’ve integrated several new platforms into their own service. To round out your connected life, Misfit now interacts with Yo, Spotify, Nest, August, Logitech, and IFTTT. With a few taps or long presses, you can automate your life like never before.

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Domus system promises simple home automation

Domus system promises simple home automation

Domus is the latest addition to the growing number of connected home automation systems, and it promises to have a low bar of entry with a $33 starting price. Using Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, users are able to remotely control certain aspects of their home or office, as well as schedule tasks, monitor energy usage, and more. The system is comprised of the iPlug smart outlet adapter, the Domus app, and the iCon unit for WiFi and IR control.

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HomeKit coming along slowly, first devices due this Spring

HomeKit coming along slowly, first devices due this Spring

The connected home space is heating up and exciting, but platforms will pave the way forward. One platform, HomeKit, is slowly coming to us via Apple — and we do mean slowly. Announced at their WWDC last year, HomeKit has missed the boat on several iOS 8 iterations. A new report details why that might be. Broadcom, a long-standing Apple partner, doesn't yet have their existing software finalized for use with HomeKit. Sources also suggest Apple also didn’t provide them hardware specifications until October of last year, which is potentially having a domino effect.

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Sources: Apple’s HomeKit will talk to 3rd-party hubs

Sources: Apple’s HomeKit will talk to 3rd-party hubs

As home automation standards and devices emerge, we are starting to look towards the platform to save us from the madness. Several technologies for connecting your gadgets exist, but there’s still not a robust platform that can tie them all together. Now it seems as though Apple may be pushing us closer to that end-game, as a new report details how their incoming HomeKit platform will tie into other technologies to tie your connected home devices together into a nice, neat package.

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