Home Automation

Video: SmartThings working with Gear S voice prompts

Video: SmartThings working with Gear S voice prompts

In an ideal connected home, you open the door, and the lights turn on. Maybe the TV also comes on, and flips right to the game. Your heater kicks in if it’s cold, and your phone silences itself. At least to some degree, that’s what we’re looking for with regard to home automation and the Internet of Things. At Samsung’s Developers Conference today, they displayed their concept for what the connected home would be via SmartThings, the platform they purchased not long ago.

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Spark.io brings the IoT to everyone with tiny board

Spark.io brings the IoT to everyone with tiny board

The DIY aficionado has a new toy: the Spark Photon. Today, Spark is releasing their Photon board, which has the ability to add WiFi to just about any device you’d like. About the size of a postage stamp, the Photon is designed more for prototype devices, or the aforementioned tinkerer. While Photon is the board for your WiFi endeavors, Spark is also introducing the P0 and P1 modules, which are what actually go into your end product. The pricing for each is pretty special, too.

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Quirky releases 7 new products, takes aim at Nest, security

Quirky releases 7 new products, takes aim at Nest, security

Quirky made a big splash in the connected home market today, announcing seven new products that could bring your smart home under one roof. In rolling out the new products, Quirky is aiming for the same market share occupied by others in the connected home realm. A sensor for your windows to tell you when they’re opened or closed, a box that “regulates” humidity and temperature, and connected outlets all have a place in their lineup. There’s even a thermostat from Quirky, now.

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Belkin and Mr. Coffee create WiFi enabled coffee pot

Belkin and Mr. Coffee create WiFi enabled coffee pot

I know a lot of people that can’t function well in the morning until they have a couple cups of coffee in their system. If you are that sort of person, you might want to be able to get that coffee brewing before you ever step foot out of bed in the morning. You could go with the old-fashioned alarm clock style coffee pots that start brewing at a specific time in the morning, but what if you want more control over brewing than having it ready at 6:00.

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Belkin WeMo teams with TCP for smart lighting

Belkin WeMo teams with TCP for smart lighting

The WeMo app will soon work with TCP lightbulbs, further widening the environment for smart things everywhere. TCP and WeMo have announced a partnership which will leverage the WeMo ecosystem. TCP, a leading manufacturer of lightbulbs, will incorporate WeMo connectivity in with a number of their LED bulbs, allowing them to work with the WeMo app. Both TCP and WeMo have promised combined products early 2015, and all products in this team-up will work with the one official WeMo app for mobile devices.

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Selfie toys post baby’s photo automatically

Selfie toys post baby’s photo automatically

Without the express permission of your child, are you allowed to post photos of your children on Facebook? Of course you do. But designer Laura Cornet wants you to ask - and wants you to discuss - whether or not permission is something you should attain from everyone, even your infant. To do this, she's created a set of toys that activate automatic shares of photos, sounds, and movements of the child that touches them. Automatically, and without the parents' permission.

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iSmartAlarm’s new camera, smart outlet bring full home automation

iSmartAlarm’s new camera, smart outlet bring full home automation

The do-it-yourself home security race is pretty well-heeled, with companies like iSmartAlarm or Skylink staking claim with their respective hardware. Then there’s the smart home market, which typically offers no security, or at least very little of it. Home cameras are also involved, but they, too, fail to tie the connected home together, by and large (Nest/Dropcam are making inroads, there). The aforementioned iSmartAlarm is bringing two new devices to market that aim to tie your home up in a nice, neat little package.

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Nest acquires Revolv, expands Works with Nest program

Nest acquires Revolv, expands Works with Nest program

The connected home race is starting to tighten up. After Samsung acquired SmartThings for $200 million earlier this year, Revolv has been acquired by Nest. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. This is the second big purchase for Nest this year, after snapping up Dropcam in June. Like Dropcam, existing Revolv units will be implemented with the Works with Nest initiative. Unlike Dropcam, Revolv will no longer be available for purchase, and is being pulled from circulation in the wake of this deal.

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Logitech Harmony, IFTTT cook up recipes for smart homes

Logitech Harmony, IFTTT cook up recipes for smart homes

Home automation, or to be more exact, smart appliances, are growing in number, but each one of those are virtual islands of their own, unless said islands happen to be owned by a single company. Logitech's Harmony system tries to make these disparate voices sing well together but it can definitely use a bit of smarts as well. And what better way to add some smart thinking into anything than by tying it up with IFTTT to automate even the simplest of things, like turning down the volume of your TV or entertainment system when you get a call.

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Homeboy WiFi camera cuts power cord with 3 month battery

Homeboy WiFi camera cuts power cord with 3 month battery

WiFi cameras like Dropcam aren't new, but while baking in wireless connectivity has helped cut one cord, they've always needed to be plugged into a power supply. Now, Homeboy claims to have severed that second tether, with its eponymous camera running on batteries and promising around three months of use from a single charge. That makes positioning all the easier, and Homeboy has taken advantage of that with a magnetic base that means the camera can be pointed in any direction or even hung upside-down from the ceiling.

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