Home Automation

Logitech’s Harmony Hub Extender is finally available

Logitech’s Harmony Hub Extender is finally available

Back in September 2014, yes more than a year ago, Logitech promised to soon make available a new Hub Extender for its fleet of Harmony smart home products. That "soon", however, turned into months but finally the wait is over. At least for those still waiting for it. The Harmony Hub Extender is now available will soon be ready to introduce new smart appliances and devices to your Harmony-controlled home. Particularly those that support the ZigBee and Z-Wave wireless technologies, which adds a few names to Harmony's growing list.

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Philips Hue 2.0 supports HomeKit plus new 800 lumen bulbs

Philips Hue 2.0 supports HomeKit plus new 800 lumen bulbs

Philips' Hue smart lighting system is getting onboard with Apple HomeKit, with Hub 2.0 embracing third-party IoT protocols alongside a bevy of brighter bulbs. Compared to the original Hub, the second-gen model - along with being square now - has 500x more space and runs a full Linux OS. It's that which allows it to handle HomeKit interactions, using Siri to control the ZigBee-connected bulbs.

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Nest’s huge IoT ambitions see Weave stitch up the smart home

Nest’s huge IoT ambitions see Weave stitch up the smart home

Nest is expanding its "Works with Nest" smart home platform, offering third-party device manufacturers access to the Weave wireless used in its own thermostat. Its APIs already used by over 11,000 developers, Works with Nest is now looking to broaden its net to devices that may so far have fallen outside of the automation portfolio: gadgets that run on batteries, for instance, or which have humble processors.

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Yale Linus Lock uses Nest Weave to speak a CO leak

Yale Linus Lock uses Nest Weave to speak a CO leak

Yale is diving into the connected lock space, and it's so confident in its new smart security gadget it's named it after the company founder. The Yale Linus lock owes its title to Linus Yale Jr. who established the firm in 1843 after inventing the cylinder pin-tumbler mechanism, but while the name may be a nod to history, the technology is bang up to date.

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Logitech Circle is a portable home-monitoring camera

Logitech Circle is a portable home-monitoring camera

Logitech has just announced the Circle under its new "Logi" brand, and it's a small, ball-shaped camera that can act as a standard home security device, but also offers many more neat features. The camera is capable of streaming HD video footage of the home to its accompanying smartphone app on iOS or Android, as well as acting like a two-way intercom, with users able to listen or speak to whoever is in the room.

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The Netflix Switch dims lights, orders food while you binge

The Netflix Switch dims lights, orders food while you binge

Our houses are getting smarter, with new fangled connectivity to the Internet and our smartphones and new fangled remote controls. But what if your needs were simply to comfortably watch your favorite Netflix shows in the dimmed coziness of your living room? What if you happened to be a tinkerer with some spare tools and chips around? What if you wanted pizza to go with that? If you answered yes to all of those, or maybe even just the first two, then the Netflix Switch might be perfect for you.

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Wink owner Quirky files for bankruptcy, IoT platform up for sale

Wink owner Quirky files for bankruptcy, IoT platform up for sale

Quirky, the parent company of smart home/internet of things (IoT) platform Wink, has just announced a filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy following ongoing debt and other financial troubles. The corporate announcement, shared on the Wink blog, also reveals that the company is now accepting bids for the purchase of the Wink platform. The current bid is said to be $15 million — an offer from Flextronics International USA Inc. — and the hope is that the sale can be closed within the next 60 days.

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Amazon Echo update reads news headlines so you don’t have to

Amazon Echo update reads news headlines so you don’t have to

Amazon has just released a software update for its internet-connected, voice assistant-powered Echo speaker that brings several new options to the list of voice commands it can follow. Probably the most impressive is the ability for it to read news headlines when asked, but the update also includes improved controls for smart home set ups, along with in-depth settings for alarms and timers. The new software version is available now to Echo users.

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Logitech Harmony Elite remote sports even more buttons

Logitech Harmony Elite remote sports even more buttons

Those who have been bemoaning about how our TV and entertainment system remote controls have become overloaded with buttons might want to look the other way. That's because the new Harmony Elite, Logitech's latest remote control for its smart home unifying platform, has just gotten a few more of those. Of course, those additional tactile controls are there not to confound but to make sure you have fast and easy access to the most common and most important actions. Like turning lights on or off.

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SmartThings Interview: Talking Samsung’s IoT starlet with CEO Alex Hawkinson

SmartThings Interview: Talking Samsung’s IoT starlet with CEO Alex Hawkinson

SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson is having a busy year. His company acquired by Samsung, and its second generation smart home platform now shipping, not only is Hawkinson now responsible for one of the leading automation systems, but arguably at the center of Samsung's entire Internet of Things ambitions. I caught up with him at IFA 2015 last week to talk openness, the value of a corporate parent with deep pockets, and his HomeKit frustrations.

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Philips Lightstrip Plus flexes brighter, bendier LED strips

Philips Lightstrip Plus flexes brighter, bendier LED strips

Philips' is giving its Hue Lightstrip remote-controlled lighting a pro-style upgrade, with the supercharged version brighter and more flexible than before. Hue Lightstrip Plus sticks to the same core theory as its predecessor - a self-adhesive strip of color-changing LEDs, which can be snaked around kitchen cabinets, run along skirting boards, or underneath breakfast bars - but addresses some of the lingering comments from early adopters.

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SmartThings V2 shipping as home monitoring service goes live

SmartThings V2 shipping as home monitoring service goes live

SmartThings' second-generation home automation hub is shipping in the US, with the new box adding a backup battery in case of power outages. First product from the company to launch since its acquisition by Samsung, the SmartThings Hub V2 can now run for up to ten hours even if its power connection has died, and also supports a select array of offline functionality so that your smart home still works even if the internet goes down.

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