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Flare: an all-in-one home security system shaped like a UFO

Flare: an all-in-one home security system shaped like a UFO

You're away from home and though you've a housesitter to keep the planets from dying, the place sits empty night after night and you've no way to know whether ne'erdowells will stay away. There are various smart home security systems on the market that offer peace of mind, mostly through connected alerts and access to video feeds. They typically involve placing sensors around the house, however, something the maker behind Flare decided to avoid. With Flare, the entire home security setup is promised to be available in a single UFO-shaped device.

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Apple denies HomeKit launch delay [Updated]

Apple denies HomeKit launch delay [Updated]

This might not be much of a surprise when you consider the back story, but a new report says Apple is delaying the release of their HomeKit framework. HomeKit is poised to take on the likes of Nest and SmartThings in providing a framework for devices to be built for, which connect to each other via a loose network of connectivity. According to Fortune, Apple is pushing HomeKit’s official launch into the Fall, which will leave us wanting at WWDC. Update: Apple has denied the report; check out the full statement after the cut.

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Ilumi Smart LED Bulbs review; Bluetooth brains

Ilumi Smart LED Bulbs review; Bluetooth brains

In the connected home space, lighting has become rather dull. Several lightbulbs change color, and can react to an app; it’s all fairly mundane at this point. Philips Hue is widely pointed to as the first domino in the rally, but it has limitations, like the need for a WiFi hub. Ilumi thinks it can change our minds about lighting, with their connected bulbs that also change colors and react to an app. In the face of big-name players, Ilumi may have got lighting right.

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Ring Doorbell hits retail, gains ‘Chime’ accessory

Ring Doorbell hits retail, gains ‘Chime’ accessory

Ring, your connected doorbell and two-way intercom, is going off the grid. You can still use all the features you know Ring offers, like smartphone notifications when someone wants to come inside and the two-way voice chat (and one-way video feature), but a new accompaniment lets you tune your smartphone out. No, not an Apple Watch app — an actual doorbell chime. Ring now has a connected doorbell chime, and you can hook up as many of them around your home as you like.

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Comcast Xfinity now an IoT platform, supports August, Automatic and more

Comcast Xfinity now an IoT platform, supports August, Automatic and more

You can now control your front door with your voice. In a partnership with Comcast, August — makers of the August Smart lock and August Connect — will soon allow their connected devices to be controlled via Comcast’s Xfinity service. If you have Xfinity Home, Comcast Xfinity Remote with Voice Control, or the X1 Entertainment Operating System, you can control your August device(s) via voice or on-screen controls, where supported. Comcast is also adding support for other Internet of Things devices, likely an attempt to make Xfinity more of an IoT platform than a cable offering.

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Bruno smart trash can has built-in vacuum

Bruno smart trash can has built-in vacuum

There’s a certain pattern to cleaning the kitchen, and some of the last two steps including taking the trash out and sweeping up the floor. While the need to heft the bag of garbage out to the dumpster hasn’t yet been eliminated, the folks behind Bruno are pining to make the dust pan obsolete. Bruno is bid as a smart trash can, and it is notable for one big reason: it has a small slot in the bottom equipped with a vacuum, allowing the user to sweep debris directly into the can using a broom, no bending over or dust pan needed.

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Ottobox smart plug aims to chop your electricity usage

Ottobox smart plug aims to chop your electricity usage

We’ve seen smart appliances that aim to cut down on the electricity bill, and the latest among them is something called the Ottobox, not to be confused with the Otterbox. The Ottobox is a small smart device that plugs into the wall, and that has a plug of its own for an appliance to be plugged in; there are also a pair of USB ports. The device then connects to the home (or office, etc.) network and communicates with a mobile device loaded with the related mobile app.

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Save your solar power; Tesla to announce home batteries on April 30

Save your solar power; Tesla to announce home batteries on April 30

The rumors are true. Tesla just "announced" that it will unveil new type of lithium-ion battery for homes and offices. In an email to investors, Tesla's Jeffery Evanson said that the company will use its April 30th presentation to, "explain the advantages of our solutions and why past battery options were not compelling.” The innovative car company also plans to reveal a second, "very large" lithium-ion battery for large-scale utilities. Such a sizable battery would be idea for doomsday preppers and those wishing to stay "off the grid."

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Wink smart home hubs bricked by software update [Update]

Wink smart home hubs bricked by software update [Update]

Saturday was not a good day for owners of the Wink Hub, a smart home device that allows users to control a range of home appliances with their smartphone. Of course, Wink owners are probably already aware of this, what with not being able to turn off the lights, open the garage door, adjust the thermostat, etc. See, Wink issued a new software update that, as the company puts it, made their box "so secure that it is unable to connect to the Wink servers." All of the hubs that received the update were then offline for a majority of the day.

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Silvair Control wireless remote lends smart home control

Silvair Control wireless remote lends smart home control

Seed Labs has introduced its new Silvair Control wireless controller lending simple control of common home elements, such as blinds and lights. The Silvair Control is said to be "gesture-driven" and to include Bluetooth connectivity for use with tablets and smartphones. It does not need wiring or anything burdensome like that, and it is powered by a battery that lasts for up to 8 years, depending on usage. Mounting is performed using magnets. It, like many controllers before it, aims to make having a smart home simple.

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