remote control

Samsung buys SmartThings in preemptive HomeKit strike

Samsung buys SmartThings in preemptive HomeKit strike

Home automation start-up SmartThings has been snapped up by Samsung, with the South Korean firm grabbing the modular smart home specialist. The deal will see SmartThings - which offers a wireless home hub that connects to various sensors, remote sockets, light bulbs, and other components - operate as an independent company as part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center group, though it's still likely to prompt some concerns from avid fans of the firm.

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Peq smart home aims to take on SmartThings

Peq smart home aims to take on SmartThings

Another day, another smart home system, with Peq believed to be Best Buy's attempt to jump on the home automation bandwagon. Peq - pronounced "peek" - follows in the footsteps of similar systems like SmartThings, Revolv, and Staples Connect, with a central hub that wirelessly connects to various cameras, door and window sensors, thermostats, and more.

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The iRBeacon is your excuse to ditch remotes forever

The iRBeacon is your excuse to ditch remotes forever

Universal remotes are often big, clumsy pieces of plastic that confuse us a lot more than they help. Even worse, if you misplace it, you might be out of luck on changing the channel. A new crowd-funding campaign could fix all that, though, making almost any smartphone — and nearly any receiver — compatible.

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Star Trek Phaser remote: an accurate replica of the actual prop

Star Trek Phaser remote: an accurate replica of the actual prop

This gives a whole new meaning to that oft-quoted and oft-twisted phrase, "Beam me up, Scotty!" While we've seen many Star Trek-themed paraphernalia, enough to probably fill a museum of its own, this Phaser-shaped universal remote control is in a league of its own. According to its makers, this has been lovingly and painstaking crafted to be an accurate replica of the actual TV series prop.

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Philips Hue Tap Review: Smart bulbs go old-school

Philips Hue Tap Review: Smart bulbs go old-school

Philips’ hue smart lightbulbs have always been at the mercy of a dumb switch. The range of color-changing LED bulbs have won over many smart home enthusiasts with their flexible effects and easy installation, but while controlling lighting from a smartphone or tablet is catnip to geeks, the less tech-savvy were left bemoaning their suddenly redundant physical light switches. Enter Hue Tap, a tactile and portable way to bring up to four presets out of the app and into the real world.

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Revolv smart home hub adds Nest support and Android app

Revolv smart home hub adds Nest support and Android app

Home automation hub Revolv has released its Android app, bringing Google's platform into the fold alongside iOS, as well as integrating support for the Nest Smart Thermostat. The smart home box - which brings together various home automation platforms like Philips' hue and Sonos speakers - also gets a new UI for its iOS app, though it's the "Works with Nest" support that most will be excited about.

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Philips hue tap battery-free light switch finally reaches US

Philips hue tap battery-free light switch finally reaches US

Philips' hue tap wireless, battery-free light switch for the company's color-changing bulbs has finally arrived in the US, allowing the smartphone-phobic still still get in on the home automation action. The ZigBee switch uses kinetic power to switch between up to four preset hue scenes, meaning it can be stuck to a wall without cabling being required, or moved around from coffee table to nightstand.

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Staples Connect hub updated as smart home gets lower point of entry

Staples Connect hub updated as smart home gets lower point of entry

Staples is readying a refresh of its Staples Connect home automation system, with a new hub launching this fall packing more radios, and a price trimming for the existing model. The updated hardware - which adds ZigBee and Bluetooth LE, among other things - will arrive alongside a new in-store push for smart home tech, with Staples planning to put interactive displays in the aisles that will demonstrate how more than 150 connected devices can work together, such as lights, wearables, and thermostats.

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