remote control

SmartThings Review: Living in the Smart Home

SmartThings Review: Living in the Smart Home

Prepare to hear a lot more about SmartThings. Kickstarter success turned Samsung acquisition, the smart home startup isn't the only DIY approach to home automation and security out there, but it may well end up being one of the best funded. SmartThings' mantra is one of openness, aiming to work with as many third-party components as possible rather than lock users into a closed platform. Admirable, but it could easily add up to confusion; I've been living the SmartThings life for the past six months to see whether it works.

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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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