remote control

Amazon Echo adds Hue and WeMo smart home voice control

Amazon Echo adds Hue and WeMo smart home voice control

Amazon Echo is digging its voice-controlled fingers deeper into the smart home, with Amazon adding Philips Hue and Belkin WeMo support to the always-listening home assistant. The new functionality, pushed out to Echo units from today, allows owners to control their lighting, smart appliances, and switches using simple voice commands rather than reaching for the respective apps, and could well be the most useful additions Echo has seen since it began shipping in limited numbers late last year.

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3D Robotics drone teaser tips prosumer DJI rival

3D Robotics drone teaser tips prosumer DJI rival

With the controversy and FAA sparring about drones you'd be forgiven for thinking that nearly everyone was crowding the skies with quadcopters, but the reality is that UAVs are still relatively niche. 3D Robotics looks keen to change that, however, teasing a new model that looks to improve not only the aesthetics but ease-of-use, too. Sporting a stealthy color scheme that would make a covert Tac-Ops team proud, the unnamed drone could be 3D Robotics' answer to DJI's increasingly straightforward gadgets for aerial photographers.

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Chromecast can be controlled with your TV remote

Chromecast can be controlled with your TV remote

If you use a Chromecast device to throw content from your smartphone onto your TV, I'd wager you have been irritated at some point that it doesn't come with a remote control. The only way to control content on the device is to wake up your smartphone and fiddle with onscreen controls. That is changing with a new update to the Chromecast that adds the ability to pause and play streaming content using a TV remote control.

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Apple Watch could be your Smart Home helper

Apple Watch could be your Smart Home helper

Could home automation integration be the most useful feature of the Apple Watch? Showing off the new smartwatch during Apple's keynote in San Francisco today, the Cupertino firm put on a demo of how third-party apps - in this case from home security firm Alarm.com - could integrate with the wearable, and give easier access to things like lighting, doors, and garages. For instance, a live view from a security camera watching the garage could stream directly to your wrist.

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Waterproof Splash Drone can automatically follow your jet ski

Waterproof Splash Drone can automatically follow your jet ski

There are all kinds of ways to record your surf session. You used to need a friend to film from shore, or you could wear a camera helmet, or attach a Go Pro to your surfboard for a first-person view. Aerial shots over water have always been tricky, even with quadcopter drones because it has been risky to fly your drone over open water. It used to be that once it touched down in the water, it was toast. With the Splash Drone, you'll never need to worry about losing your drone in the water. This little guy can even launch from the sea.

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Philips Hue Phoenix lamps promise healthier light

Philips Hue Phoenix lamps promise healthier light

Philips has outed a new lineup of remotely-controlled lamps, the Hue Phoenix range, integrating "light recipes" which the company claims can stimulate productivity and concentration. Five different styles will be on offer, spanning downlights through table lamps, and finally ceiling lamps, and all with the same UFO-styled lozenge enclosure. As with Philips' Hue Lux bulbs, which we reviewed last year, Phoenix is all about white light.

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Switchmate hands-on: Smarter switches, no electrician needed

Switchmate hands-on: Smarter switches, no electrician needed

The smart home might be intended to make our lives easier, but actually upgrading with home automation kit is more like a headache. Ripping out legacy switches and replacing them with their smart brethren isn’t only a headache, it’s out of the question for many who rent rather than own where they live. Startup Switchmate plans to change that, opening up automation with ridiculously simple and non-destructive gadgets that install in seconds. I caught up with the company to find out how a Bluetooth switch could pave the way to making the smart home mass-market.

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Ray is one smart universal remote you won’t want to lose

Ray is one smart universal remote you won’t want to lose

Universal remote controls are a dime a plenty and even smartphones have apps that try to perform those tasks. And yet here comes Ray, a "Super Remote" with a new look and a new promise. But why would you want to spend money on yet another remote to add to your growing (and eventually disappearing) collection? Well for one, it's quite pretty. But more than shininess, Ray actually has a user interface that makes sense in today's age of digital content and smart TVs.

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Anki OVERDRIVE adds modular tracks for war racing

Anki OVERDRIVE adds modular tracks for war racing

Anki has come a long way since its robotic racecar toys made their mildly-cringeworthy debut on-stage at an Apple keynote, and Anki OVERDRIVE is the new fleet for 2015. Like Anki DRIVE, the new OVERDRIVE cars are controlled remotely from an iOS or Android phone or tablet, the brains of the device providing a surprisingly capable driving AI that means even if you're playing by yourself there's still competition. For OVERDRIVE, however, Anki addressed two key requests from existing players: they wanted a modular track they could set up in different configurations, and they wanted even more ways to express their road rage.

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Sonos pulls multiroom to the fore in v5.3 update

Sonos pulls multiroom to the fore in v5.3 update

Streaming multiroom audio favorite Sonos has updated its platform, making controlling several rooms of playback more straightforward, and boosting appeal on tablets. Sonos Software version 5.3, currently available to beta testers before it goes live for all users, builds on the updated Sonos controller app that the company tweaked last year - adding multiple streaming account support, among other things - bringing control over each playback zone further to the fore, as well as individual playback options for the current track, including turning the system into more of a DJ experience.

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Qmote gives users one-click smartphone control

Qmote gives users one-click smartphone control

Qblinks has introduced its new Qmote, a small remote control with a single button and multiple functions, depending on what the user wants to use it for. Smartphone control is performed using click patterns, which are pre-defined for certain actions like making your phone alert when you can't find it or turning on the rear light. This usefulness grows when one is using a home automation system, allowing different click patterns to be set for triggering different smart appliances like lights.

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