remote control

Lily camera drone hands-on: Aerial video, no pilot required

Lily camera drone hands-on: Aerial video, no pilot required

If you're reinventing the camera, why not make it fly? That's the concept behind Lily, a drone that puts flying photography at its core, but doesn't require a pilot's license to use. Promising not only autonomous flight but eye-catching drone footage with zero operator talent, the new quadcopter wants to usurp the GoPro as the extreme sportsperson's go-to gadget, and snap the selfie-stick for family gatherings. I ventured into the park to strike a pose as I was filmed from the sky.

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Logitech Harmony universal remotes gain Philips Hue control

Logitech Harmony universal remotes gain Philips Hue control

One of the most popular universal remote brands on the market today is the Logitech Harmony line of remote controls. These aren’t like the cheap universal remotes you buy on a whim at Walmart as you checkout. Harmony remotes are high-tech bits of kit that allow you to not only program in all of your devices, but also supports macros. Those macros are where the magic begins with the Harmony remotes.

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Comcast introduces voice-controlled remote for subscribers

Comcast introduces voice-controlled remote for subscribers

Long gone are the days when you had to get up out of the chair to manually change the volume or the television channel, and if Comcast has its way, we’ll one day consider having to manually press buttons on the television remote as equally archaic. The company has introduced a new voice-enabled remote that leverages Texas Instruments’ RF technology to, according to Comcast, usher in what could end up being “the tipping point in a major revolution” for its subscribers.

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Next Apple TV remote tipped to have a touchpad

Next Apple TV remote tipped to have a touchpad

It seems that Apple is taking a U-turn on many of its hardball stances, most of them attributed to the late Steve Jobs: a non-skeumorphic interface, a large screen iPhone, a smartwatch, and probably a huge iPad that might come with a stylus. Now there might be yet another design decision that would go against its previous gospel: an Apple TV remote with a touchpad. Apple has been preaching the simplicity of its remote for years but now it's adding a bit of complexity. At least it's not doing so with a dozen or so buttons.

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Sideclick accessory adds TV control to set-top remote

Sideclick accessory adds TV control to set-top remote

If you've a set top box of some sort, such as a Roku player or the Amazon Fire TV, that means you have at least two remotes sitting in the entertainment room: one that controls the television itself, and one that controls the set top box. Sideclick is an accessory that turns the set top box into a universal remote of sorts, in that it adds an extra row of buttons that allows the user to power the TV on and off, adjust the volume, and more from the set top box remote itself.

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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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