smart home

Voice-controlling Nest thermostat via Google Now almost ready

Voice-controlling Nest thermostat via Google Now almost ready

It didn't take long after Google's purchase of Nest, the makers of the internet-connected thermostat and smoke alarm, for expectations to begin of how the home devices would begin to fit into Google's various apps and services. In June, a "Works with Nest" program was launched, and it was then teased that in the future we would be able to set a temperature with the command "Ok, Google…" via the Google Now app. Now it looks like the service is almost ready.

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MisterBrightLight smart desk adjusts with gesture control

MisterBrightLight smart desk adjusts with gesture control

If your work day is spent sitting in front of a desk, you've likely given consideration to a standing desk. You can stand up and stretch a bit while still getting work done, but at some point you're going to want to sit back down. This means you'll either have to manually adjust your desk's height -- if it isn't fixed -- or you'll need to get a bar-height office chair...leaving you awkwardly towering above your coworkers. MisterBrightLight bids itself as a smart desk with the solution, and it comes in the form of gesture control.

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Xiaomi invites released for pre-CES event

Xiaomi invites released for pre-CES event

It would appear that the pipe dreams of a USA-based launch of Xiaomi's next product were just that. Today Xiaomi released an invitation/teaser one-sheet for an event that'll take place next Tuesday, December 9th. This invite suggests that we'll see something fabulous, or at least fabulously strange: "The air is not enough, the water is not enough, no matter how good the phone, what is the use?" These are the words of a company that intends on pushing another smartphone to one-up their previous best-selling Mi4.

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Belkin WeMo adds heaters & purifier to smart home

Belkin WeMo adds heaters & purifier to smart home

Belkin's WeMo smart home platform is getting new devices to control, with Holmes throwing an air purifier and a pair of room heaters into the mix of phone-connected gadgets. The Smart Air Purifier is, outwardly at least, a regular HEPA filtering purifier, but thanks to an integrated WiFi connection it can be remotely monitored and controlled from Belkin's WeMo app. From there, not only can it be powered on and off - even if you're not home, current quality ratings can be read and schedules set.

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SmartHome Ventures adds Nest and Philips hue to PEQ

SmartHome Ventures adds Nest and Philips hue to PEQ

The team at SmartHome Ventures have expanded their PEQ smart home service to include Nest Learning Thermostat and Philips hue devices. This system will be able to work with Nest and Philips hue devices immediately if not soon, with a PEQ app update letting interaction happen with a tap. The PEQ app is available for both iOS and Android devices and PEQ devices in stores should all work with this newly integrated system as soon as the app update arrives for smartphones and tablets.

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SkyBell v2.0 gets better eyesight for your WiFi door

SkyBell v2.0 gets better eyesight for your WiFi door

WiFi-enabled doorbell SkyBell has been upgraded, with version 2.0 of the wireless ringer getting better eyesight and stronger connectivity. The doorbell, which hooks up to a WiFi network and beams video and two-way audio to a smartphone or tablet, has been revamped with a new wireless chipset that, so SkyBell claims, will add up to smoother video and faster reconnections to the network. Meanwhile, there are Dropcam-style cloud DVR features in the pipeline.

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littleBits Smart Home Kit is a home upgrade arsenal

littleBits Smart Home Kit is a home upgrade arsenal

The idea of a smart home might strike your fancy, but a quick look at the products available mightn't sway you. There seems little reason to ditch some of your existing hardware just for the privilege of controlling it with your smartphone, so you plod on another day subjecting yourself to manual light switches and dumb coffee makers. LittleBits wants to solve your problem, and it is doing so by putting up for pre-order its Smart Home Kit comprised of hardware pieces for a do-it-yourself connected home.

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ecobee3 smart thermostat can now be bough from Apple Store

ecobee3 smart thermostat can now be bough from Apple Store

Brace yourselves folks. The tech giants are bringing their turf wars out of your pocket and into your homes. Apple has now just started to carry in its online Store shelves the ecobee3, the latest smart WiFi thermostat from ecobee, who market themselves as the original smart thermostat. This can be seen as another direct competition between Apple and Google, as the latter's Nest Learning Thermostat is also being sold through Google Play Store. Let the smart home wars begin!

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Drop connected kitchen scale bakes with your iPad

Drop connected kitchen scale bakes with your iPad

Wirelessly-connected scales aren't new, with Withings' model gleefully telling everyone in your social networks just how fat you are for some time now, but Drop aims to do something similar only before the food actually makes it past your lips. The Drop connected kitchen scale claims to take the measuring confusion out of baking, integrating with a companion iPad app that not only shows recipes but gives real-time guidance on how you piece it all together, even automatically adjusting the overall recipe if you're short on an ingredient.

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Belkin WeMo Maker lets you DIY your own smart appliance

Belkin WeMo Maker lets you DIY your own smart appliance

If you've been wanting to make your own smart home but couldn't really find the right mix of smart appliances to replace your existing ones, then Belkin's new product might give you an alternative. As the name suggests, the WeMo Maker let's you make your own smart appliance by turning your regular low-voltage device into a WeMo smart appliance. Though the end result may not look as fancy as pre-built products, it at least gives users the option to use what they already have or make their own design.

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