smart home

Amazon Alexa skills just got a whole lot smarter

Amazon Alexa skills just got a whole lot smarter

Amazon's Echo may allow you to order from the retailer's virtual shelves and play its audiobooks, but it's third-party features that make Alexa smartest and they're getting a makeover today. A year after Amazon threw open the Alexa Skills Kit and Alexa Voice Service for others to tap into, there are now 1,400 extra abilities for the speech-controlled virtual assistant.

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Roost Smart Water and Freeze Detector detects flooding

Roost Smart Water and Freeze Detector detects flooding

Roost is a company we have talked about before, it has a smart battery for smoke detectors and a smart smoke detector to help keep your home or office safe. Roost has announced a new product called the Roost Smart Water and Freeze Detector. The goal of the new device is to help save homeowners from costly repairs from frozen pipes that burst or leaks that might flood the home.

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Sonos iPhone lock screen controls added plus 3D Touch

Sonos iPhone lock screen controls added plus 3D Touch

Sonos is finally answering one of the biggest requests from users of its streaming speakers, and embracing Apple's 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in the process. Ditching its standalone remotes in favor of its smartphone apps made a lot of sense - who wants to spend a couple hundred dollars on a dedicated touchscreen remote, when you have a far slicker one in your pocket already - but they did make adjusting things like volume and track a little more time consuming since you needed to unlock your phone and load the app first.

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Nest’s new talent tames the thermostat when power gets pricey

Nest’s new talent tames the thermostat when power gets pricey

Nest's thermostat has always been billed as "smart" but, courtesy of even deeper integration with power companies, a new "Time of Savings" feature could help your wallet, too. Part of the smart home staple's intelligent energy services, the new addition works with so-called "time of use" (TOU) plans by learning what the rates are and adjusting heating and cooling use according to when it's most affordable.

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Amazon Alexa will soon blend with Logitech Harmony

Amazon Alexa will soon blend with Logitech Harmony

Amazon's Alexa is truly growing up to becoming the personal assistant for the home, sprinting past Google, Apple, and Microsoft and giving them a run for their money. While those big three are scrambling to get a foothold inside living rooms, Amazon is already building up its army rallying behind Alexa. The latest news, if for real, will potentially add dozens if not hundreds of devices that don't directly support Alexa. All through the masterful orchestrating of Logitech's Harmony smart home platform.

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D-Link DCS-8200LH HD 180-degree camera joins the smart home club

D-Link DCS-8200LH HD 180-degree camera joins the smart home club

As homes get smarter, so too do potential intruders and miscreants. As we continually upgrade our appliances, it is also fitting that we upgrade our security systems. Fortunately, it won't necessarily mean trading an arm or a leg just to get a smart security setup. D-Link is adding a new HD 180-degree camera, the DCS-8200LH, to its mydlink Connected Home team to offer affordable security cam without skimping on the features that make these connected cameras a perfect fit for smart homes.

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No Apple TV? Your iPad can be an Apple Home Hub

No Apple TV? Your iPad can be an Apple Home Hub

Apple's update for HomeKit may make the Apple TV even more important, with its addition of remote access to control things from afar, but it turns out you don't actually need the set-top box. In an ideal setup - and certainly how Apple presented it at the WWDC keynote this week - the Apple TV running the upcoming version of tvOS acts as a Home Hub, but if you don't have, or don't want, the set-top box, you can use something else.

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Nest update shows current temp and weather forecast

Nest update shows current temp and weather forecast

Adding on to a feature update to the 3rd-generation Nest (smart thermostat), the company brings on display of current temperature and weather forecast to Farsight. Farsight is a feature that shows information on the smart thermostat to a person looking directly at said thermostat from across the room. Hence the name, far sight, Farsight. In this feature you'll now be able to see two new items you've never been able to see before - at last, and finally.

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Apple Home app puts homekit control at system level for iPhone

Apple Home app puts homekit control at system level for iPhone

Apple Home was introduced this morning in app form, making Apple's smart home initiative "HomeKit" look a lot more pleasing to the end user. Users will be able to launch their "Home" app from their iPhone and control all HomeKit devices with relative ease. This will include garage doors, thermostats, locks, sensors, and fans. It'll include humidifiers, air purifiers, doorbells, cameras, and air conditioners.

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Nest rumored to be working on security camera for outdoors

Nest rumored to be working on security camera for outdoors

Nest has been dealing with a serious shakeup over the last week, with the Alphabet-owned company trading Tony Fadell for Marwan Fawaz as its CEO. This news prompted fears that the smart home device-maker might be up for sale, but Fawaz quickly affirmed that was not the case, and the company would stick to its "great roadmap" of upcoming products. One of these gadgets nearing release is said to be an outdoor version of the Next Cam, according to Tech Insider.

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Withings Body Cardio Review : what no other scale has

Withings Body Cardio Review : what no other scale has

If you want to get so extremely serious about your body that your scale can tell you if you have heart problems, Withings Body Cardio is here for you. This piece of hardware works with the ability to tell you your pulse wave velocity - that's the measure of the stiffness of your arteries - aka the velocity at which your arteries pulse through your vessels. The measurement is non-invasive, and could very well show you that you're at cardiovascular risk when you'd otherwise have no idea. So far it seems we're not at risk - so that's good!

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Bluetooth 5 to debut next week with major speed, range improvements

Bluetooth 5 to debut next week with major speed, range improvements

The next generation of the Bluetooth standard is scheduled to be announced next week, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group has revealed. Dubbed Bluetooth 5, the next version is said to offer significant improvements over the current wireless standard, including four times the range and double the speed. The official reveal will be held in London on June 16th, an email from Bluetooth SIG CEO Mark Powell says.

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