smart home

How HomeKit embraces Siri, Apple Watch and iCloud

How HomeKit embraces Siri, Apple Watch and iCloud

Apple is bolstering HomeKit, bringing more smart home kit under the automation umbrella and adding Apple Watch, Siri, and iCloud integration to boost usability both when at home and away. The new functionality, based on iOS 9, will see HomeKit potentially take on a more serious role thanks to integration with security systems, while improvements to the setup process should make home automation installation less of a headache. However, there’s good news for those with existing gadgets they don’t want to replace.

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Nest Cam leaked, Nest’s prettier Dropcam replacement

Nest Cam leaked, Nest’s prettier Dropcam replacement

Nest is expected to announce a new product next week, but it won't be a home monitor, at least not in the sense that the Thermostat and the Protect are. It is believed to be a camera and, based on the leaked photos grabbed by Droid Life, that is exactly what it is. Called simply the Nest Cam, it is pretty much Nest's stand in for Dropcam, which is now owns. Luckily, it seems that it didn't settle for a simple rebranding, giving the upcoming smart camera a sleeker design.

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Apple’s plugging HomeKit’s biggest shortcoming

Apple’s plugging HomeKit’s biggest shortcoming

Apple’s HomeKit in 2014 was a promising start but lacked depth; it’s only with the arrival of iOS 9 that the smart home platform will begin to seem truly useful rather than a gimmick. What will arguably make the biggest difference to actual users is the new support for Event Triggers and Conditions. That will allow for conditional macros: strings of not only actions, like lights turning on and doors unlocking, but the rules and exceptions that govern them.

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Apple HomeKit’s newest Hue addition is retrofit

Apple HomeKit’s newest Hue addition is retrofit

The Philips Hue ecosystem will be fit with Apple HomeKit capabilities this Autumn, including both systems old and new. Philips Hue has suggested that they "will help existing users to upgrade their system" and will be updating "all existing Hue light sources" to be "made compatible with HomeKit." If that's not good news for those Hue users looking to work with HomeKit in the future, I don't know what is. Come this September, this system will be sent up in full detail. For now, Philips is preparing their system for full compatibility.

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Philips Hue Dimmer Switch and brighter bulb incoming

Philips Hue Dimmer Switch and brighter bulb incoming

Philips has a new remote control for its hue wireless lights in the pipeline, along with a brighter version of its color-changing bulb. The new products, revealed during regulatory testing at the FCC, include an update on the original hue bulb with an 800 lumen version. However, it's the new Hue Dimmer Switch which is arguably more interesting, given how it potentially addresses a common complaint among those with the remote-controlled bulbs installed in their homes.

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tado Smart AC Control can turn any AC smart

tado Smart AC Control can turn any AC smart

One of the problems with the smart home movement is that you are practically asked to buy new furniture or appliances that incorporate those brains. Sometimes, that isn't an option, either when the normal, non-smart product is loads better or if it's just really impossible or difficult to replace them. Like AC units, for example. However, thanks to products like tado, you don't have to miss out on the promise of a smart home. The tado Smart AC control fits any type of home AC unit and gives it a bit of a brain.

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Apple documentation confirms Apple TV required for controlling HomeKit devices

Apple documentation confirms Apple TV required for controlling HomeKit devices

With Apple's 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) event only days away, the company has updated its Support site with official documentation on HomeKit and compatible devices. One of the newest pieces of information is that Apple TV will act as a central hub for a user's connected home, and will actually be required if they want to control HomeKit devices from a separate location. There is also a page that now lists all of the currently available devices that will work with HomeKit, and is likely to be updated as more brands pledge support.

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Apple’s HomeKit is here: “Siri, turn on my lights”

Apple’s HomeKit is here: “Siri, turn on my lights”

Today Apple's smart home ecosystem HomeKit launches with brands like Elgato, Insteon, Lutron, Ecobee, and iHome. Just ahead of the company's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2015), HomeKit has launched with partners bringing hardware to the market. It's been nearly one year* to the day since Apple's HomeKit system was first revealed at WWDC 2014, and here we're seeing partners launching products aplenty, some that'll be carried by Apple Stores, some that will launch independently in stores around the world. Soon you'll be able to tell Siri to turn your lights on when you enter your home - soon!

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Philips’ first wireless Hue lamp hits stores

Philips’ first wireless Hue lamp hits stores

Philips' latest hue color-changing lamp has arrived in stores, with the Hue Go offering a more portable take from the smart home staple. The bowl-shaped lamp is Philips' first battery powered option in the hue line-up, offering both the normal gamut of user-selectable custom colors together with a set of presets that can turn it into a flickering yoga candle or a meditation lamp, even if you don't have your smartphone to hand.

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Amazon Echo adds Google Calendar support

Amazon Echo adds Google Calendar support

Amazon's Echo home assistant has quietly added another talent to its PA abilities, with a new update integrating Google Calendar with the cylindrical speaker. The firmware upgrade, which will be automatically pushed out to Echo units in the wild, allows limited voice control over calendar events and scheduling: you can ask the gadget to give a summary of what's on the agenda for that day, or just request a reminder of the next scheduled event.

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