smart home

Simplicam tackles Dropcam with face-detection

Simplicam tackles Dropcam with face-detection

Wireless security cameras like Dropcam are shaping up to be an integral part of the smart home experience, and ArcSoft is hoping its Simplicam will carve a niche courtesy of face detection. A compact WiFi camera with a companion cloud-based recording service, Simplicam offers alerts only if a human face is spotted in-frame, rather than just responding to any sort of movement.

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My Smart Home Trolled Me

My Smart Home Trolled Me

"Motion near upstairs," the notification says. That's upstairs in my apartment, the place I was around 2,800 miles away from; on the other side of the country from, in fact. It's Saturday morning, I'm away for the weekend, and SmartThings is being terribly helpful in notifying me that one of its motion detectors has spotted something unusual. That's when I start to panic.

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SmartThings Review: Living in the Smart Home

SmartThings Review: Living in the Smart Home

Prepare to hear a lot more about SmartThings. Kickstarter success turned Samsung acquisition, the smart home startup isn't the only DIY approach to home automation and security out there, but it may well end up being one of the best funded. SmartThings' mantra is one of openness, aiming to work with as many third-party components as possible rather than lock users into a closed platform. Admirable, but it could easily add up to confusion; I've been living the SmartThings life for the past six months to see whether it works.

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Samsung buys SmartThings in preemptive HomeKit strike

Samsung buys SmartThings in preemptive HomeKit strike

Home automation start-up SmartThings has been snapped up by Samsung, with the South Korean firm grabbing the modular smart home specialist. The deal will see SmartThings - which offers a wireless home hub that connects to various sensors, remote sockets, light bulbs, and other components - operate as an independent company as part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center group, though it's still likely to prompt some concerns from avid fans of the firm.

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Peq smart home aims to take on SmartThings

Peq smart home aims to take on SmartThings

Another day, another smart home system, with Peq believed to be Best Buy's attempt to jump on the home automation bandwagon. Peq - pronounced "peek" - follows in the footsteps of similar systems like SmartThings, Revolv, and Staples Connect, with a central hub that wirelessly connects to various cameras, door and window sensors, thermostats, and more.

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Ninja Sphere centralizes your whole Smart Home

Ninja Sphere centralizes your whole Smart Home

With the Ninja Sphere and a wireless internet connection in your home, you’ll be well on your way to connecting every electronic device you own to a smart interface. Ninja Sphere comes from the same folks that’ve created the Ninja Block, a very similar piece of hardware that runs the same code but does not work with a display, gestures, or radio connectivity. The Ninja Sphere upgrades the whole works.

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Philips Hue Tap Review: Smart bulbs go old-school

Philips Hue Tap Review: Smart bulbs go old-school

Philips’ hue smart lightbulbs have always been at the mercy of a dumb switch. The range of color-changing LED bulbs have won over many smart home enthusiasts with their flexible effects and easy installation, but while controlling lighting from a smartphone or tablet is catnip to geeks, the less tech-savvy were left bemoaning their suddenly redundant physical light switches. Enter Hue Tap, a tactile and portable way to bring up to four presets out of the app and into the real world.

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