smart home

Zuckerberg’s 2016 goal: make Iron Man’s Jarvis a reality

Zuckerberg’s 2016 goal: make Iron Man’s Jarvis a reality

At the start of every year, almost everyone makes a commitment to do something or stop doing something in order to make a difference in their lives or those of others. And by "almost everyone", we also mean tech company CEOs. For Mark Zuckerberg, 2016 won't simply be a year for learning a new language or reading more books. He already did those the previous year. This year he's taking on something more ambitious: a smart home AI that is practically Jarvis from Iron Man made flesh. Or digital, in this case.

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LG’s cylindrical SmartThinQ Hub has its own LCD display

LG’s cylindrical SmartThinQ Hub has its own LCD display

Amazon might have started the "tube trend" with its Echo smart assistant, followed by Google's OnHub router. One thing neither of those have, however, is a visual display. That is what LG is trying to propose with its new SmartThinQ Hub, an IoT nexus with a similarly cylindrical form and loud speakers to deliver music and audible notifications. It sets itself apart, however, with its display that delivers readable messages and statuses for those who prefer more discreet forms of communication from the smart home commander.

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LG debuts robo-vacuum with augmented reality, home security features

LG debuts robo-vacuum with augmented reality, home security features

The robotic vacuum market is currently being dominated by Roomba, with Dyson making moves as well, but that doesn't mean other manufacturers aren't looking to compete with their own advanced floor cleaners. LG is one such company, having just announced their HOM-BOT Turbo+, a flat, automated vacuum with a rounded-corner square shape and a handful of unique features, including augmented reality (AR) and home monitoring capabilities.

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LG HOM-BOT Turbo+ weds AR and security cameras

LG HOM-BOT Turbo+ weds AR and security cameras

If it seems that the world of "living room" robotics have moved away from the likes of the Roomba, LG might have a word or two to say about that. Coming to CES 2016 is a trio of new vacuuum cleaners from the consumer electronics maker. And one of them is practically a smart robot. It even looks like a Roomba. What makes this cleaner different is how users can employ augmented reality to control the vacuum and the way it also doubles as a security guard as well.

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Nuance Mix brings voice control to any app, Internet of Things device

Nuance Mix brings voice control to any app, Internet of Things device

Nuance, the software company behind the Dragon dictation app, has announced a new platform dubbed Nuance Mix, which will allow developers to add language detection and voice control to their own apps, in addition to smart home and Internet of Things (IoT)-connected devices. In terms of our smartphones, Nuance Mix, which is launching today as a beta, could bring voice control to a number of third-party apps, making it available beyond platform-specific tasks like placing a call, searching for directions, or dictating a message.

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Philips updates Hue firmware to block bulbs from rivals [Updated]

Philips updates Hue firmware to block bulbs from rivals [Updated]

It seems that the IoT wars are finally heating up and Philips may have just fired the opening shot. The company has just rolled out a firmware update to its Hue brand of network-connected smart bulbs and one of if not the most significant thing it does is to cut off connectivity with third party bulbs, which is to say smart bulbs from its rivals like GE. This will, at least for the time being, probably dash the hopes of some to have an interconnected smart home, or at least smart lighting, with IoT devices from different and competing brands.

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Samsung’s SmartThings teams with Scout alarms for “real, tangible benefits”

Samsung’s SmartThings teams with Scout alarms for “real, tangible benefits”

We're at the age of smart home functionality where we can move beyond devices and begin to enable services - so says SmartThings. We won't be dismissing smart devices - they still have a ways to go and much ground to explore - but the age of smart home software services has - according to SmartThings Vice President of Product Mark Yoshitake. Thats why the company has teamed up with Scout Professional Monitoring. "Smart home technology has advanced to a stage where we can move beyond functionality enabled purely by devices," said Yoshitake, "and start to plug in services that will bring real, tangible benefits to customers."

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Spot smart home camera knows when smoke alarms go off

Spot smart home camera knows when smoke alarms go off

One of the big reason that people like cameras in their home that can stream content online is to keep an eye on things from afar. With a streaming camera, you can see if a thief breaks in or if your house catches on fire. The catch with most cameras of this type is that if your smoke alarm goes off, you have to see the smoke to be able to react. That isn't the case with the Spot camera from iSmartAlarm.

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Nest Thermostat 3rd-gen Review (2015)

Nest Thermostat 3rd-gen Review (2015)

Nest created the smart thermostat market, and now it's under attack. Turns out the appeal of home temperature control without requiring programming more complex than a graduate degree, and more flexible than "on" or "off", is enough to lure in not only customers but competitors. After granular improvements since the 2011 launch, Nest's third-generation hardware bumps up the most eye-catching aspect of the thermostat: the display.

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