smart home

2nd-gen Amazon Dash Button bypasses Wi-fi

2nd-gen Amazon Dash Button bypasses Wi-fi

This week the folks at Amazon have had their second-generation Amazon Dash Button appear in the FCC. This device appears to be rolling with the same capabilities as its predecessor, able to connect to its web-based functions via 802.11 WiFi - but this time adds Bluetooth. What might a device like this need with Bluetooth? Why, to connect via your smartphone, of course. Or perhaps to go Echo on us all?

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Kuvee brings the IoT to wine (and probably shouldn’t have)

Kuvee brings the IoT to wine (and probably shouldn’t have)

Wine drinkers who lack the commitment to finish the whole bottle will soon have a digital solution, as the Internet of Things attempts to wirelessly-connect yet another part of our lives. Kuvée is hoping to give the wine bottle some smarts, with a WiFi-enabled sleeve that brings Keurig-style convenience to casual drinking - albeit at a price.

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Amazon Alexa voice control for Nest’s Thermostat is live

Amazon Alexa voice control for Nest’s Thermostat is live

The integration between Amazon's Alexa voice control system and Nest's Thermostat has gone live, allowing owners of the Echo, Fire TV, or other devices to control their heating by spoken command. Announced earlier this month, the functionality has gone live in the Alexa companion app, allowing users to link the smart HVAC control to their Amazon account.

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Haiku ceiling fans to add Amazon Alexa voice control

Haiku ceiling fans to add Amazon Alexa voice control

Big Ass Solutions’ Haiku Home ceiling fans will soon have voice control through Amazon Alexa, the company has announced. When the feature rolls around, users will be able to control their ceiling fans using voice commands, turning them on and off, adjusting their light intensity, and changing their speeds. The voice commands can be made using Amazon Tap, Amazon Echo, and Echo Dot.

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Ring Video Doorbell Pro ups the Wi-fi ringer ante

Ring Video Doorbell Pro ups the Wi-fi ringer ante

This week the folks at Ring have revealed the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, a second, more powerful version of the first-gen wi-fi-enabled ringer. This piece of hardware works with "highly configurable motion detection zones" as well as a small form factor. This second-gen device improves upon the original while the company suggests they've become the business with the largest line of smart, outdoor security products available today.

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iRobot Braava Jet is a robot maid for your bathroom floor

iRobot Braava Jet is a robot maid for your bathroom floor

iRobot's Roomba robots already suck: now they can spit, too. The iRobot Braava Jet isn't rude, though, it's actually intended for bathroom and kitchen floors, as well as rooms with wood and laminate surfaces. Cheaper than its vacuum siblings, it's also considerably smaller so that it can dart behind your toilet. I cornered it in a bathroom to see how it worked.

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Philips Hue Ambience offers white light from warm to cool

Philips Hue Ambience offers white light from warm to cool

Philips has a new Hue light set for smart home fans, and this time the connected bulbs aim to bring every shade of white light into your bedroom or living room. The Philips Hue White Ambience kit introduces a new bulb, which although only offering white light - rather than the colors Hue is perhaps best known for - can be adjusted in light temperature.

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Amazon Echo can now talk finances with Capital One customers

Amazon Echo can now talk finances with Capital One customers

The third-party integrations with the Amazon Echo speaker and its assistant Alexa just keep on coming these days, and the latest is Capital One. Those who use the bank can now take advantage of voice commands to do things like check their account balances, make a payment, and even ask when a bill is due. This makes Capital One the first financial institution to integrate with the Echo.

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Nest products get family accounts and better home or away detection

Nest products get family accounts and better home or away detection

Nest has announced the introduction of two new features today for its smart home products via software update. Dubbed Family Accounts and Home/Away Assist, they allow a home's network of Nest devices to not only work automatically, but also smartly by detecting if someone is even home and allowing multiple people to make adjustments with their own account.

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Google has all that it needs for an Amazon Echo killer

Google has all that it needs for an Amazon Echo killer

When Amazon surprisingly announced the Echo in late 2014, it was the odd duck among the voice-controlled products of the time. Fast forward a year and a half later, however, Amazon Echo would become the poster boy, or girl in this case, for an at-home, voice-enabled personal butler. Recently, it announced two new products, more portable than the first, that aims to make Echo a household name, no pun intended. But while it does have monopoly of that niche market for now, it should always be on its toes. Google is all but primed to take on Amazon at its own game. That is, provided it wants to at all.

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HERO makes tracking, dispensing medicine a lot smarter

HERO makes tracking, dispensing medicine a lot smarter

We've already seen a bevy of smart home appliances, part of the Internet of Things invasion, that cover a range of functionality, from cleaning, to environmental control, to security. But few, or none at all, focus on one aspect that needs an infusion of smartness, health. To that extent, HERO might be the first of its kind. A smart appliance, HERO's sole purpose is to make sure that never again will you, your loved ones, or your charge forget to take that critical medication on time.

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Google’s Nest and Amazon’s Alexa will become friends soon

Google’s Nest and Amazon’s Alexa will become friends soon

Nest might now be owned by Google, but that doesn't mean it's beyond making friends outside Mountain View. Amazon, considered a rival of Google in more ways than one, is one such new acquaintance. Nest has announced that, in a few weeks time, Nest Thermostat and Amazon's Alexa will become familiar with each other, allowing users to turn the heat up or down with their voice, in case they also happen to have an Amazon Echo or Fire TV sitting around the house.

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