smart home

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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Brillo is Google’s Android play for the Internet of Things

Brillo is Google’s Android play for the Internet of Things

Google has announced Brillo, its play for the Internet of Things, and the Weave common-language that devices from connected locks, fridges, and alarms can interact. "We've taken Android and polished it down - hence the name - this is basically the kernel, the hardware abstraction layer, and the connectivity," Google SVP of Product Sundar Pichai said on-stage during the Google I/O 2015 keynote. And, as rumored, it's Google's most ambitious play for the smart home to-date.

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Logitech updates all Harmony hub remotes to control your smart home

Logitech updates all Harmony hub remotes to control your smart home

Accessories maker Logitech has rolled out a free software update today for all of its Harmony hub-based products, giving users better control over the number of interconnected devices making up their smart home. The new update allows the Harmony Ultimate Hub, usually used to control various aspects of you home theater setup, to perform the same functions of the Harmony Home Hub, which was launched with smart home features in mind, like adjusting the lights or temperature.

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Logitech Harmony now speaks with Nest Protect, Rheem EcoNet

Logitech Harmony now speaks with Nest Protect, Rheem EcoNet

The number of smart appliances you can put in your home is increasing exponentially to the point that keeping track of them, much less controlling them, is becoming a chore, which nullifies the premise of a smart home. The peace of mind that comes with orchestrating all these disparate pieces together is exactly the promise that Logitech Harmony makes. Today, it is increasing that peace of mind by adding Nest's Protect smart smoke detectors and Rheem's EcoNet smart water heater to the list of supported devices.

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The simple Smart Home: Where to start

The simple Smart Home: Where to start

Controlling lights, appliances, and keeping an eye on home security has never been easier, but as smart home technology proliferates, picking the best place to start can be tough. I’ve been upgrading my apartment for the past few years, now, and I know that the first step needn’t be too risky, however. Since home automation can be intimidating, I’m going to focus on products that require the minimum of installation effort. I’m a big fan of non-permanent options: it makes a lot of sense if you’re renting, but it also gives you flexibility to change things up as you get used to your newly-smart home.

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Nuimo, a.k.a. Flow 2.0, can now control your home too

Nuimo, a.k.a. Flow 2.0, can now control your home too

Sometimes, crowdfunding successes come back for another round in the hopes of meeting success again. And sometimes, they do. That seems to be the case for Senic, the very same people who brought the wireless controller Flow to our attention. They've returned to the crowdfuning scene, but this time they are doing things quite differently. First, they've launched on Kickstarter instead of the previous Indiegogo. Second, they changed the name from what should have been "Flow 2.0" to "Nuimo". But most importantly, they've expanded their scope beyond just computers and mobile devices.

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Qualcomm wants your IoT coffee pot to run apps, too

Qualcomm wants your IoT coffee pot to run apps, too

Qualcomm has ambitions for the Internet of Things beyond just wiring up your fridge to the web, launching a set of chipsets that will not only provide connectivity but app support to appliances. The two new embeddable boards target everything from coffee pots and rice cookers through toasters, fridges, and washer-dryers, not to mention integrating the IoT - or the "Internet of Everything" as Qualcomm prefers to describe it - with home hubs and routers. Meanwhile, there are moves to smooth the IoT setup experience, too.

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Samsung ARTIK wants to wire the IoT (& solve drought)

Samsung ARTIK wants to wire the IoT (& solve drought)

Samsung has launched a new range of chipsets intended to get your home appliances online and talking to each other, borrowing smartphone chip tech for its new ARTIK range. The trio of tiny boards - as small as 12 x 12 mm - connect via Bluetooth, WiFi, or ZigBee, model depending, with Samsung hoping they find their way into everything from connected toasters and fridges to future wearables. Meanwhile, since having your coffee pot hacked is probably considered unwelcome, ARTIK has baked-in hardware encryption.

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GE color-changing LED bulbs to get cozy with Apple HomeKit

GE color-changing LED bulbs to get cozy with Apple HomeKit

The arrival of the Apple Watch and the expected revelation of the so-called iPad Pro, or even rumors of a new Apple TV, may have distracted us from one of Apple's big iOS 8 reveals last year, but GE definitely hasn't forgotten. Its interest in smartwatches and tablets only reach as far as these devices' integration with HomeKit, Apple's platform for a connected smart home. And GE might be one of the first appliance makers to come out with a product this year, with the promise of intelligent, color-changing LED light bulbs that speak HomeKit's language.

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Wink offers posts fix options for hubs bricked by update

Wink offers posts fix options for hubs bricked by update

Wink users who have suddenly found themselves without some smartness in their homes this weekend are probably painfully aware of the blunder that the company made in a recent firmware update. All hope is not yet lost, however. Wink has just posted some instructions on how to get those Smart Hubs up and running and connected to the Internet again. And in case you're not that confident with your technical know-how, they are offering free round-trip shipping to get yours fixed in a few days.

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