smart home

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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Amazon is using Dot to make you more comfortable with Echo

Amazon is using Dot to make you more comfortable with Echo

If you want to get your customers to take your product and utilize all of its features, there are a lot of good ways that you can do it. Amazon has been pushing Alexa pretty hard, and with today's newest additions to the family, they found one way to encourage owners to use their Echo for ordering products from them. And not everyone likes the idea.

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Amazon Tap and Echo Dot join Alexa in the connected home

Amazon Tap and Echo Dot join Alexa in the connected home

In an unexpected surprise this Thursday morning, Amazon has just announced two new devices in its Echo connected speaker lineup. Dubbed the Amazon Tap and Echo Dot, both units feature the Echo's digital assistant Alexa, or connect to it in some way. Both are available for pre-order starting today, although the Echo Dot has a pretty interesting buying process, which we'll get to in a moment.

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Zuli adds Hue support to presence-tracking IoT plugs: Hands-on

Zuli adds Hue support to presence-tracking IoT plugs: Hands-on

In the smartest Smart Home, everything plays nicely together, and IoT smartplug maker Zuli is further joining up its dots with the addition of Hue support. The Zuli smartplugs, which differentiate themselves by using Bluetooth to figure out when rooms are in use and adjust devices accordingly, can now command Philips' color-changing LED bulbs too.

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Neato Botvac Connected: smartwatch controlled

Neato Botvac Connected: smartwatch controlled

Apple Watch and Android Wear users will be able to control the likes of the Neato Botvac Connected as its updated this year. The Neato robot will work very similar to what you've come to expect from a robot vacuum - cleaning your home automatically. What it will also do is respond to your commands - from your wrist. This action will work via the same Wi-Fi network as the vacuum robot - hopefully keeping your cleaning activities private as it does so.

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Hive iOS app bug heats up UK homes too much

Hive iOS app bug heats up UK homes too much

Companies, both in consumer electronics and mobile, have been quick to push the Internet of Things idea to customers. That haste, however, might be causing those customers problems down the line. From possible security breaches to potentially dangerous bugs, the warts of IoT are only recently starting to surface. Take for example the Hive Home Heating device in the UK, which, thanks to a bug in its iOS app, has caused home owners to experience summer a tad too early for comfort.

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Elgato Eve Energy can make any plugged appliance smart

Elgato Eve Energy can make any plugged appliance smart

The recent surge of Internet-connected appliances and home electronics is leaving out a lot of people who are wary of giving up their favorite living room companion for something newer, smarter, but also more unfamiliar. There are, however, a few gadgets available that offer a compromise. Elgato's latest member of its Eve line is one of those. The Eve Energy is a simple yet elegant small box that sits between the wall socket and any traditional appliance, connecting the latter to your iPhone or iPad via the magic of Apple's HomeKit platform.

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Silk Labs’ Sense wants the IoT to have some style

Silk Labs’ Sense wants the IoT to have some style

The smart home may be fashionable right now, but it's hardly attractive, something one startup created by a former Mozilla exec aims to change with Sense. Brainchild of Andreas Gal, who until 2015 was chief technical officer on the Firefox team, Silk Labs has visions of a connected camera that's pretty enough that you want to look at it while it's watching you.

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