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.
D-Link has announced a new smart home device called the Komfy Switch with Camera that is a smart light switch aimed at creating a safe and smart home. The switch is made to replace a standard one or two-gang light switch. The device is an all-in-one solution that allows users to keep an eye on their home from afar.
Lowes has announced the next generation of its Iris smart home product line and the new generation of products use Microsoft Azure cloud technology. The new line brings new functionality and better performance with updated software and hardware. The updates aim to make the Iris products easier to use and more intuitive.
The connected home security camera market continues to heat up, with not only the Nest Cam, but also Kodak and Logitech competing for supremacy. Now Netgear is back with an updated version of their Arlo camera, the Arlo Q, touting more free cloud storage for video recordings than its rivals. The Arlo Q comes with seven days of online storage, whereas Logitech's Circle offers 24 hours for free, and the Nest Cam requires a subscription.
Using a set of Bluetooth tracking devices and your phone, the TrackR Atlas system keeps aims to keep your most important belongings from getting lost. This is what the Internet of Things is all about. The folks at TrackR have created Bluetooth tags in the past, but now - with the TrackR Atlas, you'll be able to keep track of a large number of items at once with a relatively simple app and a plug. TrackR Atlas plugs into your wall power socket and takes up just one space - tiny and neat.
This week the folks at Elgato have revealed a torch - a medium-sized lamp that shines light in all directions and stays powered up wirelessly for 8-hours at a time. This lamp also connects to your smartphone, allowing you to change its color with Elgato's own unique app. This (along with the Avea Bulb and Eve, revealed earlier this year) ushers in a new sort of age for Elgato (in the public's eye, anyway) where they go from video processing hardware and software to a much wider collection of app-powered lifestyle accessories.
With Black Friday quickly approaching in the US, and thus the onslaught of the holiday shopping season, Amazon has just announced that its Echo, the internet-connected speaker and digital assistant, is making a formal move from the online marketplace to the physical retail environment. Amazon says that in the near future over 3,000 stores will begin selling the Echo, including Home Depot, Staples, Sears, BJ’s, P.C. Richard & Son, Brookstone, RadioShack, and Fred Meyer locations.
Following the recent Japanese debut of the 360 Eye, Dyson's advanced robotic vacuum cleaner, will be coming to the US to clean floors by the summer of 2016, the company has said. Dyson CEO Max Conze reveals that the reason they launch their high-tech products in Japan first is because the country is easy to get excited about household robotics. The US, on the other hand, takes a bit more convincing, meaning Dyson will have their work cut out for them.
Challengers for the throne of connected lighting have come and gone, but Philips' Hue system remains the best-known of the wireless bulbs. It's color-changing and white lamps are now available for a number of sockets and fittings, but one thing has proved consistent: the central bridge that controls them all.
There's a router - which you already have - then there's a Smart Wifi system like Luma. The folks behind Luma have decided that it's time we started really digging in to how well wireless internet is applied to our homes - especially since we no longer just have a set of 2 or 3 computers as we did ten years ago. Luma is a also a secure system, promising monitoring abilities for kids and alerts of incoming hacker attacks.
A few months ago, Amazon revealed that what was thought to be a late April Fool's joke was actually a real product. While the Dash Button may have some merits, offering some degree of convenience or laziness, it was practically wasteful and limited. It seems, however, that idea caught someone else's imagination. Hiku Labs has just announced its second gen hiku shopping button, or sphere if you wish, that helps you remember your shopping list and even buys them for you thanks to Walmart Online Grocery and Peapod.