smart home

SlashGear’s Best Tech of 2014

SlashGear’s Best Tech of 2014

Twelve months, thousands upon thousands of gadgets, and we're about to start it all over again. 2014 draws to a close with a bumper crop of technology under our belts, so before we head through into the new year and the very latest and greatest that the consumer electronics industry thinks we should hemorrhage our wallets to acquire, it only seems right to take a look back through the products that have most impressed us. Tablets, smartphones, odd camera accessories, and more, all wrapped up in the SlashGear team's pick of the best tech of 2014.

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Archos adds IFTTT to Connected Home system

Archos adds IFTTT to Connected Home system

Archos is hoping that embracing more open standards will propel its home automation platform into contention, adding IFTTT support among other things to its Connected Home system. Officially launched back at CES 2014, and promising a mixture of wireless security and convenience gadgets that hook up to an Android-based tablet, the system is now gaining IFTTT (If This Then That) support, the "platform glue" which can link devices and services from different manufacturers together, triggering cascades of actions in the process.

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Elgato Avea Bluetooth LED Bulb Review

Elgato Avea Bluetooth LED Bulb Review

The democratization of the smart home continues, and nowhere is it more visible than in color-changing wireless light bulbs like Elgato's Avea. Pairing Bluetooth Smart with multi-color LEDs and a simple iPhone and iPad app to command them all from across the home, Avea isn't the first such bulb to the market, but with a street price of around $39.95 it's certainly one of the more affordable options. Beyond questions of whether remotely-controlled bulbs are actually necessary, then, has Elgato made a hue-killer or just another flash in the pan? Read on for my full review.

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Jawbone and Big Ass Fans hook up in your bedroom

Jawbone and Big Ass Fans hook up in your bedroom

Finding natural bed partners for wearables and the internet-of-things isn't always easy, but Jawbone and Big Ass Fans are hoping that the promise of a better night's sleep will be tempt us to link our wrists to our ventilation. Set to show up in a firmware update come February next year, the new feature will see enabling sleep mode on a Jawbone UP wearable or in the company's app automatically put the Big Ass Fan into sleep mode too, intelligently adjusting blade speed and lighting over the course of the night so as to maintain things like room temperature.

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Voice-controlling Nest thermostat via Google Now almost ready

Voice-controlling Nest thermostat via Google Now almost ready

It didn't take long after Google's purchase of Nest, the makers of the internet-connected thermostat and smoke alarm, for expectations to begin of how the home devices would begin to fit into Google's various apps and services. In June, a "Works with Nest" program was launched, and it was then teased that in the future we would be able to set a temperature with the command "Ok, Google…" via the Google Now app. Now it looks like the service is almost ready.

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MisterBrightLight smart desk adjusts with gesture control

MisterBrightLight smart desk adjusts with gesture control

If your work day is spent sitting in front of a desk, you've likely given consideration to a standing desk. You can stand up and stretch a bit while still getting work done, but at some point you're going to want to sit back down. This means you'll either have to manually adjust your desk's height -- if it isn't fixed -- or you'll need to get a bar-height office chair...leaving you awkwardly towering above your coworkers. MisterBrightLight bids itself as a smart desk with the solution, and it comes in the form of gesture control.

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Xiaomi invites released for pre-CES event

Xiaomi invites released for pre-CES event

It would appear that the pipe dreams of a USA-based launch of Xiaomi's next product were just that. Today Xiaomi released an invitation/teaser one-sheet for an event that'll take place next Tuesday, December 9th. This invite suggests that we'll see something fabulous, or at least fabulously strange: "The air is not enough, the water is not enough, no matter how good the phone, what is the use?" These are the words of a company that intends on pushing another smartphone to one-up their previous best-selling Mi4.

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Belkin WeMo adds heaters & purifier to smart home

Belkin WeMo adds heaters & purifier to smart home

Belkin's WeMo smart home platform is getting new devices to control, with Holmes throwing an air purifier and a pair of room heaters into the mix of phone-connected gadgets. The Smart Air Purifier is, outwardly at least, a regular HEPA filtering purifier, but thanks to an integrated WiFi connection it can be remotely monitored and controlled from Belkin's WeMo app. From there, not only can it be powered on and off - even if you're not home, current quality ratings can be read and schedules set.

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SmartHome Ventures adds Nest and Philips hue to PEQ

SmartHome Ventures adds Nest and Philips hue to PEQ

The team at SmartHome Ventures have expanded their PEQ smart home service to include Nest Learning Thermostat and Philips hue devices. This system will be able to work with Nest and Philips hue devices immediately if not soon, with a PEQ app update letting interaction happen with a tap. The PEQ app is available for both iOS and Android devices and PEQ devices in stores should all work with this newly integrated system as soon as the app update arrives for smartphones and tablets.

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SkyBell v2.0 gets better eyesight for your WiFi door

SkyBell v2.0 gets better eyesight for your WiFi door

WiFi-enabled doorbell SkyBell has been upgraded, with version 2.0 of the wireless ringer getting better eyesight and stronger connectivity. The doorbell, which hooks up to a WiFi network and beams video and two-way audio to a smartphone or tablet, has been revamped with a new wireless chipset that, so SkyBell claims, will add up to smoother video and faster reconnections to the network. Meanwhile, there are Dropcam-style cloud DVR features in the pipeline.

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