smart home

Smart Home players welcome Google (& warn it won’t be as easy as Android)

Smart Home players welcome Google (& warn it won’t be as easy as Android)

Google's surprise acquisition of Nest was met with no small amount of horror from existing users of the company's thermostats, but other players in the smart home segment aren't so worried about a big new name in the industry. Speaking to SlashGear, several of the better-known brands in home automation actively welcomed Google's involvement, countering user concerns around "Big Data" aggregation with the potential for far faster evolution of what's currently a fragmented market. In fact, as more than one company pointed out, it could've been so much worse: Apple could've bought Nest.

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Smart object-recognition system could spy on your milk in the IoT

Smart object-recognition system could spy on your milk in the IoT

Computers that can identify objects without requiring any human training are now a possibility, as researchers figure out how to teach AIs to intuit the key features and differences between faces, objects, and more. The new algorithm, developed by engineer Dah-Jye Lee of Brigham Young University, avoids human calibration by instead giving computers the skills to learn how to differentiate themselves: so, rather than the operator flagging individual differences between, say, a person and a tree, the computer is given the tools to identify the differences on its own, and then use them moving forward.

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I, for one, welcome our new Google Nest overlords

I, for one, welcome our new Google Nest overlords

Google's acquisition of Nest is controversial, for more than a few reasons. On the one hand, there are questions around how Google Ventures-invested companies segue into Google-owned divisions; many users are concerned as to whether Google will simply absorb nest and then one day simply shut down the project as it moves onto other things. Most upsetting, however, seems to be the question of privacy and whether - for all Nest CEO Tony Fadell insists the firm has no plans to modify the privacy policy - one day Google will be using Nest hardware as another spy into the home. The news has got some Nest owners threatening to rip the thermostats from their walls.

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Nest not giving Google data access, still supporting iOS and Android

Nest not giving Google data access, still supporting iOS and Android

Nest's $3.2bn acquisition by Google won't see the search giant immediately get its hands on the smart home firm's user data, founder Tony Fadell has insisted, and nor will it see products like the Nest thermostat ditch iOS support, despite Google's vested interest in Android. Chatter of Google gaining insight into when Nest thermostat owners were home and which rooms they were active in being factored into services like Google Now began almost immediately after the cash deal was announced, with many concerned that Google's hunger for more contextual information would overrule Nest's privacy policy.

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Motorola talks Android, Wearables & Nest: The SlashGear Interview

Motorola talks Android, Wearables & Nest: The SlashGear Interview

It's fair to say Motorola had a big 2013, and SlashGear sat down with Steve Horowitz, senior VP of software engineering, and Steve Sinclair, VP of product marketing, at CES last week to talk wearables, contextual ecosystems, and the Internet of Things. The Google-owned company kicked off a new smartphone strategy, epitomized by the always-listening Moto X and the shockingly-affordable Moto G, arguably just as notable for what it left out of its products as what it chose to include. Meanwhile - and topical, given Google has just acquired Nest - we also talked about Motorola's place in the smart home, and where former Android project lead Horowitz sees the smartphone fitting in. Read on for the full interview.

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Samsung Smart Home setup detailed

Samsung Smart Home setup detailed

Coming out of CES 2014, Samsung is heading further into the home. With the Samsung Smart Home setup, there will be an initial focus on Device Control, Home View and Smart Customer Service. But more than just the three services, Samsung's Smart Home setup will allow the user to take care of this with an app that will run on a variety of devices.

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Huli color-changing lamp hands-on

Huli color-changing lamp hands-on

We've a soft spot for color-changing lighting here at SlashGear, not to mention minimalistic design, and the Huli lamp on show at CES 2014 fits the bill on both fronts. A stark 20 x 20 x 3 cm aluminum square, the Huli keeps its LEDs on the back, intended to flood the wall behind it with light whether you're picking hues from the iOS app, or letting it synchronize to your music playlist.

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Belkin WeMo LED Lighting Kit takes on hue

Belkin WeMo LED Lighting Kit takes on hue

Belkin has added to its growing WeMo smart home system with a new LED lightbulb, allowing for remote control of lighting around the home or office from an Android or iOS app. The new bulbs, which come in a starter pack with the WeMo Link that plugs into a spare power socket and bridges the home network with WeMo, are standard screw-fit, and the equivalent of 60W traditional incandescent bulbs.

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