Home Automation

Xiaomi Pad 5 debuts alongside Mi Smart Projector 2 and Mesh System AX3000

Xiaomi Pad 5 debuts alongside Mi Smart Projector 2 and Mesh System AX3000

It may have been Apple's day yesterday, but Xiaomi is daring to claim today for its own. Not content with just announcing the Xiaomi 11T series and the affordable Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE, the company is showing its hand and announcing new products across the board. Taking advantage of the recent surge in tablet sales, Xiaomi is unveiling the Xiaomi Pad 5 as its racehorse in the new world order in work and personal life. It also has some new devices designed to upgrade your home life and keep you safe even when you have to buy things outside.

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Roomba j7+ debuts iRobot’s big fix for avoiding cords and pet mess

Roomba j7+ debuts iRobot’s big fix for avoiding cords and pet mess

iRobot is launching a new Roomba, and a new brain for its domestic robots, aiming to make domestic help in the modern smart home both smarter and more reliable. The Roomba j7+ will be the first robotic vacuum to launch with iRobot Genius 3.0, and the company promises that it'll be capable of avoiding those nightmare moments where animal mess gets dragged around the home.

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Wyze Night Light Review: Deceptively classy

Wyze Night Light Review: Deceptively classy

Wyze, the company you probably best know for its cheap smart bulbs and home security cameras, recently introduced a new product called Wyze Night Light. The name refers to the product -- it's literally a night light. Unlike the cheap night lights you can find at the hardware store, however, this one packs a surprising number of features, as well as a design so classy someone could mistake the light as a permanently installed fixture.

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Segway built a smarter robot lawnmower

Segway built a smarter robot lawnmower

Segway may be best known for its balancing scooters, but its latest wheeled product is happy on the ground where it can focus on keeping the lawn trimmed. The Segway Navimow is the company's first robotic lawnmower and, while it may not be the first option in the space, it does promise a much easier setup with no need for a perimeter wire.

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Nest Doorbell first look: 5 things about Google’s battery video doorbell

Nest Doorbell first look: 5 things about Google’s battery video doorbell

Nest Doorbell is up for order, and the convenience of a simple-to-install, battery-powered smart doorbell seems hard to ignore. Having been using one for the past few days, though, there have been some surprises along the way, and while it's too soon for a full review there are still some stand-outs worth noting if you're considering giving your front door an upgrade.

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SmartThings Edge lets smart homes work without an Internet connection

SmartThings Edge lets smart homes work without an Internet connection

Smart home devices and appliances can do a lot of impressive things, especially when they work together with a single command or automated scenario. Almost all of these smart home products and platforms, however, have an intrinsic and almost non-negotiable dependence on the cloud and, therefore, an Internet connection. Following trends in the IoT industry, Samsung is also evolving its SmartThings platform with a new SmartThings Edge framework that, in a nutshell, will allow such smart devices to work faster, more securely, and more reliably by taking the Internet out of the equation.

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Matter delayed: Ambitious smart home standard slips to 2022

Matter delayed: Ambitious smart home standard slips to 2022

New smart home standard Matter won't launch quite as soon as first promised, with the former Zigbee Alliance admitting that its roadmap has been delayed. Unveiled in May, Matter saw what once had been known as Project CHIP rebrand as a potential universal standard for everything from connected bulbs to smart locks, cameras, and home hubs.

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Google Nest Hub might have its very own app launcher

Google Nest Hub might have its very own app launcher

Although they look like stationary tablets, smart displays like the Nest Hub or Echo Show are specifically designed to remove that misconception. The software, in particular, has an interface that isn't exactly conducive for physical interaction and is more geared towards voice commands with audiovisual feedback. It seems, however, that Google is taking things in a different direction with an experiment that brings a familiar app drawer to the Nest Hub.

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IKEA STARKVIND hides a smart air purifier in a handy side table

IKEA STARKVIND hides a smart air purifier in a handy side table

IKEA has a new air purifier, though at first glance you might assume STARKVIND is actually a side-table, since the Scandinavian design company has integrated the two. Connected to IKEA's TRÅDFRI smart home platform, the STARKVIND air purifier aims to tackle not only air quality but one of the big challenges purifiers face.

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Amazon Alexa finally gets a male voice and an additional name

Amazon Alexa finally gets a male voice and an additional name

Voice-controlled AI-powered assistants are pretty smart these days, but they didn't exactly start out that way. They weren't particularly smart about the way they sounded, at least not in the beginning. Almost all of these smart assistants, regardless of company or name, started out with a female voice before finally allowing users to pick from a variety of voices. The lone holdout among the major AI assistants is Alexa, but Amazon is finally letting users pick a male-sounding voice, eight years after the assistant debuted.

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Samsung SmartThings Energy can monitor your power consumption

Samsung SmartThings Energy can monitor your power consumption

Global conditions seem to be conspiring to make us use up more energy these days. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to stay at home, consuming more electricity to while away the days. Unusual and extreme weather conditions are also forcing many to fire up their heating or air conditioning more often than usual. In addition to increasing power consumption and carbon footprint, these scenarios also result increased electricity bills. In light of that, Samsung's new SmartThings Energy service wants to help customers reduce their expenses, and it starts by simply knowing how much energy you're using in the first place.

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Nest Hello Quiet Time and Quick Responses are coming to Google Home

Nest Hello Quiet Time and Quick Responses are coming to Google Home

Google's acquisition of Nest and eventual migration of brands and accounts unsurprisingly met with some pushback. In addition to privacy concerns, there were some issues when moving from Nest's own platform to Google's. One pain point, in particular, revolved around features in the Nest app that haven't made their way yet to Google Home. Fortunately, it seems that Google is indeed working on resolving that problem, and an upcoming version of the Google Home app could see the arrival of two old Nest Hello features to the new app.

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