Home Automation

Apple acquires Xnor.ai leaving Wyze cams blind to people

Apple acquires Xnor.ai leaving Wyze cams blind to people

Apple buys smaller tech companies from time to time, as its own PR would reply to inquiries. It's no that often, however, that you hear of such an acquisition causing a different company direct problems. That's exactly the strange situation behind Apple's reported purchase of Seattle-based startup Xnor.ai which is apparently the real reason why Wyze is losing a key feature of its smart security cameras.

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August Wi-Fi Smart Lock goes on a diet and ditches the bridge

August Wi-Fi Smart Lock goes on a diet and ditches the bridge

Smart door locks are one of the hardest parts of the smart home market to get into. Given the risks and potential fallout, few seemed to dare promise security married to hi-tech convenience. August dared and, to date, remains one of the top names in that corner of the IoT industry. At CES 2020, it's showing that it isn't done yet even after nine products. Its latest offer slims down the door lock to a more convenient size and includes Wi-Fi from the get-go.

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Yale Smart Storage products go beyond doors and gates

Yale Smart Storage products go beyond doors and gates

Yale is a name best known for all sorts of locks and bolts, which means it is also one of those hit by the sudden rush to make all things inside the home smart. Fortunately, Yale is not at all averse to expanding its portfolio to embrace the latest technologies and trends. In fact, at CES 2020, it is announcing three new products that connect to the Internet and, indirectly, to your smartphone to solve two of the biggest theft problems in the world: packages and cookies.

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Nice debuts new smart home products for the US market

Nice debuts new smart home products for the US market

The IoT industry has taken hold of homes worldwide and, of course, it isn't only the big names in the market that are playing the game. Manufacturers of connected home products can be found all over the world but not all of them are able to make their mark in the large US market. Italian company Nice is making another stab at making it big with a line of smart home products covering almost everything from smart home hubs to garage door openers.

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Hogar Controls Prima turns boring physical switches into touch surfaces

Hogar Controls Prima turns boring physical switches into touch surfaces

It may sometimes feel almost ironic but despite the number of smart products in homes today, the venerable switch has mostly remained the same. Even plugs and outlets are getting upgrades or at least smart plugs that bridge the divide. Devices are also getting more sophisticated, some requiring more than a binary switch. Hogar Controls is now trying to change that situation with its new Prima Touch Switch series that will let you do more than just turning things on and off.

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Level Lock gives your existing deadbolt a secret smart upgrade

Level Lock gives your existing deadbolt a secret smart upgrade

Smart home security is one of the hardest things to get started on, though smart security cameras have recently started making installation a lot easier. Smart door locks, however, still present a major hurdle because they often require you to replace your existing lock with something that may not fit your door or its design. That's the genius behind Level "invisible" Lock that actually hides inside your existing deadbolt, allowing you to keep your old lock while still gaining the benefits of a phone-controlled smart lock.

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LIFX introduces new smart lighting solutions and a new app experience

LIFX introduces new smart lighting solutions and a new app experience

Back when the whole IoT industry was still at its infancy, the easiest way to get started in making home smarter was through smart bulbs like the Philips Hue. Today, the smart lighting section of that market is a little too congested, leaving players to come up with new ideas to make their brand known. LIFX stands somewhere in that crowd and is now expanding its lineup to include classic looking bulbs and a smart switch that can be controlled with the new LIFX mobile app.

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CookingPal Julia smart cooking system will almost do everything for you

CookingPal Julia smart cooking system will almost do everything for you

Smart devices are invading the kitchen. It started with a tablet that would let you follow step-by-step cooking videos and then reached refrigerators that could see what they store inside. Now CookingPal is taking kitchen intelligence to the next level with Julia, an intelligent autonomous cooking system that will not only suggest meals for you but will almost do all the cooking too. Presuming you have all the ingredients ready, of course.

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Wemo and Phyn offer even more smarts for your home

Wemo and Phyn offer even more smarts for your home

Everything around us is getting smarter, from the phones in our pockets to even the plugs we put on our walls. They can be a bit overwhelming at times and yet also miss out on opportunities to make more efficient use of limited natural resources inside the house. That's where new products from Wemo and Phyn, both members of the larger Belkin International, come in to make smart homes and people even smarter.

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Netatmo Smart Door Lock and Keys does things very differently

Netatmo Smart Door Lock and Keys does things very differently

Many homeowners are embracing the smart home lifestyle, replacing conventional appliances with connected devices. But even the staunchest smart home believer is sometimes still reluctant to replace door locks with smart ones, especially considering the threat of hacking and invasion of privacy. It is against this backdrop that Netatmo is launching its own smart door lock solution and it might already be catching attention in a good way by doing the exact opposite of what most in this market do.

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Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera ditches the wires for hassle-free installations

Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera ditches the wires for hassle-free installations

Security systems are getting smarter but also more complicated. At least the first generation or so of smart home security and outdoor lighting required a lot of deep thought on how and where to place the cameras in order to have the best wiring arrangement possible. Fortunately, smart home security manufacturers have wised up and taken advantage of the modern wire-free technologies, like Arlo's new Pro 3 Floodlight Camera, billed to be the first wire-free variant of its kind.

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Samsung pushes Open Connectivity Foundation as another smart home standard

Samsung pushes Open Connectivity Foundation as another smart home standard

In just a year or two, the smart home market erupted with dozens of devices all connected to the Internet. Sometimes, they can connect to each other but only if they spoke the same language. Most of the time, though, they only communicate with those from the same brand, creating dozens of "languages" spoken by smart home devices. A sign of a maturing industry is the creation of a standard that bridges all of these islands together. Perhaps somewhat ironically, we now have at least two different standards for IoT.

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