Home Automation

Nest Hello doorbell now detects package delivery

Nest Hello doorbell now detects package delivery

Nest Hello smart doorbell (with camera) devices with a Nest Aware subscription were given an upgrade today in the form of package detection. This new system can send a notification to the user's phone when a package has been delivered within their Nest camera's visual range. This same system can send a notification when it believes that a package has been picked up.

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LG ThinQ app adds voice recognition to control and query smart appliances

LG ThinQ app adds voice recognition to control and query smart appliances

Not too long ago, LG gathered all its smart products, both smartphones and SmartThinQ connected appliances, under a single "ThinQ" brand. It then added some association with Artificial Intelligence and connected with the likes of Amazon Alexa and, of course, Google Assistant. It then gathered all of those into a single ThinQ app that is now gaining the ability to listen to your voice to conveniently control those devices and appliances without even lifting a finger.

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Lenovo Smart Clock has become a better Google Nest Hub rival

Lenovo Smart Clock has become a better Google Nest Hub rival

When Lenovo launched its Smart Clock early this year, it almost seemed like a perfect and more affordable alternative to Google's own Hub, now Nest Hub, smart screen. In reality, it was just a few steps shy of achieving that distinction, lacking the last few features that would indeed make it a worthy contender. Those features have finally landed courtesy of Google and the $79 clock with Google Assistant is now worth more than its selling price.

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SimpliSafe Smart Lock is a super-skinny $99 door upgrade

SimpliSafe Smart Lock is a super-skinny $99 door upgrade

Your options for a sleek connected lock are about to get more interesting, with SimpliSafe revealing its new Smart Lock for a low-profile fit on the front door. The lock is just 0.9-inches thick, SimpliSafe says, making it the thinnest on the market. However the company also promises it will be smarter than other connected locks.

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Kasa Smart Video Doorbell is TP-Link’s latest casualty

Kasa Smart Video Doorbell is TP-Link’s latest casualty

As one of the most popular brands in networking equipment, you'd expect that TP-Link would be one of those feeling the smart home and IoT market with products bearing its name. For a while, that indeed seemed to be the case and TP-Link was grooming its Kasa series to be a collection of smart home products starting off with a smart plug. But with two cancellations, it seems that the company may be re-evaluating its overall strategy in that already congested market.

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Nest Google Accounts are now available but users should hold off

Nest Google Accounts are now available but users should hold off

Google's acquisition of Nest in 2014 set off some red flags but, for a few years, the tech giant let the nascent smart home company be its own man. It eventually "reabsorbed" Nest after a turbulent market period and then "rebranded" Nest into Google Nest to become a home for all of Google's smart home products. Now Google has kicked off the process to transition Nest owners to become Google users but said owners should probably wait a while before making such a big step.

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Smart assistants may have made us more lax about privacy

Smart assistants may have made us more lax about privacy

There's probably little debate that AI-powered smart assistants have become very useful. They started out as good fun but without much utility and have sometimes even become the butt of jokes thanks to misheard commands. These days however, the likes of Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri have become a normal part of modern tech life, with or without smart speakers involved. But for all their usefulness and help, these services may have made people less vigilant about what they say and do and, it turns out, those secret utterances might not be so secret at all.

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June smart ovens reportedly preheats overnight on its own

June smart ovens reportedly preheats overnight on its own

Having connected bulbs and thermostats can be convenient and almost harmless when things go wrong. When you take the Internet of Things to stoves and ovens, however, you are taking things to a whole new level, especially when it comes to safety. Some homeowners might be a bit wary of such hi-tech cooking equipment and three cases of June Ovens turning on in the middle of the night are doing nothing to assuage their fears. June's response, however, is also classic.

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TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug will snub Apple HomeKit ecosystem

TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug will snub Apple HomeKit ecosystem

The smart home ecosystem has practically settled into three camps revolving around the top AI assistants. Some of those products remain rooted to one camp but the enterprising ones try to cover all the bases. For a time, it seemed that TP-Link's popular smart plug would try to woo both Amazon and Apple customers with a single product. Those hopes have now been dashed as the network hardware maker silently announces the Kasa would no longer call HomeKit its home.

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Philips Hue Bluetooth bulbs bypass the hub

Philips Hue Bluetooth bulbs bypass the hub

Philips Hue bulbs are getting a Bluetooth upgrade, opening the door to easier installation without requiring a hub. One of the earliest smart bulbs on the market, Hue's new bulbs have so far used Zigbee for mesh networking, a system which has both strengths and drawbacks.

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KitchenAid Smart Oven+ connects with Google Assistant, Alexa, our house

KitchenAid Smart Oven+ connects with Google Assistant, Alexa, our house

Everything is connected today, and not just the obvious culprits like phones, computers, and TVs. These days, even refrigerators and ovens are connected to the Internet or to each other. The latter is what KitchenAid is trying to sell with the new Smart Oven+. First shown of at CES 2019, the smart single or double wall oven allows users to control it through various means, from touch to phone to even, of course, voice.

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Samsung adds affordable SmartThings camera, bulbs and smart plug

Samsung adds affordable SmartThings camera, bulbs and smart plug

Samsung's SmartThings has added a new connected camera, LED bulb, and WiFi smart plug to its line-up, and unusually most don't need to be connected to the SmartThings hub in order to work. The smart home platform was revamped back in 2018, with an updated and more powerful hub, along with a new set of sensors.

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