Home Automation

Nest’s big outage shows the IoT has a downside

Nest’s big outage shows the IoT has a downside

Nest's security and smart home platform unexpectedly went offline for around an hour last night, again highlighting some of the unexpected frustrations those heavily invested in the Internet of Things can find themselves facing. The problem saw Nest's app on iOS and Android, and the Nest web interface, go offline completely, affecting a variety of hardware.

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TiVo Alexa control goes live this week

TiVo Alexa control goes live this week

TiVo is getting Amazon Alexa integration, allowing voice control of changing channels, skipping commercials, and more. The support for Amazon's assistant is rolling out to boxes this week, TiVo says, allowing anybody with a TiVo BOLT, Roamio, or Premiere to link their DVR with a supported Echo device.

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This Philips Hue promo makes for a cheaper smart home

This Philips Hue promo makes for a cheaper smart home

When it comes to getting started in the smart home, connected lights are where most people start, and one of the more popular platforms is Philips' Hue. If you're looking to get some more connected color in your IoT life, Amazon is running a sale on a number of Hue products today, from starter kits to individual bulbs.

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Xiaomi Smart Home products coming with Google Assistant support

Xiaomi Smart Home products coming with Google Assistant support

Xiaomi isn't in a rush to bring its crazy cheap smartphones to the US market. It never has been and, given the political atmosphere, it will probably be taking its sweet time. It has, however, made a few products available, most of them accessories and fan merchandise. Soon, it will be making another big step towards embracing the US market with a small expansion of its Smart Home product lineup. And all of them will have Google Assistant support.

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Philips’ Hue app is getting a huge – and much-needed – overhaul

Philips’ Hue app is getting a huge – and much-needed – overhaul

Philips' Hue connected lighting has done a good job bedding itself into the average smart home, but for a long time its smartphone app has been the weakest link. Now, Philips is changing that with an all-new Hue app which, the company promises, will address some of the lingering complaints about the old interface.

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Wink just killed its Apple Watch app

Wink just killed its Apple Watch app

Wink users relying on the smart home hub to control their automation from their Apple Watch look set to be frustrated, with the functionality being quietly retired. The company confirmed the news in an iOS app update released this afternoon.

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Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition is already seeing deals

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition is already seeing deals

Amazon may have only announced its Echo Dot Kids Edition last week, but the colorful smart speakers are already in line for some deals. To make a regular Echo Dot into the Kids Edition, Amazon clads it in a child-friendly skin and then throws in its new FreeTime Unlimited on Alexa service, for some age-appropriate content.

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Xfinity X1 can now hunt down your Tile by voice

Xfinity X1 can now hunt down your Tile by voice

Comcast and Tile have teamed up for a new way to track down lost items tagged with a Tile device, putting the search results right on your TV screen. The new functionality has been baked into Xfinity X1, and allows for voice searches using the system's X1 Voice Remote.

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Alexa Rosie robot? The Jetsons aren’t far off

Alexa Rosie robot? The Jetsons aren’t far off

Amazon's next move in smart assistant domination may be a robot that moves around with its user. It doesn't hover, it doesn't wear an apron, and its name isn't Rosie - but it might as well be. Following along with the fire and flame theme Amazon's rolled with for years, this project's code-name is "Vesta." That's a Roman goddess of hearth, home, and family, most often represented as a sacred fire.

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LG SmartThinQ appliances now speak with Amazon Alexa

LG SmartThinQ appliances now speak with Amazon Alexa

LG might not be as daring, or as obnoxious, as rival and compatriot Samsung when it comes to creating new technologies, but it has one admirable trait. It knows how to play nice with others. Instead of creating its own personal assistant like Bixby, it is instead leveraging the capabilities of existing ones like Google Assistant and, now, Amazon Alexa. Now it is bringing that sensibility to its SmartThinQ line of appliances, allowing users to control dozens of Wi-Fi connected LG home products with just their voice.

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Nest x Yale Lock lets people in after Nest Hello sees them

Nest x Yale Lock lets people in after Nest Hello sees them

The smart home security market is about to heat up. Amazon just recently acquired Ring, undoubtedly in direct opposition to Google who of course owns Nest. Not too long after the latter launched the Nest Hello, it is coming out with a complement to its smart doorbell camera. Partnering with famed lock maker Yale, the Google subsidiary has just revealed the Nest x Yale Lock designed to let people in without a key. With your consent, of course.

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Smart Home benefits and risks: look before you connect

Smart Home benefits and risks: look before you connect

There’s no escaping the future. Sooner or later, most of our home appliances will be connected, to each other, to our phones, and to the Internet at large. It has never been so easy to get started. A smart bulb here, a smart plug there, a smart speaker in the living room. But just because something is easy or inevitable doesn’t mean you should go rushing in. Considering what’s at stake, it’s even more necessary for us to take stock of the situation and get a better sense of what you gain and what you lose when you make your home smart, sometimes smarter than you even.

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