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SmartThings integration with Nest, Android Auto starts rolling out

SmartThings integration with Nest, Android Auto starts rolling out

At its very early Unpacked 2021 event last week, Samsung didn't just announce a new Galaxy S21 smartphone, Galaxy Buds Pro earbuds, and Galaxy Smart Tag trackers. It also announced a collaboration that made sense but few probably expected would ever happen. Samsung revealed that it was nurturing a closer relationship with Google, even in areas where they have competing products, bridging the gap between Samsung's SmartThings IoT platform and Google's Nest-branded devices and Android Auto car platform.

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Nest Hub Sunrise alarm, Weather Frog, Family Sticky Notes arrive

Nest Hub Sunrise alarm, Weather Frog, Family Sticky Notes arrive

Some might question the need or use of a smart display, just as many have questioned the sense of a smart speaker in the first place. Given how we almost always have our smartphones stuck to our hands, it almost feels redundant to have another display in the house. There are, of course, some things that are better or are only possible using smart displays, like these new features that are landing on the Nest Hub and other Google Assistant smart displays.

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Philips Hue Wall Switch Module finally makes your old switches smarter

Philips Hue Wall Switch Module finally makes your old switches smarter

Philips Hue has a new line-up for CES 2021, with a fresh outdoor light to make dull walls more interesting, along with a long-anticipated way to make dumb light switches smart. The Philips Hue Wall Switch Module finally settles one of the last big frustrations about the smart lighting system, and is joined by a 2021 update of the Hue Dimmer Switch remote.

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Galaxy Upcycling at Home turns old phones into smart home devices

Galaxy Upcycling at Home turns old phones into smart home devices

Smartphone makers are starting to advertise their strategies in reducing their environmental footprint, but many of those often involve changes to packaging. The latest example is the controversial removal of the charger from iPhone 12 boxes, something that Samsung first ridiculed but then will reportedly copy. Electronic waste, however, comes in different forms and one of the biggest is actually the number of smartphones being thrown out. At CES 2021, Samsung revealed a new aspect of its Upcycling program that will give unused Galaxy phones a new lease on life at home.

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Ubiquiti IoT device owners urged to enable 2FA after data breach

Ubiquiti IoT device owners urged to enable 2FA after data breach

2020 ended with the rather big and bad cybersecurity news around the SolarWinds exploit that laid bare many government and company emails. If you thought that 2021 would be more positive, that clearly isn't the case given the news of the past few days. In terms of cybersecurity, the year is starting off rather poorly for owners of Ubiquiti routers, security cameras, and other IoT products as the company started reaching out to owners to tell them to change their passwords after discovering a rather serious security breach on a third-party cloud server.

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Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige toothbrush uses AI to adjust to your style

Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige toothbrush uses AI to adjust to your style

Machine learning and AI are the buzzwords in tech these days and almost all new products add these to their bullet points as a selling feature. Although they have long been using such marketing strategies, it sometimes still boggles the mind that something like a toothbrush would advertise such a feature. Still, that hasn't stopped Philips from putting out such smart dental care products and the latest Sonicare 9900 Prestige tries to put AI to work to adjust the toothbrush to your personal brushing style.

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Arlo Touchless Video Doorbell coming to reduce COVID-19 risks

Arlo Touchless Video Doorbell coming to reduce COVID-19 risks

We saw tech companies last year scrambling to put out new products that try to address the elephant in the room that is the COVID-19 coronavirus. Those ranged from air purifiers to UV-C gadget sterilizers to even face masks with filters and fans. The risks of contracting the virus, however, doesn't just revolve around the air that we breathe but also the surfaces we touch. That has also given way to products and procedures that remove the need for touch contact, like Arlo's upcoming Touchless version of its Video Doorbell.

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Samsung reveals smarter Family Hub fridge and a robo-vac that thinks it’s a guard dog

Samsung reveals smarter Family Hub fridge and a robo-vac that thinks it’s a guard dog

Samsung's big Galaxy S21 launch may be coming later this week, but it's home appliances which are getting their moment in the spotlight today. Fresh for CES 2021 are updates in the kitchen, the laundry room, and roving the floors in the shape of a new, smarter robotic vacuum cleaner.

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Lutron Caséta Outdoor Smart Plug takes weatherproof IoT into the garden

Lutron Caséta Outdoor Smart Plug takes weatherproof IoT into the garden

Lutron is taking its smart switches outside, with the Lutron Caséta Outdoor Smart Plug promising weatherproof remote control over garden and patio devices. Part of the Caséta family of IoT tech, it's one of the first ventures outside for Lutron's DIY smart home system.

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Kohler’s fog-making bathtub and “intelligent toilet” are weirdly appealing

Kohler’s fog-making bathtub and “intelligent toilet” are weirdly appealing

Kohler's goal of giving the bathroom an Internet of Things makeover continues, with its CES 2021 range including everything from an "intelligent toilet" to a fog-emitting bathtub. It's fair to say the company has been responsible for some of the more memorable products - and the oddest - of the Consumer Electronics Show in recent years, including an Alexa-powered shower and a mirror with Amazon's assistant built-in.

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2021 Nest Hub might use Soli radar to detect and monitor sleep

2021 Nest Hub might use Soli radar to detect and monitor sleep

For all their usefulness, at least for a certain class of people, smart speakers and especially smart displays are often unwelcome in the sanctuary that is the bedroom. Despite assurances from companies, some people are still very wary of smart speakers accidentally picking up private conversations or smart displays with cameras seeing something very personal. It seems that Google will try to make its case again with a new Nest Hub that will feature sleep tracking courtesy of Project Soli.

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Cync reveals privacy-focused camera as C by GE embraces the broader smart home

Cync reveals privacy-focused camera as C by GE embraces the broader smart home

GE Lighting is expanding beyond smart bulbs, with the company rebranding as Cync and announcing a new smart camera, fan speed switch, and outdoor smart plug as its range grows. Previously known as C by GE, with the company now owned by Savant it's time for a new name, though all of the existing products are coming along for the ride.

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