Home Automation

Nest Secure home alarm promises super-sleek protection

Nest Secure home alarm promises super-sleek protection

Nest has launched Nest Secure, a new home security system that pulls together the company's cameras and more into a whole-home protection platform. Revealed today in San Francisco, CA, Nest Secure comprises three main parts. Nest Guard, a hub; Nest Tag, a keychain-dangling fob; and Nest Detect, a motion sensor that also works as a door sensor.

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August Smart Lock Pro Review

August Smart Lock Pro Review

When it comes to connected locks, August is rightly one of the first names that comes to mind, and now there's a new flagship aiming for a spot on your door frame. The August Smart Lock Pro may look like its predecessor, but inside it's all-change with faster components, along with Z-Wave Plus support for pro-installation alarm systems. It'll even tell you whether you've left the door ajar. Question is, does that make it worth $279?

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August’s new smart locks know if your door’s ajar

August’s new smart locks know if your door’s ajar

August has rolled out a trio of new devices, including a pair of connected locks that can tell whether your door is actually closed or not, and a smarter doorbell camera. Offering features like Apple HomeKit support, integration with Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant, and Apple's Siri, and the same straightforward installation that made their predecessors so popular, the new IoT gadgets also offer more usable remote security monitoring.

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Chamberlain MyQ Home Bridge review: ‘Siri, open my garage door’

Chamberlain MyQ Home Bridge review: ‘Siri, open my garage door’

If Apple has its way, your entire home will someday be Siri-enabled. Between its various hardware options like the iPhone, Apple Watch and (soon) HomePod, the underlying software that is HomeKit can make your entire home controllable via voice. For many of us, the garage is a daily use portal, which makes it ripe for disruption via Siri. The underlying question is whether or not that’s even a good idea. Instead of wondering, we decided to find out using Chamberlain’s new MyQ Home Bridge.

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HomeKit security device experiments with the D-Link Omna

HomeKit security device experiments with the D-Link Omna

If you want connected home security, Apple’s HomeKit framework is pretty sparse. It’s one of the weak-points of the platform. The only officially listed ‘security’ device for HomeKit is Honeywell’s Lyric Controller, but it’s not available yet. There are plenty of other options available for DIY home security, but they don’t work with HomeKit. It’s a conundrum, but there’s (sort of) a fix. Instead of a proper security system, you can patch one together using cameras and sensors. It works, too – maybe even better than bespoke systems.

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Neato Botvac D7 memorizes rooms for robo-vac no-go zones

Neato Botvac D7 memorizes rooms for robo-vac no-go zones

Of all the visions of the home of the future, the most alluring is generally handing over cleaning chores to a robot. In practice, though, it can be the most frustrating, too, as anybody who has returned home expecting vacuumed floors but instead found a robo-vac chewing through their phone charger can attest to. Neato thinks it has the answer, with a smarter, more flexible model launching at IFA 2017, the Botvac D7 Connected.

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LG smart appliances can now talk with Alexa, Google Assistant

LG smart appliances can now talk with Alexa, Google Assistant

Say what you want about LG, but one thing you can’t say is that it’s not willing to play nice with its competitors. While it has its own platforms, like webOS and SmartThinQ, it isn’t beyond opening its doors to rivals. At least if that’s where the market is headed. And since the market does seem to be headed towards the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home, LG has announced that its 2017 line of smart home devices and connected appliances will be able to connect with Alexa and Google Assistant, offering users hands-free access to its products.

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iDevices Dimmer Switch plays nicely with Alexa, Siri, and Google Home

iDevices Dimmer Switch plays nicely with Alexa, Siri, and Google Home

Controlling the smart home has more options than ever, but sometimes you just want a regular light switch to turn on your connected bulbs. iDevices' new Dimmer Switch offers just that, a new in-wall control that, though requiring a little DIY action on your part, promises not only more convenient operation but instant compatibility with some of the popular virtual agents, too. Once installed, it'll work with the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple's Siri courtesy of HomeKit.

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Schalge Sense Smart Deadbolt now works with Android

Schalge Sense Smart Deadbolt now works with Android

As if the smartphone platform wars weren’t bad enough, the rivalry between iOS and Android also threatens to invade our homes. Lines are drawn between Apple’s HomeKit and Google’s Android, with some smart home products supporting one but not the other. Fortunately, companies like Schlage want to be embrace as many as they can. Better late than never, the security company is proudly announcing Android support in their Sense Smart Deadbolt. The cherry on top is the new Sense Wi-Fi Adapter that will let you keep in touch with the Smart Deadbolt no matter where you are.

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Anker Eufy Genie undercuts Echo Dot for low-cost Alexa

Anker Eufy Genie undercuts Echo Dot for low-cost Alexa

If you're looking to break into the world of smart home IoT, a lot of people would recommend Amazon's Echo speaker, which is home to Alexa. The problem with that suggestion is that while the Echo is a solid smart speaker, it's also $180. The Echo Dot, which only costs $50, removes a lot of that cost by paring back on features, but now the Echo Dot has an even less expensive competitor: The Anker Eufy Genie.

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Honeywell’s Google Home integration supports multi-zone HVAC

Honeywell’s Google Home integration supports multi-zone HVAC

Barking out instructions to your smart thermostat when you're too hot to get off the couch just got a little easier, with Honeywell announcing its connected temperature controllers now play nice with Google Home. The new integration allows for complete control over one or more HVAC zones via Google's smart speaker, and builds on Honeywell's existing support for the Google Assistant on iOS and Android devices. In fact, the company says, this makes it the only thermostat brand to support all of the major smart hubs.

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Xchime video doorbell promises lag-free security

Xchime video doorbell promises lag-free security

A smart home isn't really very smart if it can't protect itself or its masters. There have been a variety of smart locks in the market already, some simple and other quite sophisticated. Xchime is a new contender that has no qualms about adding yet another choice in the market. It is confident that it has something to offer that has never been offered before. That is, a video doorbell whose usefulness isn't at the mercy of Internet lag.

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