Home Automation

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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DISH OnTech Smart Services setup smart homes and train customers

DISH OnTech Smart Services setup smart homes and train customers

Connected home appliances and smart devices are getting more and more common these days but not everyone may be confident in setting those up. Their added complexity means that you can no longer just plug an appliance or screw a bulb and just expect it to work. Sometimes, on-site, or in-home rather, installation and training are even needed to take full advantage of these new technologies and DISH's new OnTech Smart Services is more than ready to provide exactly that.

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New ecobee SmartThermostat is a smart speaker in disguise

New ecobee SmartThermostat is a smart speaker in disguise

At long last, ecobee finally launched its latest product. It may not be the indoor camera some might have hoped but fans of the brand's smart thermostat might appreciate what the upgrade offers. To put it in not so many words, ecobee has practically crammed an Amazon Echo inside its New SmartThermostat with voice control along with the ability to potentially save you money and energy by being better at detecting whether you're home or not.

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GE Microwaves can now speak Google Assistant’s language

GE Microwaves can now speak Google Assistant’s language

When people talk about smart homes and smart appliances, most probably imagine smart lighting, smart speakers, or maybe even smart washing machines. Few might think of connected refrigerators and fewer will probably think of ovens and microwaves. Yet that is exactly the kind of future that GE Appliances is trying to push with its Wi-Fi enabled appliances, including microwaves that can now respond to "Hey, Google".

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ecobee SmartThermostat and SmartSensor upgrades sighted

ecobee SmartThermostat and SmartSensor upgrades sighted

ecobee may be gearing to release new products really soon but it might not be what some of the company's fans have been hoping for. It was rumored last month that the home automation company is preparing to launch its first ever indoor camera. That may still be coming but, apparently, it will be preceded by an upgrade to its existing thermostat and sensor products that actually bring substantial new features to the line-up.

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Wyze Bulb is an $8 bomb in the smart lighting market

Wyze Bulb is an $8 bomb in the smart lighting market

Wyze has made a name for itself with its unexpectedly affordable connected security cameras, and now the Wyze Bulb aims to do the same for smart lighting. Taking on Philips Hue, LIFX, and others, the Wyze Bulb's big boast is that it's priced from just $7.99, a fraction of what you'd pay for rivals.

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Lutron Aurora Philips Hue dimmer is the smartest smart-switch yet

Lutron Aurora Philips Hue dimmer is the smartest smart-switch yet

Philips Hue smart bulbs inadvertently cut off from the network could be a problem no longer, with Lutron launching an Aurora dimmer accessory that also prevents accidental switch-offs. Hue bulbs are now a mainstay of many smart home installations, however they typically come with one lingering problem. For the bulbs to work, the power must remain switched on.

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Works with Nest transition to Works with Google Assistant explained

Works with Nest transition to Works with Google Assistant explained

At I/O 2019 last week, Google announced that Nest would be its single brand not just for existing Nest products but also for its other smart home devices, like the Home smart speakers. It was meant to consolidate the branding strategy and lessen confusion but, as with any reorganization, it produces more confusion at the start. Now Google is providing details on how that transition will proceed, especially with the Works with Nest platform.

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Neato Botvac D7 Connected Review

Neato Botvac D7 Connected Review

The original Neato Botvac D7 Connected launched all the way back at IFA 2017 - so a review now might seem a bit strange. Strange because we're generally reviewing devices so early, they've often not even been given a general consumer release. But with the D7, a few different elements are at play - one of which is the fact that the robot vacuum market doesn't turn over nearly as fast as the smartphone or tablet market, so there's really not a lot out there that's come to try to take the D7's lunch.

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Ecobee smart home security camera could come with Alexa

Ecobee smart home security camera could come with Alexa

Almost like rival Nest, ecobee has focused its portfolio on smart thermostats. In the past two years, however, it has expanded in two big ways. It has integrated Amazon's Alexa into its latest thermostat and, as of last year, started offering a smart switch as well. It seems that the company will soon be breaking ground again with a new smart home product, an indoor security camera that might, of course, have Alexa inside as well.

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