Home Automation

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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SmartThings outage takes down Samsung’s home hub

SmartThings outage takes down Samsung’s home hub

SmartThings is finally back online after the Samsung-owned home hub - which promises to tie together multiple IoT gadgets - left many users unable to control their connected lights, locks, and other hardware this week. The company reported on Tuesday afternoon that the issues it was encountering with the SmartThings Cloud had been resolved. However, at its peak, many users found they were unable to operate their smart home devices and were forced to control them manually.

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Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, Bixby, Cortana feature showdown

Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, Bixby, Cortana feature showdown

We are well in the age of AI. No not the genocidal kind of dystopian science fiction. Fortunately, the AI we have today isn’t yet that smart, though they’re smart enough to be on our smartphones. From Google to Amazon to even Huawei, AI-powered smart assistants are more and more becoming a bullet point in phone spec sheets and marketing materials. But how smart are they really, especially in competition with each other? We take a look at some of the features available, or absent, from smart assistants to find out.

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The Google Assistant now knows if your August door is ajar

The Google Assistant now knows if your August door is ajar

August's smart locks are getting tighter integration with the Google Assistant, including helping the paranoid get closure over whether the door is actually closed. New functionality has been added to the Assistant, which now allows for lock status to be checked on, in addition to the existing features.

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Amazon buys Ring as smart home security range grows

Amazon buys Ring as smart home security range grows

Amazon has acquired Ring, adding the video doorbell company to its growing portfolio of IoT, connected home, and smart security businesses. Ring offers a number of connected cameras, video doorbells, smart lights, and other security products, which can beam video of people outside the home to both a smartphone and to the cloud.

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Staples Connect hub is dead as IoT graveyard grows

Staples Connect hub is dead as IoT graveyard grows

Staples Connect, the retailer's smart home hub which promised to corral connected gadgets across multiple brands, has finally died, another casualty of the fiercely competitive Internet of Things. Launched back in late 2013, the hub was the centerpiece of Staple's smart home platform. Rather than attempting to make every connected light, lock, outlet, and alarm, Staples Connect instead acted as a gateway to them all.

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ARCHOS Hello Google Assistant Smart Display greets MWC 2018

ARCHOS Hello Google Assistant Smart Display greets MWC 2018

Move over smart speakers. Smart displays are in the house! Rated as one of the fastest growing segments in the tech market these days, smart speakers of all shapes, sizes, and prices have invaded both homes and store shelves. At CES last month, Google took up Amazon on its Echo Show challenge and announced a new subclass of connected devices: smart displays. Better late than never, French manufacturer ARCHOS is joining the fray at MWC with its Hello smart display and speaker in one. Not only that, it also has another trendy device to cater to those still holding out for bitcoins and their kin.

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Nest Cam IQ Google Assistant update makes camera a smart speaker

Nest Cam IQ Google Assistant update makes camera a smart speaker

The Nest Cam IQ indoor is gaining Google Assistant support today, along with new face recognition tools and the arrival of a cheaper subscription plan. The latest fruit of Google's decision to welcome Nest back into the fold, after it absorbed the formerly standalone Alphabet business earlier this month, it turns the connected camera into a smart speaker.

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Get started on smart home and automation with these 5 devices

Get started on smart home and automation with these 5 devices

The Internet of Things has brought technology into our homes in a more integrated and invasive way. From smart bulbs to smart speakers to even smart refrigerators, technology is slowly but surely becoming a staple in modern homes. But why put off for tomorrow what you can start today? If you’ve ever dreamed of living inside the home of the future, you can already do so as long as you have a home Wi-Fi network. You don’t even have set it all up in one go. You can even get started with a simple bulb. Here are some of the essentials to get you started on upgrading your house, piece by piece.

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