Home Automation

August Home, Wink work together to secure your smart home

August Home, Wink work together to secure your smart home

The irony about smart home products and the so called Internet of Things is that they aren’t really that smart about talking with one another. Each have their own loyalties and speak different languages that may or may not be understood by the smart devices inside your home. For cases like these, you’ll need a translator, a.k.a. a smart hub to be the go-between for these sometimes disparate devices. One such hub is Wink and, as of today, it has learned one new language. August Home, one of the increasingly popular names in the smart home security market, is partnering with Wink to make it easier to keep your now smarter home also more secure.

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Google Assistant now speaks WeMo’s, Honeywell’s language

Google Assistant now speaks WeMo’s, Honeywell’s language

A smart assistant isn’t going to be very smart if it keeps to itself, especially when said assistant should be helping you around the house. That’s why in order for products like Google Home to be a viable smart home hub, it needs to be able to communicate with as many smart appliances and services as it can. Initially launching with only a few integrations, Google is now announcing its expansion with two more members of its growing roster. Now Google Home and Google Pixel owners can easily control their thermostat or even any appliance thanks to Honeywell an Belkin’s WeMo switches.

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Nest brings its smart home brand to more European markets

Nest brings its smart home brand to more European markets

Although it is no longer the only game in town, Nest has been one of the most popular pioneers of this new smart home trend. You rarely hear about it recently, though, except perhaps in not so flattering news. Proving that not only is it still alive but also growing exponentially, Nest has announced its expansion in Europe, entering the German, Austrian, Italian, and Spanish market and, claims Nest, doubling the number of European households where its smart products can be found in.

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Switchmate’s no-tool smart home upgrades get sleeker

Switchmate’s no-tool smart home upgrades get sleeker

The Internet of Things may be the next big marketing pitch, but battery life, installation hassles, and general complexity can make upgrading to the smart home a headache. Promising Bluetooth simplicity and no tools required, Switchmate brought its latest range of battery-powered IoT gadgets to CES 2017 this week. Like the company's first product they're designed to be renter-friendly, but they also expand the number of devices you can add remote control to.

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GE ovens, Nest Protect work together to protect your nest

GE ovens, Nest Protect work together to protect your nest

Getting a notification on your smartphone when there’s a potential fire hazard is great and convenient, but not if you’re physically unable to immediately jump into action. In most cases, simply turning off a wayward appliance, stove, or oven is more than enough to prevent the accident. But what if you’re away or even just in a far room? That’s why Haier-owned GE Appliances is taking the smart home protection to its logical next step, by integrating with Nest Protect smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector to automatically turn off connected ovens when needed.

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Logitech Harmony gains Amazon Alexa support

Logitech Harmony gains Amazon Alexa support

Logitech's line of Harmony universal remote controls have long had the ability to control some home automation devices like the Hue lights from Philips. Harmony devices have now gained support for the Amazon Alexa via the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. If you have a Harmony remote and the Echo or Echo Dot in your home you can use your voice to control your entertainment.

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Gatebox virtual home robot automates your home

Gatebox virtual home robot automates your home

Robots aren't quite to the point yet where they can live in your home and help you do all the things that you really don't want to do when it comes to keeping house. While physical robots are a ways away, you can get a virtual robot that can help you with home automation. Think about the Gatebox virtual robot like Google Home only with a cutesy animated Japanese girl inside.

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Pizza Hut added to Amazon Alexa: these are the skills

Pizza Hut added to Amazon Alexa: these are the skills

The folks at Pizza Hut have announced a team-up between themselves and Amazon for Alexa Voice Service. This system will add the ability to order a Pizza Hut pizza - and other bits and pieces - from the comfort of one's own couch. No phone involve, no laptop needed. This may be the laziest possible way to get hot food into your mouth in the history of the world.

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Make your home smarter – 8 of the best smart home devices in 2016

Make your home smarter – 8 of the best smart home devices in 2016

Homes are getting smarter, little by little. Despite recent troubling reports of how the so-called Internet of Things are ticking security time bombs. Those software issues, however, are more likely to get fixed, hopefully sooner rather than later, rather than the dozens of smart home appliances and products to disappear from the market.

Setting up a smart home can look like a daunting task, with so many moving pieces and so many choices. Of course, it doesn't have to be and you don't have to go all out all at once. To get you started on the road to home automation heaven, here are 8 of the best products, in different categories, to check out when you're planning to take your home to the future.

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Sunflower uses drone, lights to monitor homes from outside

Sunflower uses drone, lights to monitor homes from outside

Most smart home security systems aren’t so smart, argues Sunflower Labs. It says that 95% of the alarms raised turn out to be false ones to the point that police dispatchers have become numb to them, which is a very dangerous attitude. And for real situations, those security systems only alert you when it’s too late to do anything, when some is already at the door of has gone through the window. Sunflower Labs, naturally, proposes a smarter solution, one that combines an autonomous drone and inconspicuous lawn lights to pinpoint when, where, and who is approaching your castle.

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4 things to know before you buy Google Home

4 things to know before you buy Google Home

The Google Assistant has escaped, and it's haunting your house. No longer is it trapped in your phone or your browser: instead, the power of Google's so-called Knowledge Graph now gets a new enclosure, the vase-esque Google Home. Like Amazon's Echo, it reacts to voice rather than touchscreen or buttons, and like Amazon's assistant Alexa, it promises to streamline your day and entertain your evenings with its personalized knowledge of your tastes and interests. Sounds great, right? Turns out, there are a few things you ought to bear in mind before you bring Home home.

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Living with Google Home

Living with Google Home

The Google Assistant has been bundled into the browser, added into Android, and squeezed into Android Wear: now, it's getting a sleek object d'art for the smart home. Google Home is the search giant's take on the smart speaker space, a direct challenge to everyone's current favorite virtual PA, Amazon's Alexa. At $129, Google Home undercuts Echo (though not Echo Dot) and, if your digital life is already in Google's cloud, it promises a more streamlined way to consume that data around the home.

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