Home Automation

Amazon Key hack disables Cloud Cam while courier is inside

Amazon Key hack disables Cloud Cam while courier is inside

Amazon may have pitched the Cloud Cam as a key security feature of Amazon Key, but researchers have demonstrated a huge flaw that could leave customers thinking twice about giving couriers virtual keys. Launched in October, Amazon Key offers Amazon's most loyal users in its Prime membership scheme a way to accept packages even if they're not home, by giving delivery people one-time access to the home with a connected lock. Figuring many would be wary of that, the Amazon Cloud Cam was pitched as a way to ensure everything was above board.

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Google Home equalizer paves way for the big Max

Google Home equalizer paves way for the big Max

If your demands from a smart speaker focus more on, well, music than how well it answers questions, the latest update to Google Home might be of interest. In a new update, the Google Home and Google Home Mini have gained an equalizer, allowing owners to tweak the audio levels to suit their own particular tastes.

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Aura home security sees through walls to avoid privacy squeamishness

Aura home security sees through walls to avoid privacy squeamishness

Connected cameras might be the current darlings of the smart home, but what if a 24/7 stream from inside your house gives you the privacy shivers? A smarter motion sensor might be the answer, with Aura promising a new way to track activity in the home - as well as automate it - based on wireless activity.

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Jibo Review: Alexa gets some cute competition

Jibo Review: Alexa gets some cute competition

I knew Jibo was onto something when I he managed to coax a laugh from my tech-skeptic partner in the other room. I'd been in the middle of setting up the companion robot's voice recognition system, repeating his trigger phrase six times in a row so that he could learn who was talking to him. "Now say "Hey Jibo" 400 more times," the robot told me, before quickly adding "I'm only kidding" and pirouetting giddily. It got a chuckle from next door, and gave me my first glimpse of how home robotics might well wriggle and wise-crack their way into our hearts.

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Google Home broadcast turns the Assistant into a PA

Google Home broadcast turns the Assistant into a PA

Google is turning Google Home into a domestic public address system, ideal for summoning people to the dinner table or warning them you're about to turn off the internet. The update, being pushed out from today, allows users of the Google Assistant to broadcast a voice message through their Google Home devices.

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Logitech screwed up with Harmony Link: now it’s making amends

Logitech screwed up with Harmony Link: now it’s making amends

Logitech will give all owners of its Harmony Link a free Harmony Hub, after being hit with a backlash of angry users furious that their smart home tech would be bricked next year. The company notified owners that the six year old gadget - which allows functions previously demanding multiple remote controls to be controlled by a single smartphone app - would be unexpectedly rendered useless next March, in an email this week.

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Logitech is getting roasted for blindsiding angry users

Logitech is getting roasted for blindsiding angry users

Logitech finds itself facing a user revolt, with the news that it's unexpectedly killing off the Harmony Link in just a few months time. Owners of the box, which promised to replace up to eight remote controls for AV equipment like TVs, Blu-ray players, and more, were informed today that, as of March 2018, their system would stop working. Unsurprisingly, they're not particularly pleased with Logitech right now.

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Logi Circle 2 Review: Weatherproof camera undercuts Nest

Logi Circle 2 Review: Weatherproof camera undercuts Nest

When it comes to connected home security cameras, Logitech hasn't given up on weening you off your Nest addition. The Logi Camera 2 takes a more security-centric view than its predecessor, with the benefit of more capable software, smart home intentions that play nicely with HomeKit and Alexa, and a free monitoring plan that's bordering on generous.

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IKEA Tradfri smart lighting finally gets HomeKit, Alexa support

IKEA Tradfri smart lighting finally gets HomeKit, Alexa support

IKEA may have somewhat become a household name when it comes to minimalist, modular and hip furniture, but it isn’t known for jumping into the smart home arena head on. That should have changed last August, when it promised to add support for the three major smart home and AI assistants in the market. Fast forward three months later, it is only now that the IKEA Tradfri line of connected bulbs is getting integration with Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa, with Google Home still left behind.

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Honeywell face-recognizing security system makes Alexa your guard

Honeywell face-recognizing security system makes Alexa your guard

Today Honewyell introduced a new, modular Smart Home Security System that's centered around a camera base station and promises support for a lot of IoT smart assistants and services. On its own, that isn't a very surprising announcement, given Honeywell's recent efforts in the smart home space. However, the method in which Honeywell is launching this new system might be surprising to some.

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Alexa now knows if your August smart lock door is shut

Alexa now knows if your August smart lock door is shut

August's DoorSense system, which alerts users if their door hasn't properly closed, has been added to the company's Alexa skill. The update, which requires certain lock models in August's line-up in order to work, means that those with an Amazon Echo or other Alexa-powered device can now ask the smart assistant for an update on whether their door is actually closed or not.

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Amazon Echo Plus Review

Amazon Echo Plus Review

Amazon's smart home dream sounds an awful lot like living on the Starship Enterprise, and in that dream the new Echo Plus is there gateway to an automated future. At $149.99, it undercuts the original Amazon Echo it so closely resembles, but counts on better audio quality and an integrated smart home hub to warrant its premium over the 2017 Echo and the bargain Echo Dot. As I found, though, Alexa's insistence on treating all her Echo children as equal may undercut some of the Echo Plus' advantages.

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