Home Automation

Noon smart lighting replaces switches with OLED touchscreen

Noon smart lighting replaces switches with OLED touchscreen

For most of us, the entry point to the smart home is connected lighting, and that's where startup Noon Home aims to make its mark. Rather than persuading people to switch out their bulbs for wireless versions, like Hue or LIFX, or the lamps themselves, Noon replaces the light switches with smart versions.

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WyzeCam is the smallest security camera you can afford

WyzeCam is the smallest security camera you can afford

Smart security cameras are the new poster child for smart homes, now that smart lighting has more or less become normal. Because of that, there is no shortage of options available in the market, ranging from the well known giants like Nest to newcomers trying to upset the market. Wyze Labs is one of the latter, and it definitely has an tempting proposition. The WyzeCam is one of the smallest security cameras you can find that packs more than just the basics into a package that costs no more than $20.

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Amazon Echo Review (2017)

Amazon Echo Review (2017)

Amazon couldn't have hoped for a better response when it created the smart speaker market three years ago with the original Amazon Echo. What once seemed like a vaguely creepy gimmick - a virtual assistant housed in a slender black totem - has gone on to spawn multiple models along with numerous competitors. Now, Amazon has a new version of the Echo for 2017: smaller, and - at $99.99 - more affordable, but can it impress like the original did?

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Philips Hue bulbs can now be controlled via Vivint Smart Home

Philips Hue bulbs can now be controlled via Vivint Smart Home

Smart home and connected appliances might be the in thing these days, but before they all jumped on the bandwagon, Philips was already paving the way. The Philips Hue has been one of the earliest appliances that could be controlled with a smartphone or accessed through a local network and it still remains one of the easiest ways to get started on the Internet of Things. Especially when it gets integrated into other smart home solutions, like Vivint’s Smart Home platform.

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Google Home Mini Review: Affordability comes at a cost

Google Home Mini Review: Affordability comes at a cost

The Google Home Mini's existence is hardly a mystery: the squat little smart speaker is Google's retort to the Amazon Echo Dot. Packaging the virtues of the Google Assistant into a smaller, cheaper form factor than the existing Google Home, it's a $49 way to add the search company's smarts - and IoT support - to another room. Question is, has some of the magic been squeezed out in the process?

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Yale’s smart locks get a HomeKit upgrade

Yale’s smart locks get a HomeKit upgrade

Yale has added Apple HomeKit support to its smart locks, launching a plug-in module that gives remote control to your iPhone or iPad. The Yale iM1 Network Module plugs into models from Yale's Assure Lock range. Then, either using the Apple Home app or Siri on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch, you can lock and unlock the door.

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Amazon Alexa now recognizes your voice

Amazon Alexa now recognizes your voice

Amazon's Alexa is learning voice recognition, with the Echo smart speakers set to spot who is talking and offer up personalized replies. The functionality has remained one of the most-requested for Alexa, with users' eagerness only fueled by Google adding support for voice recognition to its Google Home several months ago.

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Netgear Arlo Pro 2 packs 1080p, solar option, and Alexa support

Netgear Arlo Pro 2 packs 1080p, solar option, and Alexa support

Netgear has revamped its connected home security cameras, with the Arlo Pro 2 now promising higher resolution, more flexible installation, and better integration with the broader smart home. The Arlo Pro 2 now jumps to 1080p Full HD video, though retains its predecessor's battery-powered, wireless design. However, there's now a solar powered option.

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Samsung’s Star Wars robo-vacs use the (suction) Force

Samsung’s Star Wars robo-vacs use the (suction) Force

Star Wars: The Last Jedi mania is upon us, and if you haven't watched the new trailer and bought your limited-edition R2-Q5 droid, maybe you could start by cleaning up. Samsung has unveiled a pair of new Star Wars limited edition robot vacuums, based on its POWERbot. The new Samsung VR7000 comes in two finishes, both with a Star Wars theme.

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August Doorbell Cam Pro Review

August Doorbell Cam Pro Review

The smart home is flourishing right now, and connected security is probably the hottest area of them all. August's Doorbell Cam Pro arrives today to bring your front door into the 21st century, replacing your dumb doorbell with a camera and floodlight toting, WiFi connected upgrade that also plays nicely with the company's smart locks. The promise is that the rough spots of the original August Doorbell Cam have been polished away; I got out my screwdriver set to find out if that was true.

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Canary’s security cameras suddenly became less attractive

Canary’s security cameras suddenly became less attractive

There's no such thing as a free lunch, they always say, so when someone does offer you one, you can be certain there will be strings attached. In most cases, it usually means "free but limited". But there are some that do suspiciously offer more at no cost, only to suddenly change the rules. That seems to be the case with Canary, maker of somewhat popular connected security camera products, who has incited an angry mob by hiding once free and somewhat critical features behind a $9.99 monthly fee at the very least.

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Samsung’s ADT-powered security system is a SmartThings hub too

Samsung’s ADT-powered security system is a SmartThings hub too

Samsung has teamed up with security firm ADT for a new home alarm system, borrowing the DIY automation cleverness of SmartThings and combining it with professional monitoring. Dubbed the Samsung SmartThings ADT home security system, it offers an alternative to the recently announced Nest Secure and today's Ring Protect system. Like both, it's intended to be installed by the homeowner themselves, rather than demanding professional installation.

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