Home Automation

Ring Protect promises home security with 24/7 monitoring

Ring Protect promises home security with 24/7 monitoring

It's clearly the season for home security systems, with Ring launching Ring Protect with the promise of 24/7 monitoring and easy installation. Building on the company's line-up of cameras and video doorbells, Ring Protect is intended for DIY installation, with a range of wireless motion sensors, door/window sensors, and more.

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LIFX Tile color-changing LED panel is ambient art

LIFX Tile color-changing LED panel is ambient art

Smart lighting has generally aimed to replace your existing bulbs and lamps, but what if you want something completely different? LIFX believes it has the answer with LIFX Tile, a WiFi-connected modular wall panel system that supports multiple colors. This isn't just lighting, the bulb-maker insists, this is ambient light art.

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Noon smart lighting control may offer Nest-like polish

Noon smart lighting control may offer Nest-like polish

Looks like Hue, LIFX, and others will soon have some new smart lighting competition, with a former Nest exec preparing to launch a rival system of his own. Locoroll is the brainchild of Erik Charlton, formerly a member of the founding team at Nest and the company's head of business. It's been working for more than a year and a half on what appears to be smart dimmer switches for the connected home.

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Nest Secure home alarm promises super-sleek protection

Nest Secure home alarm promises super-sleek protection

Nest has launched Nest Secure, a new home security system that pulls together the company's cameras and more into a whole-home protection platform. Revealed today in San Francisco, CA, Nest Secure comprises three main parts. Nest Guard, a hub; Nest Tag, a keychain-dangling fob; and Nest Detect, a motion sensor that also works as a door sensor.

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August Smart Lock Pro Review

August Smart Lock Pro Review

When it comes to connected locks, August is rightly one of the first names that comes to mind, and now there's a new flagship aiming for a spot on your door frame. The August Smart Lock Pro may look like its predecessor, but inside it's all-change with faster components, along with Z-Wave Plus support for pro-installation alarm systems. It'll even tell you whether you've left the door ajar. Question is, does that make it worth $279?

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August’s new smart locks know if your door’s ajar

August’s new smart locks know if your door’s ajar

August has rolled out a trio of new devices, including a pair of connected locks that can tell whether your door is actually closed or not, and a smarter doorbell camera. Offering features like Apple HomeKit support, integration with Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant, and Apple's Siri, and the same straightforward installation that made their predecessors so popular, the new IoT gadgets also offer more usable remote security monitoring.

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Chamberlain MyQ Home Bridge review: ‘Siri, open my garage door’

Chamberlain MyQ Home Bridge review: ‘Siri, open my garage door’

If Apple has its way, your entire home will someday be Siri-enabled. Between its various hardware options like the iPhone, Apple Watch and (soon) HomePod, the underlying software that is HomeKit can make your entire home controllable via voice. For many of us, the garage is a daily use portal, which makes it ripe for disruption via Siri. The underlying question is whether or not that’s even a good idea. Instead of wondering, we decided to find out using Chamberlain’s new MyQ Home Bridge.

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HomeKit security device experiments with the D-Link Omna

HomeKit security device experiments with the D-Link Omna

If you want connected home security, Apple’s HomeKit framework is pretty sparse. It’s one of the weak-points of the platform. The only officially listed ‘security’ device for HomeKit is Honeywell’s Lyric Controller, but it’s not available yet. There are plenty of other options available for DIY home security, but they don’t work with HomeKit. It’s a conundrum, but there’s (sort of) a fix. Instead of a proper security system, you can patch one together using cameras and sensors. It works, too – maybe even better than bespoke systems.

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Neato Botvac D7 memorizes rooms for robo-vac no-go zones

Neato Botvac D7 memorizes rooms for robo-vac no-go zones

Of all the visions of the home of the future, the most alluring is generally handing over cleaning chores to a robot. In practice, though, it can be the most frustrating, too, as anybody who has returned home expecting vacuumed floors but instead found a robo-vac chewing through their phone charger can attest to. Neato thinks it has the answer, with a smarter, more flexible model launching at IFA 2017, the Botvac D7 Connected.

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LG smart appliances can now talk with Alexa, Google Assistant

LG smart appliances can now talk with Alexa, Google Assistant

Say what you want about LG, but one thing you can’t say is that it’s not willing to play nice with its competitors. While it has its own platforms, like webOS and SmartThinQ, it isn’t beyond opening its doors to rivals. At least if that’s where the market is headed. And since the market does seem to be headed towards the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home, LG has announced that its 2017 line of smart home devices and connected appliances will be able to connect with Alexa and Google Assistant, offering users hands-free access to its products.

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iDevices Dimmer Switch plays nicely with Alexa, Siri, and Google Home

iDevices Dimmer Switch plays nicely with Alexa, Siri, and Google Home

Controlling the smart home has more options than ever, but sometimes you just want a regular light switch to turn on your connected bulbs. iDevices' new Dimmer Switch offers just that, a new in-wall control that, though requiring a little DIY action on your part, promises not only more convenient operation but instant compatibility with some of the popular virtual agents, too. Once installed, it'll work with the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple's Siri courtesy of HomeKit.

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Schalge Sense Smart Deadbolt now works with Android

Schalge Sense Smart Deadbolt now works with Android

As if the smartphone platform wars weren’t bad enough, the rivalry between iOS and Android also threatens to invade our homes. Lines are drawn between Apple’s HomeKit and Google’s Android, with some smart home products supporting one but not the other. Fortunately, companies like Schlage want to be embrace as many as they can. Better late than never, the security company is proudly announcing Android support in their Sense Smart Deadbolt. The cherry on top is the new Sense Wi-Fi Adapter that will let you keep in touch with the Smart Deadbolt no matter where you are.

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