Home Automation

Anker Eufy Genie undercuts Echo Dot for low-cost Alexa

Anker Eufy Genie undercuts Echo Dot for low-cost Alexa

If you're looking to break into the world of smart home IoT, a lot of people would recommend Amazon's Echo speaker, which is home to Alexa. The problem with that suggestion is that while the Echo is a solid smart speaker, it's also $180. The Echo Dot, which only costs $50, removes a lot of that cost by paring back on features, but now the Echo Dot has an even less expensive competitor: The Anker Eufy Genie.

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Honeywell’s Google Home integration supports multi-zone HVAC

Honeywell’s Google Home integration supports multi-zone HVAC

Barking out instructions to your smart thermostat when you're too hot to get off the couch just got a little easier, with Honeywell announcing its connected temperature controllers now play nice with Google Home. The new integration allows for complete control over one or more HVAC zones via Google's smart speaker, and builds on Honeywell's existing support for the Google Assistant on iOS and Android devices. In fact, the company says, this makes it the only thermostat brand to support all of the major smart hubs.

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Xchime video doorbell promises lag-free security

Xchime video doorbell promises lag-free security

A smart home isn't really very smart if it can't protect itself or its masters. There have been a variety of smart locks in the market already, some simple and other quite sophisticated. Xchime is a new contender that has no qualms about adding yet another choice in the market. It is confident that it has something to offer that has never been offered before. That is, a video doorbell whose usefulness isn't at the mercy of Internet lag.

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Nest Cam IQ Review: Impressive face-recognition comes at a price

Nest Cam IQ Review: Impressive face-recognition comes at a price

In an increasingly competitive world of connected security cameras, Nest has turned to Alphabet-sibling Google and its facial recognition tech to make the Nest Cam IQ stand out. Not just the latest in the company's sophisticated home security camera line-up, the Nest Cam IQ represents a complete platform upgrade, with an all-new sensor, lossless zooming support, and the ability to recognize and track faces. On the downside, it also commands the highest price of a Nest camera so far, so does it deliver for $299?

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Flic Hub lets you control your IoT buttons without a smartphone

Flic Hub lets you control your IoT buttons without a smartphone

Flic buttons were already kind of an IoT lover's dream, but now the company behind them wants to try making them better. When Flic buttons first launched two years ago, they needed to be paired with a smartphone app. Obviously, needing to own a smartphone isn't much of a barrier to entry these days, but the new Flic Hub wants to free you from the app requirement all the same.

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New message or new call? Just glance at your Amazon Echo

New message or new call? Just glance at your Amazon Echo

Smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home are mostly verbal affairs. You talk to them and they respond by voice. Visual feedback is mostly an afterthought, an add-on, or a different device altogether. That makes it sometimes difficult to check the type of notifications you get without having these assistants blurt out potentially incriminating information. Fortunately, at least one of them does have an alternative means of calling your attention. Amazon has just given the Echo a few more light signals, distinguishing between an incoming call and an incoming message.

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Nest considering support for Apple’s HomeKit in iOS 11

Nest considering support for Apple’s HomeKit in iOS 11

As the creator of some of the first connected home devices, Nest has long been one of the odd holdouts in supporting the HomeKit, Apple's platform for controlling such products from their iOS devices. A big part it is likely the fact that Nest is owned by Google. But even with that caveat, this situation could eventually change with this fall's release of iOS 11, announced earlier this month at WWDC.

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Amazon Dash Wand is a barcode scanner you can speak into

Amazon Dash Wand is a barcode scanner you can speak into

How many ways can you take an idea and turn it into different things? If you’re Amazon and you’re talking about Echo and Alexa, it might be a near limitless list. Even if the idea ends up being slightly laughable. After the Amazon Echo Look comes the Amazon Dash Wand. Don’t worry, you don’t actually wave it around to make magic. You don’t even hold it that way. Instead, you use it to scan barcodes or speak into it to ask Alexa anything, like converting from different units of measure.

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Wink Bright kit, new services secure homes in a wink

Wink Bright kit, new services secure homes in a wink

There are dozens upon dozens of connected products in the market these days, all promising to make your homes smarter or more secure. From smart speakers to smart doorbells to smart lights, it can be an overwhelming task to choose which product to start with, let alone actually get started. To help ease consumers into this new IoT frontier, Wink is making available a new Bright “starter kit” and two new security services that help you set up a secure smart home without batting an eyelash.

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Elgato Eve Degree Review: A simple temperature & humidity HomeKit sensor

Elgato Eve Degree Review: A simple temperature & humidity HomeKit sensor

Apple's HomeKit may have had a quiet start, but third-party accessories for an iOS smart home are gradually picking up pace. Latest to store shelves is Elgato's Eve Degree, a compact temperature, humidity, and air pressure sensor, wrapped up in a simple and handsome design, and promising to be the smart trigger your connected home has been asking for.

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Qualcomm’s smart router plan puts mesh, IoT, and Alexa-style agents in one

Qualcomm’s smart router plan puts mesh, IoT, and Alexa-style agents in one

Routers may not be sexy but they can definitely be ambitious, with Qualcomm looking to replace your Echo, router, and smart home bridges with a single unit. The company unveiled its Mesh Networking Platform and Reference Design at Computex 2017 this week, an all-in-one that combines mesh networking, self-healing and -organizing configuration, voice agents like Alexa and Google Assistant, and all the radios to talk to your connected lights, locks, speakers, and more, in a single box.

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Belkin Wemo Bridge adds Apple HomeKit to smart plugs, switches

Belkin Wemo Bridge adds Apple HomeKit to smart plugs, switches

Smart home products these days speak different languages, which sometimes defeats the purpose of having an automated home. But rather than trying to force existing and future products to speak a single language, device and platform makers are solving the language barrier like we do in the real world: with translators. The Belkin Wemo Bridge is one such translator and it is quite adept at one language. This tiny square that you connect to your Wi-Fi router allows Wemo's switches and plugs to speak Apple's HomeKit language.

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