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.
Wink has unveiled a new home safety system called Lookout, an IoT option for home owners and renters who want a connected way to protect their home. Wink Lookout is described as an all-in-one offering that is composed of three different products: sensors for windows and doors, a motion sensor, and a Siren & Chime device. These components are connected together via the Wink Hub.
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?
Move aside, Alexa; back off, Google Assistant. Microsoft's Cortana is here, and she wants to be the de-facto virtual assistant for busy people in their busy homes. Breaking free of the smartphone and desktop for the first time, Cortana's newest form is the Harman Kardon Invoke, a new entrant to the burgeoning smart speaker market that promises audio quality to rival true music systems along with everything from both your home and your work lives.
It's the season of smart speakers, but the Sonos One has a strong pitch for being your voice-driven media player of choice. As we found in our full review, despite a few teething pains the Amazon Alexa-powered speaker adds an impressive new dimension to home audio playback. Read on for four things about the Sonos One that you really should know.
This year's SDC brought together several Internet of Things brands/groups together into one: SmartThings Cloud. Each of the following names is now part of one bigger group: Samsung SmartThings, ARTIK, Samsung Connect. All three are now under the brand SmartThings Cloud. Of important note - this SmartThings Cloud all-encompassing platform name is what Samsung suggests will be both connected and open - open to 3rd-party brands and developers of many sorts.
Smart speakers are big business now, and with Amazon's Echo and Google's Home dominating the market, Sonos had a choice: step up or slip behind. The Sonos One shows the connected speaker stalwart chose to play the game, and not just with one virtual assistant but as many as it can. Rather than making its own AI for the Sonos One, the $199 connected speaker aims to be friends with all of them.
Item trackers, those small, usually white, pieces of plastic you can attach to almost anything, are a dime a dozen these days. But almost all of them have one thing in common. They use Bluetooth technology to send their location to a phones. While it allows trackers to be almost paper thin and use very minimal power, their accuracy and efficiency is limited by the communication technology as well. Enter Samsung and its new Connect Tag, promising to enable more accurate tracking both indoors and outdoors, thanks to some budding new IoT network technologies.
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?
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.
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.