IoT Reviews

D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD Review: HomeKit’s first camera is raw

D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD Review: HomeKit’s first camera is raw

Apple's HomeKit makes a simple promise: take the disparate parts of the connected home, and bring them together under one straightforward umbrella. Still, the stringent requirements around things like security and ease of setup has meant partner devices have been slower to trickle down to the market than for rival platforms: this D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD has the title of first HomeKit-compatible security camera available. $200 gets you a very wide angle lens and freedom from subscription fees, but there are still signs that neither HomeKit nor D-Link's camera are quite where the competition has reached.

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Sen.se GuardPeanut Review: A $29 movement sensor for the IoT

Sen.se GuardPeanut Review: A $29 movement sensor for the IoT

If you've ever spent time working at your local Starbucks, you'll probably be familiar with the Coffee Guilt Security Dilemma. It's the feeling that you should probably buy another drink, because you don't want to be labeled a freeloader, yet you're worried about leaving your laptop on the table while you queue. Do you pack everything up and risk someone stealing your spot by the outlet? French Internet of Things firm Sense wants to assuage your paranoid guilt, and it's doing that with the $29 GuardPeanut.

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Living with Google Home

Living with Google Home

The Google Assistant has been bundled into the browser, added into Android, and squeezed into Android Wear: now, it's getting a sleek object d'art for the smart home. Google Home is the search giant's take on the smart speaker space, a direct challenge to everyone's current favorite virtual PA, Amazon's Alexa. At $129, Google Home undercuts Echo (though not Echo Dot) and, if your digital life is already in Google's cloud, it promises a more streamlined way to consume that data around the home.

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Dyson 360 Eye Review: A great robo-vac with blind spots

Dyson 360 Eye Review: A great robo-vac with blind spots

Dyson's first robot vacuum arrives with plenty of fanfare, promising more suction than the competition, more flexible trundling on its tank tracks, and smarter cleaning with vision-based navigation. As with all the British icon's products, however, that doesn't come cheap: the Dyson 360 Eye has the familiar grey, blue, and fuchsia plastic of its manually-operated vacuum siblings, and a similarly hefty $999.99 price tag.

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Philips Hue Motion Sensor Review

Philips Hue Motion Sensor Review

You can control your connected lighting by app, from your smartwatch, by voice, and even by a good old-fashioned button, but Philips' latest addition to Hue only cares when you're around. The Hue Motion Sensor takes a hands-off approach to smart lighting, triggering scenes across any of Philips' bulbs, lamps, or luminaires when you walk past, either for convenience, security, or both.

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Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Gen) Review: Alexa goes everywhere

Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Gen) Review: Alexa goes everywhere

Amazon may have all-but stumbled onto its hit Echo speaker and the smart Alexa assistant that powers it, but the new $49.99 Echo Dot proves the retailer has no intention of letting that momentum slip. Resembling a hockey puck rather than the column of its sibling Echo, the smaller, cheaper Echo Dot actually has two goals: be the new entry-level device for those just getting started with Alexa, as well as making it affordable for existing users to spread her skills around the home.

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bObsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum review

bObsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum review

I've been cohabiting with a robot slave, and though bObsweep claims its eponymous PetHair Plus vacuum doesn't mind hard labor, I wasn't convinced it would necessarily be the key to domestic bliss. My experiences with robot cleaners have led me to conclude that they have just as much of an appetite for stray cables and rugs as they do dust and dirt, but with one messy, frequently-shedding kitty in the house and a natural disinclination to vacuum myself, it seemed worth a try.

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Nest Cam Outdoor Review

Nest Cam Outdoor Review

Streaming security cameras are probably the most popular gadget in the connected home, and Nest the best known today. After a fairly slow start after its Dropcam acquisition in 2014, Nest finally has an outdoor model, the unimaginatively titled Nest Cam Outdoor. Like the Nest Cam - designed for indoor use - it's $199.99, though for the full range of features you'll need to cough up a monthly or annual subscription.

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Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link Review: Cleaned air, emptied wallet

Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link Review: Cleaned air, emptied wallet

Dyson is known for its distinctive home appliances, and yet nothing quite looks as strange as its "bladeless" fans, like the latest Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Link. $599.99 gets you the pinnacle of the British engineering firm's HVAC technology, a fan which can not only manage the temperature in your home but promises to make the air cleaner too, complete with app integration.

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Logitech Pop Review: A smarter button for the IoT

Logitech Pop Review: A smarter button for the IoT

It's an awkward fact of life: the smart home, and the Internet of Things in general, is meant to make life more streamlined but can often just leave us poking at our phones more frequently. Want to turn the lights on? There's an app for that. Want to play your favorite new album? There's an app for that too. Sometimes you yearn for the halcyon days of a switch, and that's just what Logitech is offering with Pop, a programable shortcut button.

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Ring Stick Up Cam Review: Solar-powered security

Ring Stick Up Cam Review: Solar-powered security

There’s a tricky balance to be struck when you’re designing an outdoor security camera: do you go with the convenience of battery power, or the performance of wired? Ring’s Stick Up Cam attempts to straddle the two, offering the flexibility of a built-in rechargeable battery with the option of an add-on solar panel for truly off-the-grid use - well, just as long as your WiFi is within range. Question is, has quality taken a back-seat in the hunt for easy installation?

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Switchmate Review – The easiest IoT light upgrade ever

Switchmate Review – The easiest IoT light upgrade ever

If embracing the smart home has a common first step, it's often remotely-controlled lights, but that can be an expensive, time-consuming, or technical upgrade. Wireless bulbs switch out for their dumb cousins, but equipping every lamp can get expensive; swapping dumb wall switches for wireless versions looks clean but requires screwdrivers and dealing with mains electricity, not to mention potentially incurring landlord wrath. Step forward Switchmate, then, with an alternative that's up and running in mere minutes.

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