IoT

Amazon wants a future where you don’t install Alexa Skills

Amazon wants a future where you don’t install Alexa Skills

Alexa Skills may have proved popular for adding new functionality to Amazon's virtual assistant, but the company is aiming to make the chatty smart home tech clever enough that users don't need to go out looking for third-party add-ons. Currently, there are more than 100,000 Alexa Skills - effectively apps for the voice-first assistant - available, and with that comes confusion.

Continue Reading

This Verizon Smart Display has LTE inside to get you outage answers

This Verizon Smart Display has LTE inside to get you outage answers

Verizon has revealed its own Smart Display, an Alexa-powered screen that packs its own LTE connection as well as WiFi. Built in collaboration with Amazon, it's the first example of a smart home product made with the Amazon Custom Assistant, meaning Verizon Fios customers will be able to ask for specific account details and get service support.

Continue Reading

Samsung gives in and serves up built-in Alexa in new Family Hub fridges

Samsung gives in and serves up built-in Alexa in new Family Hub fridges

Samsung today announced the sixth-generation Family Hub smart fridge, and with it, we're getting a big addition. While Family Hub refrigerators have primarily supported Samsung's Bixby and SmartThings platforms in the past, this is the first generation that will come with Amazon's Alexa built-in. That, obviously, gives users more flexibility in how they integrate a Family Hub fridge with their smart home setup.

Continue Reading

You decide if Amazon makes these Diane von Furstenberg Echo Dots

You decide if Amazon makes these Diane von Furstenberg Echo Dots

Amazon is adding a new project to its Build It crowdfunding system, with a set of Echo Dot x Diane von Furstenberg smart speakers customized by the famous designer. Launched earlier this year, Amazon Build It is an opportunity for the retailer to test the water for more unusual products, gauging consumer demand before giving them the green light for actual production.

Continue Reading

Ring end-to-end encryption goes global: How to turn it on

Ring end-to-end encryption goes global: How to turn it on

Ring is switching on end-to-end encryption for video worldwide, adding extra security to its camera and video doorbell streams. The expansion follows Ring's technical preview of encryption that launched earlier in the year, though which at the time was only available to users in the US.

Continue Reading

Google Nest products to get five years of security updates

Google Nest products to get five years of security updates

Smart home products are getting more common and more accessible, but, as recent events prove, they are far from being the completely reliable and trustworthy parts of our lives that ads and videos would have us believe. Part of that relies on companies and agents on the remote side acting more responsibly in their ability to control these devices from afar. Another part of that formula, however, also depends on manufacturers ensuring the security and privacy of their products and customers, something that Google's Nest is promising to do better.

Continue Reading

Amazon’s Reading Sidekick arrives on Echo to help young kids read

Amazon’s Reading Sidekick arrives on Echo to help young kids read

Amazon has introduced a new Alexa feature it describes as a "learning experience," and it's called Reading Sidekick. The functionality is targeted at kids ages 6 to 9, helping them learn to read independently for enjoyment. The feature works with Echo devices that have the Kids feature enabled, though you'll also need an Amazon Kids+ subscription to use Reading Sidekick.

Continue Reading

Lenovo 2021 tablet lineup and Smart Clock 2 put displays everywhere

Lenovo 2021 tablet lineup and Smart Clock 2 put displays everywhere

After revealing a new notebooks and Chromebooks lineup last week, Lenovo followed up with another MWC 2021 announcement today. This one is mostly about tablets, with Lenovo announcing new Yoga tablets alongside new Lenovo Tabs. Between those tablets and the Lenovo Smart Clock 2 - also revealed today - the theme to this batch of MWC announcements seems to be "displays in unexpected places," as the Smart Clock 2 is destined for nightstands, and the Yoga Tabs can even be hung on walls.

Continue Reading

IoT has a long ways to go to be trustworthy

IoT has a long ways to go to be trustworthy

The smart homes and cities of the future are often painted as places full of transparent touch screens, voice-controlled assistants, and robots that can often predict what we need before we even ask. Unfortunately, what these advertisements and marketing materials don't always show is who is really in control of these future worlds.

Sure, most of these videos or images show regular people like you and me as the main actors, but it is really the companies that run the services and networks behind the scenes that are really in control, and it's going to take a long while before we can and should completely trust these systems with our safety and our lives.

Continue Reading

Level Lock offers doors a more affordable secret smart lock upgrade

Level Lock offers doors a more affordable secret smart lock upgrade

Super-surreptious smart lock company Level has revealed its third product, and the new Level Lock continues the tradition of hiding its connected security features. Unlike other smart locks, which typically have outsized control panels, battery enclosures, or other mechanisms, Level's system manages to squeeze all that into something which looks at first glance like a regular, mechanical lock.

Continue Reading

SmartThings app gets an overhaul to better tame the smart home

SmartThings app gets an overhaul to better tame the smart home

Samsung has launched its latest generation of SmartThings, with the smart home and connected devices platform promising to make automations easier and actions more stable. The revamped SmartThings gets a new interface, too, following Samsung's release of a version of the app for Windows.

Continue Reading

Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen, 2021) Review: Alexa’s best display yet

Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen, 2021) Review: Alexa’s best display yet

The pandemic has made clear that low-resolution webcams are only the tip of the video calling iceberg: in an ideal world we'd all have our own cameraperson to make sure the angles were perfect. That's what Amazon's Echo Show 8 (2nd Generation) promises, turning Alexa into your personal videographer but - to keep the new smart display to $130 - with no moving parts involved.

Continue Reading

1 2 3 4 Next