IoT

LG InstaView refrigerators get voice-controlled doors for 2021

LG InstaView refrigerators get voice-controlled doors for 2021

The list of kitchen appliances you can talk to (and reasonably expect some sort of response) gets longer, with LG's newest - and fanciest - refrigerators adding voice-controlled door opening among other features. The revamped LG InstaView Door-in-Door range will make its debut at the fully-virtual CES 2021 in just a couple of weeks time, aiming to make restocking the fridge a little easier when your arms are full.

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Amazon Echo will play Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas message this year

Amazon Echo will play Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas message this year

Amazon has a special treat for Echo device owners, at least those who have their speakers set to English: Queen Elizabeth's Christmas Day message. The ability to request the message will make it easier than ever for many people across the world to hear the broadcast, one that may otherwise be a bit more difficult to access outside of the UK.

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Amazon Echo gets group calling and other key features for the holidays

Amazon Echo gets group calling and other key features for the holidays

Amazon has announced new features for its Alexa assistant and related Echo products, including group calling and support for new video conferencing options on its Echo Show 8. The features come just ahead of the year's biggest holidays, giving users new ways to connect with their friends and family while staying socially distanced.

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Android Things, the IoT OS you forgot about, is shutting down

Android Things, the IoT OS you forgot about, is shutting down

Google has announced that its Android Things smart home OS will be shutting down for good in just a few weeks, something that will impact just about nobody at all. The IoT platform never grew into anything notable and many consumers remained unaware of its existence -- and as of January 5, it will join the huge list of Google projects that disappeared after a few years.

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Crestron gets a smart home tablet speaker made for your “Zoom room”

Crestron gets a smart home tablet speaker made for your “Zoom room”

The office conference rooms are empty, and their expensive video calling systems sit idle: in 2020, we take our virtual meetings from home, and Crestron wants to bump up the audio quality, and the convenience. Enter the Crestron MM30-R, both a speaker system for your pick of the video calling apps, and a touchscreen tablet designed to control your smart home.

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Alexa Live Translation feature arrives on Echo with six language pairs

Alexa Live Translation feature arrives on Echo with six language pairs

Amazon has announced the arrival of Live Translation on its Echo devices, enabling users to have a conversation in two different languages in real-time with Alexa serving as a translator. The feature is arriving for Echo devices in the US with a total of six language pairs to kick things off, including English - Spanish.

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LG’s home battery company just revealed its new Tesla Powerwall rivals

LG’s home battery company just revealed its new Tesla Powerwall rivals

Tesla Powerwall is getting more competition, with LG Energy Solution unveiling a new home battery system designed to keep the lights on even if the power goes out. The new LG RESU Prime and LG RESU Flex ranges package up lithium-ion batteries for off-grid, solar, and backup use, with the company claiming it has the largest residential energy storage system so far.

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Logitech Circle View Doorbell with facial recognition is made for Apple users

Logitech Circle View Doorbell with facial recognition is made for Apple users

Logitech has introduced Circle View Doorbell, a new video doorbell for connected homes. This device was designed exclusively for use with Apple HomeKit, the first wired video doorbell to feature such exclusivity. The model features a classic design that makes it less likely to stand out, facial recognition, and other key features.

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Samsung SmartThings will soon let you control Nest devices

Samsung SmartThings will soon let you control Nest devices

For those looking to get a smart home set up rolling, there are a number of ecosystems to choose from - Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, the list goes on. Generally speaking, these ecosystems don't feature a ton of interoperability with one another, but that might be starting to change. Today, Samsung and Google announced that they're teaming up to allow compatibility between SmartThings, Nest, and Google Assistant devices.

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iPhone users can now text Alexa their requests and commands

iPhone users can now text Alexa their requests and commands

If you can't or simply don't want to talk to your Alexa assistant, you'll soon be able to text it instead. Amazon quietly rolled out the feature to iPhone users, enabling them to fire off a text message to their assistant rather than using voice to communicate with the speaker. Not everyone has access to the feature at this time, however.

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Hunter Douglas Sonnette shades add a Kickback twist

Hunter Douglas Sonnette shades add a Kickback twist

Not all motorized shades are created equal, with Hunter Douglas' new Sonnette Kickback feature promising a snugger fit within the window. The new cellular roller shade option adds a little extra rotation as the blinds operate, bringing the fabric further into the window recess for benefits the company says are more than just visual.

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Nest WiFi routers get a key feature for working from home

Nest WiFi routers get a key feature for working from home

If you've spent this year working from home, there's a good chance you use video conferencing software like Zoom. As tends to be the case in a home full of people, there's also a good chance that someone, at some point, has streamed movies or downloaded games at the same time, causing the video conference quality to drop drastically. Nest WiFi router owners now have a direct solution to this problem.

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