smart home

abode Gen 2 gateway brings 4G backup, Z Wave Plus, soon Siri

abode Gen 2 gateway brings 4G backup, Z Wave Plus, soon Siri

There might be an overabundance of connected appliances these days but not all of them speak the same language. For that, you would need a gateway that would act as a hub and translator for the myriad connected products you may have at home. Although its name doesn’t always come up in IoT news, abode’s gateway is one of those that can speak multiple languages and integrate with multiple AI assistants. And with the abode Gen 2 gateway, it is getting more capable with the promise of one important integration coming soon.

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Ikea’s Sonos-powered Symfonisk smart speakers to debut in August

Ikea’s Sonos-powered Symfonisk smart speakers to debut in August

Home furniture giant Ikea has steadily been getting into the smart home market, introducing products like smart lighting, Bluetooth speakers, and the latest being smart window blinds. The company also announced just over a year ago that it was teaming up with speaker company Sonos to develop ways to combine music and audio devices with furniture, and they've finally revealed that their collaborative products will be launching in August.

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Cortana doesn’t need smart speakers to win insists Microsoft exec

Cortana doesn’t need smart speakers to win insists Microsoft exec

Microsoft isn't letting underwhelming interest in Cortana smart speakers sour it on the assistant technology, even if Amazon Echo and Google Home still get the lion's share of sales - and attention - in the connected home. The software giant still resists calls to develop its own smart speaker, instead relying on third-party hardware like the Harman Kardon Invoke to fill that niche.

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This Amazon Echo Input deal is the price it should’ve launched at

This Amazon Echo Input deal is the price it should’ve launched at

Back in September, Amazon revealed the Echo Input during its packed-to-the-brim Alexa Day. Out of all of the new devices revealed that day, the Echo Input seemed to be one of the most useful, as it allows you to essentially add Alexa functionality to any speaker. For people with existing home audio setups, then, the Echo Input is a good way to get Alexa functionality without buying a collection of Echo speakers and potentially compromising on sound quality.

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New Echo Dot deal gets the latest Alexa speaker for under $30

New Echo Dot deal gets the latest Alexa speaker for under $30

CES 2019 may not have been short on smart home tech, but a deal of the day promotion on the latest Echo Dot 3rd Gen could put Alexa in your house a whole lot sooner. The third-generation smart speaker got an audio and aesthetic update late last year, making Amazon's assistant both look and sound better than before.

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Here’s when the IKEA smart blinds will unroll in the US

Here’s when the IKEA smart blinds will unroll in the US

A couple of days ago, we caught wind of a new line of smart blinds from IKEA. As is usually the case with IKEA, the main draw of these smart blinds is their fairly affordable price, at least in comparison to the cost of other smart blinds, which sometimes cost several hundred dollars. When these new blinds first appeared on IKEA's German site, we weren't clear on whether or not they'd be making their way to the US, but now the company has confirmed that they will.

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Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant to your bedside

Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant to your bedside

Smart speakers have gone beyond simply being speakers. It was really only a matter of time before many realized they actually also wanted to see what’s going on rather than just hear about it. But not everyone may want a large display that may or may not be watching them all the time. That’s where a new class of “smart clocks” come in. Like the new Lenovo Smart Clock with Google Assistant, a smart touch screen device you keep by your bed to somewhat ironically help you get better sleep.

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Lenovo Smart Tabs let you take Amazon Alexa anywhere you go

Lenovo Smart Tabs let you take Amazon Alexa anywhere you go

Amazon’s Alexa assistant is great and all but most of her incarnations come in a faceless speaker that stays either rooted on the spot on in your home. Those are great for use at home and nothing more. What if you wanted something that can be used anywhere on the go? Either you hope to get your hands on an Android phone with Alexa built-in or get your hands on Lenovo’s new Smart Tabs. Part Android tablet and part Amazon Echo Show, the Lenovo Smart Tab P10 and Smart Tab M10 lets you enjoy the best of both worlds, whether you’re at home or on the road.

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These IKEA SmartShades will make auto-blinds much more affordable

These IKEA SmartShades will make auto-blinds much more affordable

Is there anything more representative of the smart home than smart blinds? Okay, maybe there are a few things, but in movies and TV shows that feature so-called homes of the future, smart blinds that raise and lower at the touch of a button (or through voice commands) are a staple technology. The problem is that here in the real world, smart blinds have historically been pretty expensive. As usual, IKEA is here to save us from costly home furnishings.

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Amazon Key adds garage deliveries, Ring support, and WiFi deadbolt

Amazon Key adds garage deliveries, Ring support, and WiFi deadbolt

Key by Amazon, the retailer's in-home package delivery option for Prime subscribers, has expanded with a new garage delivery option, as well as the new Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt and compatibility with Ring. Perhaps the most notable of the changes is Amazon Key for Garage, which feels like a less creepy compromise between leaving packages on the porch or giving a stranger access to one's home.

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Caseta by Lutron Fan Speed Control gets your ceiling fan online

Caseta by Lutron Fan Speed Control gets your ceiling fan online

The Internet of Things, voice control, and having everything in an app is all well and good, but sometimes you just want a good old-fashioned switch to control your fans and lights. Lutron's new Caséta Fan Speed Control isn't quite an old-school wall switch as you'd know it - they don't tend to have wireless connectivity, for instance - but it should be straightforward all the same.

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LG XBoom Speakers get powerful and tiny

LG XBoom Speakers get powerful and tiny

At CES 2019 we'll be seeing our fair share of speakers - but likely none so extravagant as these from LG. These are the latest LG XBOOM speakers and speaker systems, ready to roll for the first quarter of 2019. Included in the mix are a high-end LG XBoom OL100 single speaker and all-in-one as well as the LG XBoom CL98 mini system - so tiny!

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