smart home

The Amazon smart microwave is an Alexa Trojan horse

The Amazon smart microwave is an Alexa Trojan horse

Kitchen conversations usually consist of "what time is dinner ready?" and "it's your turn to load the dishwasher," but Amazon's Alexa-powered microwave hopes to change all that. It's easy to joke at the idea of a voice-controlled appliance, certainly one which counts proactively reordering popcorn among its key talents, but the AmazonBasics Microwave is more important than you might think. For $60, it's Amazon's cunning Trojan horse for Alexa.

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AmazonBasics Microwave Review: Alexa gets cooking

AmazonBasics Microwave Review: Alexa gets cooking

"Why are you talking to the microwave?" Being the spouse of an early-adopter has never been especially easy, but the arrival of the smart home - and voice-controlled systems like Amazon Alexa in particular - has certainly magnified the potential for confusion. How, then, to explain why the AmazonBasics Microwave powered by Alexa is really for your tech-tired partner's benefit, not yours?

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Google Assistant adds broadcast replies, alarm routines, more

Google Assistant adds broadcast replies, alarm routines, more

The Google Assistant is getting an upgrade, with new features for smart displays like the Google Home Hub, along with better use of Routines and more flexible broadcasts. The updated talents will be rolled out to Google's smart speakers, smart displays, and Assistant on phones over the next couple of weeks, starting from today.

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This Lenovo Smart Display deal is a half-price surprise

This Lenovo Smart Display deal is a half-price surprise

Black Friday isn't quite here, but the deals are already showing up, and if you're in the market for a Lenovo Smart Display then you're in luck. The Google Assistant powered smart display launched back in May, but the 8-inch model is already seeing a better than half price discount as part of one pre-Black Friday sale.

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Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer adds Apple HomeKit support

Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer adds Apple HomeKit support

Wemo's WiFi Smart Dimmer light switch is gaining Apple HomeKit support, with a new update bypassing the need for a hub to integrate with Apple's smart home system. Launched back in 2017, the WiFi Smart Dimmer is intended to replace a traditional light switch in the wall, and thus enable remote-control access to the light that it operates.

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Facebook Portal on sale now: But should you buy one?

Facebook Portal on sale now: But should you buy one?

Facebook's Portal and Portal+ smart displays are on sale, but the big "should I buy one?" question is about more than just the technology on offer. The social network raised more than a few eyebrows when it announced the two video calling-focused smart displays earlier this year, while still in the shadow of a data privacy controversy.

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Alexa for PC brings Amazon AI to Windows 10

Alexa for PC brings Amazon AI to Windows 10

Amazon has released Alexa for PC, bringing its smart assistant to Windows 10 and turning your notebook or desktop computer into a smart speaker. The free app brings features familiar from Amazon's Echo line-up to Microsoft's platform, including smart home control.

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Samsung puts voice at the heart of the Smart Home

Samsung puts voice at the heart of the Smart Home

Samsung's smart TVs are gaining more voice control, with new partnerships with streaming services like Netflix and Spotify that won't need you to pick up the remote. Announced at SDC 2018, Samsung's annual Developer Conference, the new Voice Media Control API will allow apps and services to enable speech controls more easily.

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Google and iRobot team to turn your Roomba robo-vac into an IoT mapper

Google and iRobot team to turn your Roomba robo-vac into an IoT mapper

Your Roomba robot vacuum cleaner is turning into a mapping explorer for Google, with the two companies collaborating on better understanding the layout - and the uses - of the smart home. The project promises more efficient interactions between IoT and connected devices, though owners will have to opt-in to see the benefits.

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Google Home Hub is secure, says Google, despite insecurity claims

Google Home Hub is secure, says Google, despite insecurity claims

When you have a connected device that’s at the center of your home, both literally and figuratively, it can be frightening to imagine what the consequences would be if such device were compromised to gain access to the rest of your home. That might be the inherent risk of a smart home future if the hubs that become their command center become security liabilities instead. For one hacker, that is exactly the case with the Google Home Hub. Google, however, is unsurprisingly refuting the claims.

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NVIDIA SHIELD TV teams with Alexa, comes with Echo Dot for short time

NVIDIA SHIELD TV teams with Alexa, comes with Echo Dot for short time

Amazon Alexa is the latest on a list of smart home and smart assistant services that work with NVIDIA's Android TV device, NVIDIA SHIELD. Today we're going to take a peek at the steps required to connect an NVIDIA SHIELD to Amazon's Alexa system - starting with the Amazon Echo Dot. This system works with a variety of Amazon Echo devices (with Alexa inside), but NVIDIA's just released a bit of a combo on Amazon and Best Buy with the SHIELD TV and Echo Dot - for a limited bit of time.

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3 reasons Google Home Hub will be a 2018 holiday gift hit

3 reasons Google Home Hub will be a 2018 holiday gift hit

The holiday shopping season is coming, and Google has slipped into pole position for smart displays with the new Home Hub. Latest embodiment of the Google Assistant, the Home Hub is special as much for what it left out as what it can do. Read on for three reasons we think it'll be one of the top gifts for 2018.

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