smart home

Sevenhugs Smart Remote hands-on: delightfully simple

Sevenhugs Smart Remote hands-on: delightfully simple

The smart remote we're getting to take a peek at - and get our hands on - at CES this year is made by Sevenhugs. The company's name is Sevenhugs - and despite that oddity, they've got a really, really nice piece of hardware on their hands. The Sevehugs Smart Remote is capable of controlling multiple devices in a single room, working with smart Bluetooth markers to decide the direction it's pointing. Each direction can be a different device, and each device can have its own UI.

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Blink Seecurity system, service plans to debut at CES 2017

Blink Seecurity system, service plans to debut at CES 2017

By now, smart home security systems are a dime a dozen, but Blink always manages to set itself apart in some ways. It was one of the first, for example, to integrate with Amazon Alexa. It is also probably the only one with an outdoor security camera that runs on AA batteries. At CES 2017, it is taking its game one step further by introducing its Seecurity systems. The name might make some smirk, but the offer of a full line of security products, kits, and services is definitely no laughing matter.

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Family Hub 2.0, cooking appliances join Samsung’s IoT bid

Family Hub 2.0, cooking appliances join Samsung’s IoT bid

CES might be thought of as a time for all sorts of gadgets, trinkets, and, well, electronics, but lately it has also become a time for refrigerators, ovens, and cooktops. Yes, technology, and the Internet, as invaded the kitchen, and Samsung wants everyone to know that it's more than ready for this Internet of Things wave. This week in Las Vegas, it will be showcasing not just its fancy new Family Hub 2.0 smart refrigerator but also a new set of smart cooking appliances to pair it with.

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Samsung FlexWash+FlexDry laundry system mixes 4 machines in 1

Samsung FlexWash+FlexDry laundry system mixes 4 machines in 1

There usually is no one size fits all when it comes to washing machines, as different household sizes will need different capacities. For extra big households, or people with a wide variety of clothes with varying caring requirements, some might think multiple washing and drying machines are in order. Not so, says Samsung. At CES 2017, it will show off its FlexWash + FlexDry solution, which is basically a 4-in-1 laundry system. Yes, four machines in one, combining 2 washers and 2 dryers, each with a different calling.

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Aurora lights turn triangle patterns into rainbows

Aurora lights turn triangle patterns into rainbows

The folks at Nanoleaf have an interesting set of lights prepared for living rooms wishing for colorful accents with "Aurora." The Aurora system is a modular smart lighting solution that allows the user to control each panel from a smartphone. The user configures the lighting grid however they like, then turn the lights on, off, dim, and color-change all from a smartphone screen.

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Amazon Alexa now gets your follow-up questions

Amazon Alexa now gets your follow-up questions

As smart as smart assistants like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa try to be, they seem to have problems with their short term memory. Ask them a question and they'll answer promptly. But ask them immediately about something related to that answer and they seem to have forgotten about it entirely. Unless they asked you first, that is. Google, however, has had the ability to take into account the context of these follow-up queries, and now Amazon has silently given Alexa that skill in the latest update to its Echo devices.

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Alexa a hostile witness in murder investigation

Alexa a hostile witness in murder investigation

How reliable a witness is Amazon's Alexa? The voice-controlled assistant, star of the Echo smart speaker but increasingly spreading to other connected devices, has become the unexpected informant in an Arkansas murder investigation set to go to trial come 2017. According to police, and freshly-unearthed warrants filed by investigators, the always-listening Echo could hold crucial evidence in the case.

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HomeKit-enabled SYLVANIA A19 bulb needs no hub to be smart

HomeKit-enabled SYLVANIA A19 bulb needs no hub to be smart

Smart appliances and Internet of Things products are growing to be quite myriad, but they sometimes speak different languages that you need hubs to translate them. Not so LEDVANCE's SYLVANIA Smart Multicolor A19 LED bulb. Everything it needs to be smart is inside it already. All you need to do is screw it in, connect it to your iPhone or iPad, and magic the light shine. The magic is all in Apple's HomeKit app and platform.

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Samsung POWERbot VR7000 vacuum reaches places you can’t

Samsung POWERbot VR7000 vacuum reaches places you can’t

Robots, especially those with a slathering of AI, seem to be hot items these days. But even before there was Pepper or Nao, there was robot vacuum cleaners. Samsung, who dabbles in every consumer electronics category, naturally has one as well. And its new POWERbot VR7000 is its slimmest one yet. That petite height isn't just for show, though. The VR7000 was intentionally designed to be so low so that it can get to hard to reach places than neither you nor your vacuum cleaner can gain access to.

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Smart home turns informant: Police want Echo and IoT data in murder case

Smart home turns informant: Police want Echo and IoT data in murder case

Your smart home could turn into a police informant, if investigators in Arkansas can set a precedent that data from connected devices like Amazon's Echo be seized as murder case evidence. The police force in Bentonville served Amazon with a warrant for recordings made by an Echo smart speaker, after it potentially heard details around a murder that took place in the home. However, Alexa wasn't the only inadvertent potential witness to the alleged crime.

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Alexa was the star of Amazon’s billion-order holiday

Alexa was the star of Amazon’s billion-order holiday

It sounds like Amazon's Alexa devices were a big hit over the holidays. Amazon announced today that sales of the Echo family were up 9x over 2015's holiday season, which puts sales of Alexa devices well into the millions for 2016. As is usually the case with Amazon, it didn't share specific numbers, and that's something of a shame, as it would offer good insight into how the Alexa ecosystem is performing in the face of increased competition from Google Home.

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Pizza Hut added to Amazon Alexa: these are the skills

Pizza Hut added to Amazon Alexa: these are the skills

The folks at Pizza Hut have announced a team-up between themselves and Amazon for Alexa Voice Service. This system will add the ability to order a Pizza Hut pizza - and other bits and pieces - from the comfort of one's own couch. No phone involve, no laptop needed. This may be the laziest possible way to get hot food into your mouth in the history of the world.

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