smart home

Amazon’s home security kits offer pro-install and no service fees

Amazon’s home security kits offer pro-install and no service fees

Amazon has quietly launched a home security service, taking on Vivint, ADT, and others with a range of systems that do away with a monthly fee. It's the latest move by the online retail behemoth to extend into the smart home, having made a number of acquisitions in the space over the past 12-18 months.

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Xfinity X1 can now hunt down your Tile by voice

Xfinity X1 can now hunt down your Tile by voice

Comcast and Tile have teamed up for a new way to track down lost items tagged with a Tile device, putting the search results right on your TV screen. The new functionality has been baked into Xfinity X1, and allows for voice searches using the system's X1 Voice Remote.

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Alexa and Echo Dot Kids Edition: Just a few facts

Alexa and Echo Dot Kids Edition: Just a few facts

Alexa comes in a new package as of this week, the Echo Dot Kids Edition, complete with three lovely kid-friendly color casings. This device is basically an Echo Dot with a few tiny differences. The hardware is literally the same - one speaker to blast out sound or Alexa responses, and 7 far-field microphones for top-notch listening for voice commands. What's different is the skin - with colors - and the services that come pre-activated with the product.

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Google’s smart screen will probably come from Nest

Google’s smart screen will probably come from Nest

Now that Nest is closer to Google than ever before, it's only right that Google's next product be Nest-branded. Clues collected this week point toward Google's rumored smart screen (with Google Assistant onboard) coming from the smart home brand Nest. Nest was never going to be satisfied just making thermostats, cameras, and doorbells - no way!

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Alexa Rosie robot? The Jetsons aren’t far off

Alexa Rosie robot? The Jetsons aren’t far off

Amazon's next move in smart assistant domination may be a robot that moves around with its user. It doesn't hover, it doesn't wear an apron, and its name isn't Rosie - but it might as well be. Following along with the fire and flame theme Amazon's rolled with for years, this project's code-name is "Vesta." That's a Roman goddess of hearth, home, and family, most often represented as a sacred fire.

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LG SmartThinQ appliances now speak with Amazon Alexa

LG SmartThinQ appliances now speak with Amazon Alexa

LG might not be as daring, or as obnoxious, as rival and compatriot Samsung when it comes to creating new technologies, but it has one admirable trait. It knows how to play nice with others. Instead of creating its own personal assistant like Bixby, it is instead leveraging the capabilities of existing ones like Google Assistant and, now, Amazon Alexa. Now it is bringing that sensibility to its SmartThinQ line of appliances, allowing users to control dozens of Wi-Fi connected LG home products with just their voice.

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We’re all over this Amazon Echo Spot double-deal: Here’s why

We’re all over this Amazon Echo Spot double-deal: Here’s why

It's Alexa's cutest device, but Amazon's Echo Spot needn't break the bank courtesy of a deal the retailer is running on the spherical smart speaker. Launched in December, the touchscreen-fronted gadget is more than just an alarm clock: it's a full Alexa smart home device. Usually it's $130, but Amazon is offering a way to save $40 on your order.

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Can Apple bring itself to save HomePod?

Can Apple bring itself to save HomePod?

HomePod was meant to be Apple's triumphant splash in the smart speaker market, but the reality has been a little less rewarding. Official sales numbers still haven't been shared - and, most likely, never will - but reports this week suggest demand for the Siri-powered speaker has been a fraction of what Apple predicted. Ironically, though, there are a few fairly straightforward ways that HomePod could be improved. Apple could even do some of them without needing to change its hardware at all. The question is not so much how Apple could do it, really, it's if Apple could.

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This great Ring Video Doorbell deal is thanks to Amazon’s acquisition

This great Ring Video Doorbell deal is thanks to Amazon’s acquisition

Amazon's acquisition of Ring has completed, and the retailer is celebrating not with cake but with a price cut on one of the smart doorbell-maker's most popular products. Announced back in February, the deal to acquire smart home device-maker Ring was seen as Amazon attempting to bolster its security and IoT credentials, though the two have worked together before.

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Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Review

Nest Cam IQ Outdoor Review

Nest has built a name for itself for its sleekly-designed, premium-priced security cameras, thermostats, and other connected home tech, and the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is no different. Latest in the Google-owned company's intelligence-toting cameras, it packs a surprising amount of smarts into an elegant housing.

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Amazon Key keyless entry, remote monitoring rolls out nationwide

Amazon Key keyless entry, remote monitoring rolls out nationwide

Remember the Amazon Key announcement last October? The in-home delivery aspect of the service may have eclipsed the fact that, underneath it all, Amazon Key is really just a smart lock and smart security camera combo. The retailer’s latest announcement may help drive home that fact. Amazon Key’s key features, like guest access and remote unlocking, are now rolling out to all Amazon customers in the US, pushing the company’s ambitions in the smart home security market forward.

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Alexa Announcements make Echo a home PA system [Updated]

Alexa Announcements make Echo a home PA system [Updated]

Amazon is turning Alexa into a public address system for the home, with Echo speakers now able to make one-way announcements to summon the family down for dinner. Dubbed Alexa Announcements, the new feature is like a one-way intercom, Amazon suggests.

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