smart home

SolarCity plans “solar roof” to power Tesla’s master plan

SolarCity plans “solar roof” to power Tesla’s master plan

Forget solar panels retrofitted on top of your roof: SolarCity is working on an ambitious plan to actually tile your home itself with solar panels. The Elon Musk backed energy startup - which Tesla announced recently it would acquire - currently offers modular arrays of panels that can be installed onto existing roofs in different sizes, but the future it envisages is far more cleanly integrated.

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Nucleus Anywhere squeezes Alexa into high-tech home intercom

Nucleus Anywhere squeezes Alexa into high-tech home intercom

Amazon's Alexa continues its gradual spread throughout the home, with the voice-controlled virtual assistant now featuring in the new Nucleus Anywhere, a 21st century take on the intercom. Built around an 8-inch touchscreen, the tablet-esque gadget hooks up to a home network and supports video calls whether in the same home or between distant locations.

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Philips Hue Motion Sensor tipped for September launch

Philips Hue Motion Sensor tipped for September launch

Philips looks set to add hands-free smarts to its Hue lighting system, with word of a new Hue Motion Sensor sneaking out ahead of the gadget's launch. A mainstay of many smart home installations, Hue's wirelessly-enabled bulbs can be controlled by various means, including the company's iOS and Android apps, from a smartwatch, the Hue Tap switch, and basic scheduling, but if you wanted motion-triggers you had to look to third-party platforms.

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Nest silently sneaks in Apple Watch support in latest update

Nest silently sneaks in Apple Watch support in latest update

When you're a company set on conquering every household with smart monitors and sensors, you can't afford to ignore even your parent company's fiercest rivals. That is especially true for Nest, formerly owned by Google, now owned by Alphabet. Although the company has had an iOS app for quite some time now, one important piece of the puzzle was still missing. Well, consider that puzzle now complete as Nest has, rather silently, finally added support for the Apple Watch in the latest update to its iOS app.

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August Home teams up with Amazon to offer first Alexa-enabled door lock

August Home teams up with Amazon to offer first Alexa-enabled door lock

As time goes on, Amazon keeps bolstering the smart home capabilities of Alexa. The company announced today that it's adding the first Alexa Skill for door locks, with the August Home Smart Lock getting the distinction of being the first smart lock that's Alexa-enabled. Now owners of Alexa devices like the Echo or Tap can lock their front doors or check if the doors are locked using Alexa voice commands.

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In VW and LG’s world your new car talks to your smart home

In VW and LG’s world your new car talks to your smart home

Volkswagen may be steaming ahead with its ambitious electric car plans for 2025, but the German automaker is looking to LG for help with connected vehicles. The two firms have inked an agreement to work together on the Volkswagen Cross-Over Platform, using the cloud to pull together various systems in the car together with the smart home.

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Kineti Windows 10 table shows what the Surface could have been

Kineti Windows 10 table shows what the Surface could have been

Before it became a tablet, "large screen", and soon all-in-one PC brand, the "Surface" was envisioned to be something that nobody really wanted back then: a Windows-powered touchscreen coffee table. Perhaps it was just too far ahead of its time, or the powers that be (marketing) decided it has no chance of retail success. The dream, however, is far from dead and French outfit Kineti is trying to prove that there is indeed a market for a Windows 10 table by making it available for anyone to buy. If they can afford the $5,600 price tag, of course.

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D-Link WiFi 720p cameras detect motion and sound

D-Link WiFi 720p cameras detect motion and sound

D-Link has unveiled a pair of new WiFi cameras that can let you see your home or office from afar without having to worry about wires. The cameras include the HD Wi-Fi Camera DCS-936L and the HD Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera DCS-5030L. Both of the cameras share some of the same features with wide viewing angles, motion and sound detection alerts, local recording, and 720p HD resolution.

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With Wink Relay update, order Uber from your lightswitch

With Wink Relay update, order Uber from your lightswitch

Wink Relay, the home automation hub's touchscreen wall controller, can now summon you an Uber and track your Fitbit performance. Announced back in 2014 as a flexible way to control the smart home from where you'd normally expect to find your light switch, the update pulls what would traditionally be functionality you'd dig into an app for on your smartphone into a far more accessible place.

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Amazon Alexa skills just got a whole lot smarter

Amazon Alexa skills just got a whole lot smarter

Amazon's Echo may allow you to order from the retailer's virtual shelves and play its audiobooks, but it's third-party features that make Alexa smartest and they're getting a makeover today. A year after Amazon threw open the Alexa Skills Kit and Alexa Voice Service for others to tap into, there are now 1,400 extra abilities for the speech-controlled virtual assistant.

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Roost Smart Water and Freeze Detector detects flooding

Roost Smart Water and Freeze Detector detects flooding

Roost is a company we have talked about before, it has a smart battery for smoke detectors and a smart smoke detector to help keep your home or office safe. Roost has announced a new product called the Roost Smart Water and Freeze Detector. The goal of the new device is to help save homeowners from costly repairs from frozen pipes that burst or leaks that might flood the home.

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Sonos iPhone lock screen controls added plus 3D Touch

Sonos iPhone lock screen controls added plus 3D Touch

Sonos is finally answering one of the biggest requests from users of its streaming speakers, and embracing Apple's 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in the process. Ditching its standalone remotes in favor of its smartphone apps made a lot of sense - who wants to spend a couple hundred dollars on a dedicated touchscreen remote, when you have a far slicker one in your pocket already - but they did make adjusting things like volume and track a little more time consuming since you needed to unlock your phone and load the app first.

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