smart home

August Doorbell Cam Pro Review

August Doorbell Cam Pro Review

The smart home is flourishing right now, and connected security is probably the hottest area of them all. August's Doorbell Cam Pro arrives today to bring your front door into the 21st century, replacing your dumb doorbell with a camera and floodlight toting, WiFi connected upgrade that also plays nicely with the company's smart locks. The promise is that the rough spots of the original August Doorbell Cam have been polished away; I got out my screwdriver set to find out if that was true.

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Canary’s security cameras suddenly became less attractive

Canary’s security cameras suddenly became less attractive

There's no such thing as a free lunch, they always say, so when someone does offer you one, you can be certain there will be strings attached. In most cases, it usually means "free but limited". But there are some that do suspiciously offer more at no cost, only to suddenly change the rules. That seems to be the case with Canary, maker of somewhat popular connected security camera products, who has incited an angry mob by hiding once free and somewhat critical features behind a $9.99 monthly fee at the very least.

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Sonos’ Alexa public beta arrives today in “sonic internet” push

Sonos’ Alexa public beta arrives today in “sonic internet” push

Sonos has launched a public beta of its Alexa integration, following up on its promise to use Amazon's virtual assistant to control its multiroom speakers. The public beta follows Sonos' ongoing closed beta, which has been running for a small number of users over the past few months. However, you won't need a new Sonos speaker in order to try it.

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Philips Hue is the new Apple HomeKit button-master

Philips Hue is the new Apple HomeKit button-master

This week the folks at Philips got wise to the world of Apple HomeKit, making Philips Hue king of the smart home button in the process. Philips Hue incorporating buttons into Apple's HomeKit means they'll take a new command of the market. "With a press of a button, or a movement of your body," said Philips, "you can activate your favorite Apple Home app scenes."

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Samsung’s ADT-powered security system is a SmartThings hub too

Samsung’s ADT-powered security system is a SmartThings hub too

Samsung has teamed up with security firm ADT for a new home alarm system, borrowing the DIY automation cleverness of SmartThings and combining it with professional monitoring. Dubbed the Samsung SmartThings ADT home security system, it offers an alternative to the recently announced Nest Secure and today's Ring Protect system. Like both, it's intended to be installed by the homeowner themselves, rather than demanding professional installation.

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Ring Protect promises home security with 24/7 monitoring

Ring Protect promises home security with 24/7 monitoring

It's clearly the season for home security systems, with Ring launching Ring Protect with the promise of 24/7 monitoring and easy installation. Building on the company's line-up of cameras and video doorbells, Ring Protect is intended for DIY installation, with a range of wireless motion sensors, door/window sensors, and more.

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Smart home security needn’t be complicated

Smart home security needn’t be complicated

If there's one place the modern smart home has delivered everyday benefits, it's in home security. Gone are the days where installing a comprehensive system involved miles of cabling and demanded specialist electricians to get it up and running. These days, you can outfit your house with all the sensors, alarms, and control panels in a matter of hours, even if you don't have a screwdriver.

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Samsung SmartThings Link for NVIDIA SHIELD now on pre-order

Samsung SmartThings Link for NVIDIA SHIELD now on pre-order

Google and NVIDIA made a big splash when it announced that Google Assistant has just landed on Android TVs and, specifically, the NVIDIA SHIELD. But that's really only part of the equation. Sure, you'll be able control your NVIDIA SHIELD with just your voice, but if you want to do anything beyond the TV, you'll need another piece of the puzzle. That piece is Samsung's SmartThings Link that transforms the SHIELD into a makeshift SmartThings Hub. And while that dongle won't ship until next month, you can already pre-order one right now.

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Google “Manhattan” tipped to be an Amazon Echo Show rival

Google “Manhattan” tipped to be an Amazon Echo Show rival

There was a large disturbance in the force when Google unceremoniously pulled out YouTube from the Echo Show. Amazon said Google unfairly did so without prior notice. Google said Amazon's implementation violated its terms of service. But now it seems there might be another, somewhat self-serving, reason for Google's sudden action. According to sources familiar with the matter, Google is working on its own tabletop smart screen, ala Echo Show. And those will most likely come with Google services, including, of course, YouTube.

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Amazon’s big Echo event: all the devices fit to run Alexa

Amazon’s big Echo event: all the devices fit to run Alexa

This morning Amazon revealed the "all-new Echo", Echo Plus, Echo Spot, a new Fire TV, Echo Connect, and an Alexa-infused Big Mouth Billy Bass. If that wasn't enough to excite the voice-first fans out there in Echoland, what will? In this mix is a set of devices that expand Amazon's footprint in the smart home beyond the ways and means of yesteryear, all in devices that either expand on or modify devices that've come before.

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Amazon Echo Spot alarm clock is smart and semi-spherical

Amazon Echo Spot alarm clock is smart and semi-spherical

The Amazon Echo Spot was introduced today as a smart alarm clock with Alexa inside. This device works as an alarm clock first and foremost, but also rolls with the feature every single Amazon hardware product seems to have here in 2017: Alexa. The smart assistant will live within the device, the device also acting as a screen for multiple different purposes.

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Google Home Max tipped to better battle Echo

Google Home Max tipped to better battle Echo

Much like the Pixel has its own Pixel XL, so too is it tipped that the Google Home will have a slightly larger partner soon. Word on the street is that the device will come with stereo speakers and that it's code-name is Google Home Max. This device will likely appear - or perhaps just be mentioned - at the Google event set for October 4th, 2017.

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