smart home

This Viv bot just put Siri and Google Now on notice

This Viv bot just put Siri and Google Now on notice

Watch out, Siri, Google Now, and Alexa, because there's a new virtual assistant in town and Viv wants to eat your lunch (after probably ordering it first, too). Dubbed "The Global Brain", Viv is actually the handiwork of some of Siri's creators prior to the technology being acquired by Apple, and as an astonishing demonstration today indicates, they've not been idle in the meantime.

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iOS 10 might finally bring an official Apple HomeKit app

iOS 10 might finally bring an official Apple HomeKit app

It's been more than a year since Apple introduced its own foray into the budding market of smart appliances and home automation products, what some label as the Internet of Things. Since then, adoption of HomeKit by manufacturers and developers has been steady but somewhat slow. Adoption by consumers, however, was perhaps slower, hampered by the dozens of apps available, one per smart home product. A long requested feature, Apple might have finally listened to its customers and might soon have its own official HomeKit app, available starting iOS 10.

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Here’s how Samsung and GE will bake the IoT into your kitchen

Here’s how Samsung and GE will bake the IoT into your kitchen

The Internet of Things wants to invade your kitchen, and a new breed of high-tech, high-price appliances is the gateway. Samsung has followed up its oddball Family Hub Fridge - which puts a big touchscreen tablet interface on the front of a double-door fridge-freezer - with another connected gadget for the kitchen, a WiFi-enabled range.

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Samsung Family Hub fridge finally available for purchase

Samsung Family Hub fridge finally available for purchase

It might sound like a tablet, a cylinder, or even a touch-enabled table, but if you saw Samsung's big reveal at CES early this year, you probably already know that the Samsung Family Hub is, in fact, a glorified refrigerator with a gigantic touch screen. To some, it might have sounded too futuristic to be true, but the Korean manufacturer has just proven them wrong by making the Samsung Family Hub available in the market at long last. Now you won't have to worry about forgetting if you need to buy eggs or not, or about the kitchen being only about food.

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Roost now has its own Smart Smoke Alarm

Roost now has its own Smart Smoke Alarm

Last year, Roost made an interesting proposition. Keep your traditional smoke detectors but make them smarter simply by using its 9V Smart Battery. That was practically all you needed to do to get things like alarm notifications, battery level alerts, and even naming your smoke detectors. Today, however, Roost is finally jumping in all the way in the smart appliance market. It is announcing the Roost Smart Smoke Alarm that gives all that and more in one single package. And yes, it still includes the smart battery.

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Google’s OnHub router now supports IFTTT

Google’s OnHub router now supports IFTTT

The OnHub is an odd and unexpected surprise from Google. While it has a very strong resemblance to Amazon's Echo, OnHub is primarily a wireless router. It's a smart router, though, allowing for more control and information via a smartphone. It is also meant to be the hub of Google's smart home ambitions. But there are only so many things you can do with a router, right? Google is now challenging that perception by opening up OnHub to popular web platform IFTTT, allowing almost anything to be done with the router.

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Amazon Alexa comes to 3rd party devices, starting with Triby

Amazon Alexa comes to 3rd party devices, starting with Triby

Alexa, Amazon's voice-based digital assistant that lives inside the Echo line of connected speakers, has finally made the jump to third-party devices, starting with the Triby. It's the first device to make use of Amazon's $100 million Alexa Fund, which helps companies looking to integrate Alexa into their products. Triby, made by France's Invoxia, is a slightly scaled down version of a smart home speaker, but with a focus on being used in the kitchen.

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August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled Review: Siri, lock my door

August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled Review: Siri, lock my door

The Internet of Things may be the Wild West right now, but if Apple has its way, HomeKit-enabled devices like August's new Smart Lock 2nd generation will tame the confusion. It promises to act as your virtual doorman courtesy of the soothing tones of Siri, though at $229 it's not an inexpensive upgrade.

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Switchmate’s DIY-free wireless light upgrade hits stores in May

Switchmate’s DIY-free wireless light upgrade hits stores in May

Renter-friendly ways for a smart home upgrade are few and far between, but lighting at least is getting a blast of the IoT, no screwdrivers required. Glowing from its successful crowdfunding campaign last year, Switchmate is finally bringing its Bluetooth-connected adapter for your existing light switches to market.

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This ceiling mount for Amazon Echo makes perfect sense

This ceiling mount for Amazon Echo makes perfect sense

Amazon's Echo is already proving its worth in thousands of kitchens and living rooms, but when your smart speaker is entirely voice controlled, why does it need space on your coffee table? One enterprising Redditer has taken the obvious next step and moved his Echo completely out of the way, cooking up a ceiling mount that not only helps keep things tidy but could improve performance, too.

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The Internet of Things keeps letting me down

The Internet of Things keeps letting me down

It can be tough sometimes, being an Internet of Things cheerleader. A world of devices that silently talk between themselves should be making my life easier; instead, it's giving me a serious headache.

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Amazon Echo’s newest trick: adding events to Google Calendar

Amazon Echo’s newest trick: adding events to Google Calendar

Amazon's smart home-connected speaker Echo continues to get regular updates with new functionality and connected service, including everything from controlling the lights and thermostat, to playing Spotify and ordering a pizza. However, while the Echo, and in turn its digital assistant Alexa, has long had plenty of basic yet useful features like readying the news and sports scores, one limitation has been that it can't schedule new events in Google Calendar. After the latest update, that's no longer a problem.

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