Archive for the ‘Home Automation’ Category

Amazon seems keen to make sure it continues to rule the home assistant market, because it has made available an online simulator to help prospective customers experience what it is like to use the Alexa-powered device within their homes.

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According to a new a rumor, Apple’s Amazon Echo-like connected speaker device could pack a camera for facial recognition. Here are the details.

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Apple is working on a device that will see it enter the home assistant game, with a competitor for the Amazon Echo and Google Home devices said to be on the way.

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After announcing the arrival of the Philips Hue White Ambiance Kit back in March this year, the HomeKit-compatible kit is now available, starting at $130 only. Here are the details.

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Google has used the opening keynote of its I/O 2016 conference to announce two new offerings. The Alphabet-owned company has introduced its own Siri/Cortana/Alexa-like personal digital assistant called Google Assistant, as well as an Amazon Echo rival called Google Home. Google CEO Sundar Pichai described the underlying technology within Google Assistant as a “conversational assistant”, whereas Mario Queiroz – VP of product management at Google – claims that the Home will come equipped with “strong bass and clear highs” that should eclipse the performance of the Amazon Echo from a musical enjoyment perspective.

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Google’s Nest has today received a boost in that it can now be integrated with other home automation hardware and services from other vendors such as August, LIFX, Lutron, AT&T, P&G, Waxman, SkyBell, Simplehuman, Misfit, and WeMo.

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost two years since Apple introduced HomeKit at the 2014 Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. The HomeKit protocols were originally revealed and exposed to developers and manufacturers as a way of addressing some of the problems that existed within the Home Automation market at that time, namely price of hardware and the complexities involved in getting started. Over the last two years, Apple has filed a number of patents to improve and push HomeKit forward, including this recently discovered filing that outlines how “automated behaviors in an environment can be implemented based on aggregation of individual user routines.”

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It probably won’t come as any great surprise to learn that Alphabet-owned Google is continuously working on internal projects of both the hardware and software variety. Like most companies of this size that invest heavily in research and development, a lot of those products and ideas won’t ever make it to market or come to fruition, whereas others are given the green light to make it onto our physical and digital shelves. A resurfaced rumor has once again ignited the conversation around internal Google plans to go to market with a product named internally as ‘Chirp’, designed and engineered to rival the Alexa-powered Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Tap.

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If you are lucky enough to own one of Amazon’s fabulous and extremely popular Echo, Echo Dot or the Tap hardware, then you’re about to benefit from even more added functionality thanks to a new and improved Amazon Alexa experience. Starting today, Amazon has upgraded its Alexa virtual assistant with some new abilities that will allow users to utilize the new found travel expertise of the assistant to be more efficient in the booking of all things related to travel. Alexa’s new functionality, which waterfalls down to a variety of Amazon hardware including the Fire TV, is all thanks to an integration partnership with travel search engine KAYAK.

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Own a Tesla? There is now a way to control your electric car using Apple’s Siri and HomeKit framwework. Here’s how it works.

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Apple is rumored to finally include official HomeKit app for iPhone and iPad with iOS 10 this fall, allowing users to control compatible hardware from one single app. Here are the details.

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Samsung’s new Family Hub smart fridge is now on sale in the United States, featuring a giant 21.5-inch touchscreen display, and a lot more. Here are the details.

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Philips may have caused a storm in achievable and affordable home automation when it introduced the excellent Hue range of connected bulbs and lighting solutions, but the same really couldn’t be said for the accompanying Philips Hue app for iOS and Android. It could probably be best described as “functional”, in that it did what it needed to do, but wasn’t particularly precious about looking slick or offering a fluid user-experience.

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If you ever wanted to grab the Amazon Echo or Amazon Tap, the Alexa-enabled smart-speakers are currently on a rare one-day sale which is valid for today only. The sale is live right now, so grab it while stocks last.

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Meet the world’s first smart mirror + scale system that uses hardware and software to track a user’s fitness goals in three dimensions. Here are the details.

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It appears to have been a good few days for the folks over at Ring, and the company isn’t being shy when it comes to sharing its successes with the world. After going through a successful process of raising a huge $61.2 million in Series C funding to progress the business, Ring has announced its new video doorbell hardware, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro. Fans of connected devices, and the connected world in general, but specifically those who love a good snoop to see who’s actually outside of their property, will love the improvements made with the Pro version of the doorbell.

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Phillips has announced new Hue white ambiance bulbs designed to help you sleep better at night by mimicking the day and night cycle. Here are the details.

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The Alexa-enabled Amazon Echo, Tap and Echo Dot will soon be able to control both Nest and Honeywell thermostats, with support set to arrive by the end of the month.

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Amazon has officially unveiled two additional consumer tech devices that not only offer excellent functionality to the technology loving crowd, but instantly grow the Alexa-enabled product count as well. The online retailing behemoth has taken the opportunity to announce the Amazon Tap and Amazon Echo Dot, two new Alexa-powered devices that should have a huge appeal to the home automation crowd. The two devices should also appeal to the technologically au fait who love controlling gadgets through audible commands, in this particular case, via Alexa.

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It seems that even the most obscure companies that you wouldn’t expect to embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution are starting to get in on the act. Most of you have probably heard of Brita – the German company that specializes in water filtration products – and have probably even used one of its products at one point or another. An industry leader in what it does, but not exactly a company that you would immediately expect to come up with a Wi-Fi enabled water pitcher that offers integration with Amazon Dash to automatically restock itself. Well, that’s exactly what the Brita Infinity is.

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