Items tagged with smart home

Peace of mind is certainly worth something, and if that happens to come with a home security system, it is more than worth it. However, security systems are not normally cheap, but Amazon has some systems from Anker on sale, which could save you up to 25%. These deals will not last long, so get peace of mind on a budget today. Up for grabs on Amazon are two security system kits from eufy Security, an Anker company. The eufyCam 2C Pro, with either a three camera kit or four camera kit, boast an 2K resolution for seeing great detail in recorded video. Moreover, the cameras come with infrared night vision and human detection technology, meaning you can capture footage day or night and get an alert... Read more...
Late in January, Amazon updated Alexa to control your home more autonomously if so desired. Continuing in the trend of greater and and more powerful home control, Amazon may be developing a wall-mounted Alexa-based smart home command center to manage all the smart devices you may have. Amazon’s hardware division, called Lab126, is designing the new Alexa device to be a digital command center for the smart home, with features such as “showing users upcoming calendar events, controlling accessories like lights and locks, and playing music and video.” According to the unnamed source, it would also feature microphones and a camera for video conferencing or likely managing Ring doorbells... Read more...
Amazon has long been working on trying to make users’ lives more convenient with connected devices. They initially introduced the concept of “Hunches” in 2018. This allowed Alexa to inform a user when something was not quite right with their connected device and offer to fix the issue if possible. The company has recently taken Hunches to the next level by enabling Alexa to proactively complete tasks based on the user’s habits without asking for permission beforehand. Alexa is now able to interact with various smart devices without needing to inform users about their actions. These devices include lights, plugs, smart locks, thermostats, and vacuums. According to... Read more...
If people trust their information with businesses tasked with keeping them safe, those companies should at least try to take security seriously. It seems that is not necessarily the case, as a flaw in an app created by Ring was exposing precise location data of customers who posted to the app, when it should have been hiding it. Ring is a smart doorbell and IoT company that created the Neighbors app in 2018, around the same time Amazon completed its acquisition of the company. The Neighbors app was something of a social app where Ring doorbell owners could anonymously share videos that show crime. Think along the lines of a digital neighborhood watch with video footage. Vulnerable Data On Neighbors... Read more...
Smart home appliances and internet of things (IoT) devices are becoming part of daily life for many. You may even have one of these devices near you right now and it's likely connected to the internet in some way. While the product category may offer some innovative solutions, some products on the market currently fail horribly when it comes to security. UK publication Which? bought 11 different smart doorbells from Amazon and eBay and found that they all failed simple security tests. This means if you have one of these devices, you could be at risk for attacks from nefarious intruders. You would think (and would want) the thing securing your home to be secure over the network, but that just... Read more...
Google is launching a new thermostat for home users, and it's the company's cheapest offering yet. Nest revolutionized what was seemingly a stagnant and rather boring market when it launched its original Learning Thermostat back in 2011, and Google clearly saw the potential when it bought the company in 2014. Nest has been fully absorbed into Google now, and the expansion of the Nest-branded family continues with the arrive of the newest Nest Thermostat. The Nest Thermostat is a new, low-cost offering that is priced at just $129.99, making it $40 cheaper than the Nest Thermostat E. It's also $120 less than the flagship third-generation Nest Learning Thermostat. Google is promoting an easy setup... Read more...
Some people may say, “Don't talk to me until I have had my coffee,” but what if they could not have coffee because of a ransomware attack? According to a researcher at Avast, IoT devices, such as smart coffee makers, can be vulnerable to attacks. Security researcher Martin Hron remarks “firmware is a new software,” and that software can be exploited. Typically, smart IoT devices have firmware onboard that is used with an API, while users expect that not too much harm can come from the API and firmware. This is not the case, as Hron states “We used to trust that hardware, such as a common kitchen appliance, could be trusted and could not be easily altered without... Read more...
Wink its telling its customers they have an important choice to make: start paying a $4.99 monthly subscription fee or lose access to critical features for products they already purchased. Customers have just one week to make a decision, as the subscription (and features cut-off) goes into effect starting May 13, 2020. This decision is not sitting well with Wink's customers, as one might expect. Angry Wink device owners have taken to social media and web forums to accuse the company of extortion and IoT ransom, while pointing out that the timing of the announcement makes the situation even more egregious. Incidentally, timing played a role in Wink's decision to start charging a monthly fee. "Wink... Read more...
Five years ago, Google in down and acquired Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in what amounted to an all-cash offer. It seems Google hasn't quite figured out how best to leverage its acquisition, which has been shuffled around the organization a couple of times, and is now considering a rebrand of its Nest line of products. It's been an interesting road for Nest since Google took over in 2014. In 2015, Nest operated as its own subsidiary under the corporate Alphabet umbrella. Then earlier this year, Google announced that Nest was "coming home" by rejoining its hardware division. The hope was that by meshing Nest with Google's own hardware team, it would be able to bring more innovative products to the... Read more...
Robots may not yet be doing [all of] our household chores, but we are getting a little closer to this fantasy. The Brilliant Smart Home Controller with Amazon Alexa built-in is now available for purchase. The product promises to simplify the smart home experience and eliminate the use of smartphones and smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home. The Brilliant Smart Home Controllers will replace any existing light switch in one’s house. The user will then have touch and voice control over Sonos, Nest, Philips Hue, Ecobee, Ring products in their home. Users will be able to control their Sonos Home Sound System, adjust the room temperature, be able to see who is knocking on their... Read more...
TP-Link has been making mesh routers in the Deco range for a while now that are designed to give you WiFi access all around a home or office. Last year, the company launched the Deco M5 mesh router and now the company has announced the new Deco M9 Plus. This mesh router is notable because in addition to offering WiFi coverage, it also has an integrated smart home hub for IoT devices. The M9 Plus supports AC2200 speeds and tri-band WiFi with dedicated 5GHz backhaul for faster speeds and dependable connectivity for over 100 devices across the entire home. The router uses TP-Link Mesh technology to eliminate dead spots in the home or office with a single Deco M9 Plus kit with a pair of the access... Read more...
Amazon and Ring, the maker of video doorbells and security cameras, have come to an agreement where the former will acquire the latter. The deal is said to be worth over one billion dollars. While nothing has been specifically said about what plans Amazon has for Ring, it's easy to guess what will happen based on what Amazon has done with its past acquisitions like that of Twitch and others. What this will mean is that the Ring brand will likely carry on. Ring already has integration with Amazon Alexa via skills launched in June of last year, and you can bet that Amazon will expand its integration into the Ring line of products, even if some of the products that overlap with what Amazon already... Read more...
You win some and you lose some, and unfortunately for Otto, a smart lock startup that was ever-so-close to shipping its first product, the door is now slammed shut on the company. Otto founder and CEO Sam Jadallah stated in long-winded Medium post that an acquisition deal crumbled at the least minute, leaving the startup in shambles and forcing it to shut down despite having shown off its smart lock product just months earlier. Otto's fate is a cautionary tale to other startups. Sadly for Jadallah and company, the decision to move away from investments and go all-in with an acquisition offer proved fatal, as the company's hands were tied during the buyout process that never came to fruition.... Read more...
Equipping your home with smart products can be an expensive proposition. Blink, one of the major players in the smart home market, is hoping to lessen the financial burden on potential customers with a new battery operated smart doorbell system with video capabilities. It's supposed to be easy to install and costs $99 for existing customers who already own a Blink sync module, or $129 for new customers. Granted, that's way more than a regular doorbell costs. But in the realm of smart products where Internet connectivity rules the day, the asking price is not egregious, especially for what the doorbell is capable of. It has a motion sensor built into it and provides customers with live HD video... Read more...
The smart home movement, while still in its relative infancy, is in full swing with various companies offering complete (or near complete) solutions. August is one of them, and it has gone and refreshed its smart home product lineup with new and more affordable versions of its smart lock, and a professional edition doorbell camera.This the third generation of the August's Smart Lock product, and it looks unlike either of the previous ones. It is compact with an oval-shaped industrial design that now features a thumb turn dial. The new version also doubles up battery life compared to the previous model, and sports a DoorSense sensor that can detect when the door is open or closed. The sensor also... Read more...
Nest has introduced new, cut down version of its smart thermostat that parent company Google hopes will appeal to a wider audience. Part of that entails making the new Nest E cheaper than the regular Nest thermostat, which it is. However, even though Nest E is not quite as feature-rich as the regular Nest, there is not much separating the two thermostats in the way of functionality. The new Nest E can do almost everything the regular Nest can do, save for a feature called "farsight" that allows the thermostat to detect when you're across the room, and then turn on the display to indicate the time or temperature. Beyond that, Nest E owners are not missing much, other than the heftier price tag... Read more...
A smart thermostat like the Nest is a great way to help you save money on your electricity and heating bills. Nest is able to do this by learning what temperatures you like and then setting itself automatically depending on the time of day. It also learns when you are out of the home using integrated sensors and the location on your smartphone to turn the temperature up when you leave, saving money.The catch for many people who would like to own a Nest Learning Thermostat is that they are expensive at $249, and are decked out with a metal ring around the outside in stainless steel, black, white, or copper colors. Back in March of this year, a rumor started floating around suggesting that Nest... Read more...
Sometimes, smart home technology can automate seemingly mundane tasks to make our lives easier. Smart thermostats, smart light switches, and other devices can be programmed to activate with a touch of a button, the sound of our voice, or automatically with schedules or geofencing settings. But while smart devices have the ability to make our lives easier, they can be downright hellish to deal with when things go wrong. Take the company LockState, for example. LockState manufactures a line of RemoteLock smart locks that can be used by residential homeowners and businesses. They are particularly popular (and approved) for the Airbnb Host Assist program, which allows a host to generate codes for... Read more...
Most people do not think of a smart speaker being a potentially life saving gadget, but with the ability to dial up the police in emergencies, there is the potential for such items to serve as much more than just an entertainment gadget that can relay the weather and fire up playlists. That is the case for a woman and her daughter who were house-sitting in Tejaras, New Mexico last week. While house-sitting, an argument broke out between the woman and her boyfriend, Eduardo Barros, which turned physical, according to Deputy Felicia Romero, a spokesperson for the Bernalilo County Sheriff Department. The argument escalated to where Barros allegedly brandished a gun and threatened to kill his girlfriend.... Read more...
In a perfect world, we would not have to worry about intruders breaking into our homes and pilfering our belongings. Of course, we do not live in such a world, and the sad reality is that burglars and thieves exist. Fortunately there are home security products that make life tough for the bad guys. One of them is the Nest IQ Cam, a smart "security camera that outsmarts other security cameras." Behind that witty tagline is a smart camera that was built from ground up with completely new hardware with unique functionality. It's an inside version of its outdoor security camera released last year. Armed with an improved lens and beefed up processing power, the Nest Cam IQ can see better and think... Read more...
Companies are embracing the smart home movement in a number of fun and creative ways. Thanks to smart home speakers and technologies, you can bark out commands to the cloud to do things like dim the lights, play music, look up the weather, and even order a pizza. Amazon hopped out in front of the trend with its Echo speaker and Alexa digital assistant, but here comes Google with its Google Home speaker. In a bid to be more competitive, Google has added a dozen new partners to its smart home initiative. These new home automation integrations introduced with the latest update add a wealth of functionality to Google Home powered by the company's Google Assistant. Here is a look at the list of players... Read more...
Smart home technology is on the rise and everyone is looking to get in on the action. That includes big players such as Amazon and Google, and pretty soon you can count Microsoft among the contenders as well. However, Microsoft's solution won't be a hardware product. Instead it has been working on a software solution called Home Hub since before the Anniversary Update for Windows 10 arrived.The Anniversary Update actually includes some features designed to work with Home Hub, such as being ability to summon Cortana from the lock screen. Even more features that link Home Hub's functionality with connected Windows 10 PCs will be included in the forthcoming Creators Update, though it's the next... Read more...
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