Google continues its mission of organizing the world’s information, and then some. The search giant's AI efforts continue to pay dividends with its Google Assistant platform, now appearing on many more devices, including iOS. Now you'll be able to turn off your toaster from your Google Home, or from the middle of Iceland.
As previewed at CES 2017 and shown to Smarter Home Life at the Philips Hue Suite at the Aria in Las Vegas, Philips released pricing details, pre-order and in-store availability information today on the new Hue ceiling and table lamps, plus the new Hue White Ambiance candle bulb.
Amazon confirmed a few rumors on Tuesday, May 9 when they unveiled the new Echo Show, a tabletop device with speakers, mics, a 7" touchscreen and Alexa built-in, and announced that all existing Echo devices now had the ability to make phone calls and send messages to each other. The Internet, as usual, went bonkers over it.
This month's Q&A episode is a 2-for-1 combo, since April was pretty "light" on LED lighting questions. Here's the fun topic rundown for this edition: CFL vs LED for "daylight white", mesh Wi-Fi, 3-way smart switches/dimmers, motion sensors for home automation, smart home integration on Windows 10 Mobile, and...buttons, buttons, buttons!
The highly-anticipated (and ridiculously leaked) Ecobee4 smart Wi-Fi thermostat launched this past week. The overall design and features of the new thermostat remain the same from the Ecobee3, and the Ecobee4 comes with a remote temperature and occupancy sensor just like its predecessor. But wait, there’s more: Ecobee4 doesn’t just “work with” Amazon’s Alexa, she’s built right into the device.
On first glance, the Premis looks like just another electronic deadbolt with a keypad, but it's actually an excellent smart lock that gives you another good product option if you live in the HomeKit world.
Smarter Home Life is now just over three years young, and continues to grow and change with the "smart home" industry. Last year, we changed names to better fit what we were doing, and this year, it's another big move - getting rid of ads. "What?" "Are you crazy?" Read on...
In the “good old days” of home automation, buttons were everywhere. You couldn’t escape them. This was especially true before the early touchscreen controllers hit the market from companies like AMX and Crestron. Today, smartphone apps and voice control have seemingly taken over control of everything in the modern smarter home, but is that really a better experience?
We’re giving away an exciting package of connected video surveillance tech and night vision-enhancing smart LED lighting to one lucky winner! The Zmodo Pivot security camera and Greet video doorbell let you keep an eye on your home while you're away, and LIFX+ smart lighting beautifies your home with customizable white light and a rainbow of colors, and helps your security cameras see better in the dark with special infrared LEDs.
How does Earth Day play into the message of making your home smarter with tons of connected gadgets and LED lights? It's a bit of a contradiction, really. But, actually there is some progress to be made in using energy-saving gadgets. (While they're really cute, this piece sadly has nothing to do with ducklings.)
Samsung surprised no one this week with the launch of the overly-anticipated Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones at its Unpacked event, featuring the much-rumored Bixby digital assistant. Most citizens of planet Earth have been eagerly waiting for another virtual assistant to use, since the four existing platforms of Siri, Cortana, Alexa and the Google Assistant just didn’t give everyone enough choice.
Last fall, the Google Assistant debuted on the Google Home smart speaker and the Google Pixel smartphone. Initially, the only things that Google Assistant could help with were SmartThings, Nest, Philips Hue and IFTTT. Since the launch, Google has slowly added a few more, such as support for Belkin WeMo and Honeywell. But this week, an entire dozen (not a baker’s dozen) of new integrations were added to the Google Assistant.
So, there’s a home surveillance camera that evokes lyrics from a certain song? Seriously? Yes. And with its multiple on-board and external sensors, it’s pretty smart, too. Say hello to the Pivot, from Zmodo.
While Zmodo has been in the security business for a while, they’ve made inroads into the home automation space over the past few years, and at CES 2017, they unveiled many new products to complete their vision of a “smart home”. Introduced in 2016, the Pivot is a product that goes beyond the basics of a traditional home security camera.
Smarter Home Life gets many, many emails and comments from its fans about the price of home automation products, and specifically, connected (or smart) lighting products. Some require a purchase of a starter kit with a hub, and others are à la carte but are upwards of $60 per lamp. Why is this stuff so darn expensive? It's partly because this is still a relatively niche industry, although it's growing rapidly. But all it takes is one lean start-up to take on the challenge of building a less-expensive but quality product. And, that's exactly what happened in 2015.
Ever since late December 2016 with the dual announcements by LIFX and Sylvania about their HomeKit-enabled, no-hub-required smart bulbs, many HomeKit enthusiasts have been patiently (ok, probably impatiently) waiting to see which one would ship first. As it turns out, they were both “one-upped” by a company that most of us have never heard of.
It’s been one week since the “incredibly revealing” information drop by Wikileaks about the apparent abilities of the CIA to eavesdrop on individuals via devices ranging from smartphones to smart TVs and potentially digital assistant devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. The United States, most of planet Earth, and even the International Space Station, were immediately sent into a mass-panic with nearly everyone abandoning their electronic devices, pulling the plug on their Internet routers, chucking their smartphones right out the window, and wrapping their microwave ovens with that special blue masking tape.
Joe Dugandzic was a guest on today's edition of Tech News Today, speaking about, of course, smarter home technology. He also spoke a bit about how prices of these gadgets are slowly decreasing, and his opinion on the news that government agencies could be spying on people through their smart TVs and other connected devices.
This edition of our home automation Q&A show covers everything from Honeywell thermostat compatibility wtih SmartThings, how HomeKit is helping a viewer who’s visually-impaired, which sensors can trigger actions in Apple’s Home app, and more!
On this round of LED Lighting Q&A, many questions are once again about smart lighting and how to choose smart bulbs vs traditional lighting on smart dimmers and switches. Plus, what’s the future outlook for LED lighting in general?
As seen at CES 2017 and announced previously, D-Link's new HomeKit-enabled security camera has appeared in Apple's online store today. This marks the first time that a home surveillance camera has become available to consumers that is compatible with Apple's home automation platform.
Whether you celebrate the much-hyped, over-commercialized, sugar-laden romantic holiday or not, Valentine's Day usually conjures up ideas of bouqets of roses, sappy greeting cards and possibly some chocolate treats. But this question might come up if you're spending time with your special someone at home, how do you make your home more romantic and "set the mood?" With so many homes today being "smarter homes", it's easier than ever to add a little ambiance, even with just your voice!
Home automation, the "smart home", whatever one may call it, connected gadgets and appliances for the home are now big business. Even just trying to cover just that single section of CES can be a bit overwhelming. But in our fast-paced recap video that covers nearly everything that our previous videos didn't cover, we think we've got it all.
On the first day of my CES 2017 adventures, I ran into someone I recognized from appearances on TWiT.tv shows at the Elgato booth, Allison Sheridan. While we didn't have a chance to chat much that day, we later conversed via Twitter and email, and ultimately I was invited to be on one of her shows, Chit Chat Across The Pond, a weekly technology interview show. She produces both CCATP and Nosillacast, her original technology podcast. We had a wonderful conversation on the smarter home and some of the new stuff from CES.
Companies at CES 2017 showcased many new products for the smarter home, but only a handful were truly innovative and worthy of being included in our top five list. And why would these products make the list? Not just because they're cool... they have to solve a real problem, not complicate your life and do something that no one's ever done before. That's what we mean when we think of innovation.
2016 was, without a doubt, a big year of developments for the smarter home. From a wider selection of connected devices to increased competition of the voice-based digital assistants, all categories of the smarter home were taken up a notch. 2017 is going to bring even more change to the connected home, and will hopefully start to decrease some of the confusion and complexity that consumers face when getting started on the road to a truly smart home.