All tagged Home Automation

Will this be a Smart Home September To Remember?

New products and announcements from Philips Hue, Sylvania, Samsung, Grundig, LG, Honeywell and others have dotted the smart home landscape of recent months. But, September tends to be the start of “tech announcement season”, and of course, the earlier-than-ever start of the holiday shopping season. So what new gadgets will we see?

Smart Home Q&A - August 2018

For the August Q&A, there's questions if TP-Link works with SmartThings, the range of Z-Wave sensors, wireless interference, and what's this Crestron thing? All of this and a little more on this month's smart home questions and answers session!

Smart Home Q&A - July 2018

On July's Q&A, there's questions on fitting two smart locks on one door, smart shades / drapery / blinds for a very large sliding glass door, and how to control an indoor smart switch from an outdoor smart motion sensor. All of this and a little more on this month's smart home questions and answers session!

Smart Home Q&A - June 2018

On June's Q&A, there's questions on the brand-new Amazon Fire TV Cube, how to trigger or schedule Google Assistant Routines, and using Insteon keypads to help automate devices in a smart home. Plus, a follow-up from Pete's questions last month. All of this and a little more on this month's smart home questions and answers session!

Smart Home Q&A - May 2018

On this month's Q&A, there's questions on less expensive smart light strips, the best non-Apple HomeKit app to use, and combining existing in-wall speakers with smart speakers. All of this and a little more on this month's smart home questions and answers session!

Home Sweet Smart Home

Have I become too reliant on home automation? Am I spoiled by it? Even while on a quick weekend getaway up to the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, AZ, I felt strange not having convenient control of the environment of the hotel room where I stayed. Do I need to join a support group?

Quick Tips: Push Those Buttons!

These days, we're so used to the convenience of smart speakers and voice control, along with touch screens and apps, that we tend to forget that the original way to control the smart home was with physical controls. Multi-button control pads and wall controllers were commonplace years ago, but Apple, Google and Amazon want us to believe that everything will be voice controlled in the future. Well, I beg to differ.

Google Assistant: New voices, multiple actions, improvements debut @ Google I/O 2018

Google kicked off its annual developer conference, Google I/O, this morning with a two-hour keynote that ranged from Waymo self-driving cars to new Google Photos features to improvements in Google Assistant. And across all of it was a central theme: artificial intelligence, now being baked-in to nearly every Google product and service. While there were a number of improvements for the smart home, they felt a little lackluster. Also, there was absolutely zero information from Nest, a Google subsidiary.

The smart home is (still) pretty dumb

Connected lights, remote-controlled outlets, thermostats with round displays, battery-operated Bluetooth locks, and of course the ever-present “smart home hub”. These devices make up today’s “smart home”, but is it really smart?

I (finally) quit my Apple Watch

I had been so incredibly excited to get an Apple Watch back in 2014 when it was announced. I hoped that it would improve my life, unlock new home automation possibilities, and perhaps even keep me in shape. Ultimately, I was wrong.

Conversation of Things #2 - Dr. John Barentine and Preserving The Night Sky

My super-smart and longtime friend Dr. John Barentine from the International Dark-Sky Association joins me to talk about how lighting affects the night sky and the health and well-being of both humans and many other species across our planet. Whether it’s too much blue light that we’re staring at during nighttime hours or the over-abundance of light in our cities, light pollution is a real thing and the IDA is working to educate the public on how to reduce it. We also chat about how smart lighting from the home automation world is making its ways into cities and street lighting, along with what the future holds for lighting beyond the current LED revolution.

Today’s smart home is a reality thanks to the iPhone

The iPhone as the “Ultimate Digital Device” as coined by Steve Jobs in 2007 became much, much more than even he could have predicted. Today, the iPhone (and modern smartphones) has powerful apps, voice control, proximity automation, the list goes on. And all of those features, based in a hand-held device, have largely solved the decades-old challenges of creating a (real) smart home.