Articles about smart home

Who's that at Ring's door? Why, it's Skybell with a begging cup, er, patent rip-off lawsuit

Smart home doorbell maker Ring has had a bad start to the year with the delivery of a patent infringement lawsuit courtesy of competitor Skybell. Skybell filed its case [PDF] on Friday in a southern California district court, just days before Ring launched a range of new indoor and outdoor security cameras and a line of …

Is Oomi the all-in-one smart home system we've been waiting for?

Review Typically when reviewing new electronic products – especially if it's a system of interacting components – you start from a very positive place. You imagine you could have in your hands the next big device – the thing everyone will be getting excited about in a few months' time – and then slowly, as you find its bugs and flaws …

The Google Home Mini: Great, right up until you want to smash it in fury

Review At first, it wasn't entirely clear whether it would be worthwhile doing a review of the new Google Home Mini. The new, cut-down version of the digital assistant could probably have been summed up in a tweet. Something like: "Home Mini: smaller, cheaper, sound worse but still fine." But then, and it's not entirely clear how or …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Oct 2017

Smart burglar alarms: Look who just tossed their hat into the ring ... It's, er, Ring

The smart home battleground has moved to security systems, with smart doorbell biz Ring announcing this week a new product just days before Nest dove into the same market. The Ring Protect is very similar to Nest's Secure system launched last month in that it aims to be a simpler, friendlier version of traditional beige boxes …

Want to keep in contact with friends and family without having to sell your personal data?

Review It's become a phrase repeated so frequently, it almost feels like a cliché: if you're not paying for the product, you are the product. The truth is that hundreds of millions of us put up with the unpleasant fact that chunks of our personal lives – our photos and emails and whereabouts and contacts – are combined and packaged …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Sep 2017

You've been baffled by its smart thermostat. Now strap in for Nest's IoT doorbell, alarm gear

First fondle Nest unveiled a new outdoor camera, doorbell and security system this morning in San Francisco. We were at the launch event and afterwards wandered over to a demo area, where we got to try them out first hand and flood willing Nest employees with questions. Here's what we learned. The doorbell needs a wired connection This …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Sep 2017

Say Hello to my little friend: Nest blasts IoT world with doorbell, home security gear

Smart home poster child Nest on Wednesday launched two new products: a video doorbell and a security system. The hardware maker hopes the Hello (doorbell) and the Secure (security system) will put to rest criticism of the biz that it only produces iterations of its smart thermostat and camera. The bigger goal, however, is …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Sep 2017

Nest cracks out cheaper spin of its thermostat

Nest has launched a low-cost version of its famous smart thermostat aimed at the mid-market and priced at $169. The Nest E has a slightly different look and feel, but retains all the engineering and software work that has made the thermostat the poster child for smart homes. At $80 cheaper than the original thermostat, the …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Aug 2017

How the CIA, Comcast can snoop on your sleep patterns, sex toy usage

Smart home devices supply much more personal information than you might imagine – even when the data is encrypted – it appears. In a study [PDF] of seven popular products, the team from Princeton University in the US decided to dig into how much they could figure out about a person's daily habits just by analyzing the internet …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Aug 2017
Colleague high fives in the office. Photo by Shutterstock

Taken a while but finally here's the first proper smart-home gizmo

Comment It's been three years since we, here at El Reg, first started taking the introduction of a new generation of "smart home" devices seriously – and that was mostly focusing on the security implications. As well as stunningly poor security there is a plethora of competing standards. Back in 2014: X10, ZigBee, LightwaveRF, Z-Wave …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Aug 2017

Apple pulls massive HomeKit chip U-turn to keep up with Amazon Echo and Google Home

Analysis Apple has made a huge reversal in its HomeKit smart-home technology, in an effort to keep up with Amazon and Google. The iPhone giant has insisted for years that any third parties wishing to create HomeKit-compatible products have to include a special Apple-specified MFi coprocessor (such as this one) in order to authenticate …

iRobot just banked a fat profit. And it knows how to make more: Sharing maps of your homes

Updated Roomba maker iRobot recorded soaring sales and banked rising profits in the three months to July, according to figures revealed on Tuesday. Yet despite all that success, the vacuum-cleaning bot builder has its eyes on another lucrative prize: the layout of your home. Chief exec Colin Angle believes his bottom line can be …
Katyanna Quach, 26 Jul 2017

Burglary in mind? Easy, just pwn the home alarm

It's Monday, and infosec-watchers are showing their age by calling internet of things security disclosures “a broken record”. This time, it's a home security system that's remotely p0wnable. iSmartAlarm ships a variety of app-linked security products, including door sensors, motion sensors, cameras, locks, and a controller …

Nest leaves competition in the dust with new smart camera

Nest has restated its position as the poster-child of the smart home with a new indoor camera, the NestCam IQ. This is the third camera Nest has put on the market since its purchase of Dropcam in 2014, but it is the first to move the design forward with significant improvements in both hardware and software. The new camera …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 May 2017

Cheap, flimsy, breakable and replaceable – yup, Ikea, you'll be right at home in the IoT world

Analysis Ikea has just announced the entry of smart home technology into the mainstream with a new range of lights that can be activated by motion or smartphone app. The Trådfri lineup is quite extensive – four lightbulbs, three light panels, five cabinet lights, and four sensors/gateways – and is so far only available in the company's …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Mar 2017
Echo

Amazon relinquishes data from Echo that could have dropped eaves on a killing

We'll have to wait a little longer for a test case on the use of data collected by Amazon's eavesdropper Echo in criminal investigations. Authorities in Arkansas served a search warrant on Amazon to obtain the data from an Amazon Echo device in a murder that took place in the state in November 2015. Police believe the murder …
Two eggs hugging couple arranged in carton

Aah, all is well in the world. So peaceful, so– wait, where's the 2FA on IoT apps? Oh my gawd

Smart home poster child Nest has stolen a march on the rest of the smart-home industry by adding two-factor authentication to its systems. From Tuesday, owners of Nest products can tie a mobile phone to their account and so require that anyone trying to access their data has to enter a six-digital code sent by text to that …

Samsung SmartCam: Yes, those eyes really are following you around the room

Review It's still not clear to this reviewer why people would want cameras in their home. Or even outside their home. There is an outside chance that you might be lucky enough to catch someone trying to break into your house and be in a position to call the cops. There is an even smaller likelihood that if you manage to get footage …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Dec 2016

Create a news alert about smart home, or find more stories about smart home.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018