Articles about smart home

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Buried in the hype, one little detail: Amazon's Alexa-on-a-chip could steal smart home market

Analysis Amid the enormous bundle of digital-assistant devices and technology Amazon super-hyped this week, one particular component has the potential to change the future of the smart home market. It's hardware that, in theory, would allow any manufacturer to make their products work with the Alexa system. The Alexa Connect Kit is …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Sep 2018
Screenshot of Downdetector's Google Home outage map

Not OK Google: Massive outage turns smart home kit utterly dumb

Updated Google's entire Home infrastructure has suffered a serious outage, with millions of customers on Wednesday morning complaining that their smart devices have stopped working. At the time of writing, the cloud-connected gadgets are still hosed, the service is still down, and the system appears to have been knackered for at least …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Jun 2018
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Help, I'm being held prisoner in a security camera testing factory. So please read this...

Review One of the interesting side effects of being asked to test smart-home technology is that you get grumpier about it. Most folks buying a product like a smart thermostat or socket or lighting or security camera will be excited about its possibilities, imagining scenarios where it will make their lives better, saving time or …

Smart bulbs turn dumb: Lights out for Philips as Hue API goes dark

Philips' Hue smart-home lighting has had an embarrassing outage with its API going offline for four hours on Thursday, preventing customers from accessing the system remotely. On the same day that the company launched its new service – where its lights will respond automatically to streaming music and games – the system died …

Three-hour outage renders Nest-equipped smart homes very dumb

Google's Nest went TITSUP* early this morning, causing headaches for users who have equipped their home with the expensive smart devices. Owners of the kit were forced to manually adjust thermostats and unlock doors while the iOS, Android and web apps were inaccessible. The horror. We've received reports from Nest Secure and …
Richard Speed, 17 May 2018
Bloke in a pigsty bachelor pad

Turn that bachelor pad into a touch pad: Now you can paint buttons, sensors on your walls

Vid At about $20 per square metre, scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research have devised a way to turn walls into a touch interface. In a paper [PDF] scheduled to be presented at CHI 2018, the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, in Montreal this week, researchers Yang Zhang, Chouchang (Jack) Yang …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Apr 2018
key throw

Time to ditch the front door key? Nest's new wireless smart lock is surprisingly convenient

Updated It's something we all do when we get home: rummage around in your pockets or bag, find your keys, identify the one you want and then stick it in your front door to gain access. If you are one of the roughly 28 per cent of households that have a security system, you then need to go punch in a code to turn the alarm off. It's …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Apr 2018
Woman kicks off shoes, gets bottle of wine, collapses onto couch

What a time to be alive: LG and Italian furniture-maker build smart sofa

Korean electronics giant LG and Italian homewares concern Natuzzi have teamed up to create the internet of furniture. The pair will front Milano Design Week, which kicks off next Tuesday April 17th, with kit that means “a visitor can sit on a piece of Nattuzi furniture and tell it to turn on the TV. It will then activate the …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Apr 2018
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Nest reveals the first truly connected home

Comment After years of hype, the connected home is finally here thanks to a range of new products available this week from Google-owned Nest. Having announced back in September that it would launch a new smart security system, doorbell and lock, the company finally put the last two into the market this week, as well as a new, smarter …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Mar 2018

Amazon explained ‘Key’ crack before it shipped fix, says hacker who found the hole

The researcher behind the teaser of a new method to crack Amazon.com’s “Key” connected door locks has revealed how his method works, and criticised Amazon’s response to his work because it detailed the flaw before shipping a fix. In a Medium Post, the researcher known as “MG” explained that he revealed his riff on an attack …

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

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