smart home December 21, 2015

AAPL: 107.33

1.30
Stock Chart

The Elgato Avea Flare is an egg-shaped mood light with an iPhone and Watch app available to control the scene and colors displayed. It sits in the corner of a room or garden and discreetly glows. I tested the standalone unit, but you can also buy the Avea Bulb which is the same concept in a different form. The Elgato Eve Room ($78) is an indoor climate detector — it measures air quality, humidity and temperature. This data can then be reviewed through an iPhone app to act upon or using your voice with Siri questions. The Eve sensor (pictures below) is meant to be tucked away and out of sight, on a shelf or wall, silently checking up on your interior air quality.

These two products are from the same manufacturer, but they sit at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of smart home gear; one has a clear functional purpose and the other is a ‘smart’ whimsical decoration. Both integrate with iOS via an iPhone app and both make cool additions to your life. I’ve been using both for a few weeks; read on for my full review of these smart home devices from Elgato …

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smart home December 16, 2015

AAPL: 111.34

0.85
Stock Chart

smart home December 15, 2015

AAPL: 110.49

-1.99
Stock Chart

Update: Philips has done a U-turn, stating that it “under-estimated the impact this would have on a small number of customers who use lights from other brands” and has decided to reverse the upgrade. It said that it is “working on the reversal of the upgrade and will shortly confirm when this will be available.” The Friends of Hue program will continue, with Bosch, Logitech and Samsung SmartThings having joined so far, adding to existing partnerships with Apple and Nest.

An update to the Philips Hue system has blocked access to some third-party bulbs, including GE Link LED (above) and Cree Connected LED, citing ‘interoperability issues.’ While existing bulbs already linked to the Philips Hue Bridge will continue to work for now, the system is not currently allowing additional bulbs to be added, and Philips says there are no guarantees that this won’t change in future updates.

We are seeing an increasing number of interoperability issues with these untested third party products, which are causing increasing confusion for our installed base. They are also hampering our ongoing development and damaging the consistency of experience for the Philips Hue ecosystem. Next to confusing differences in setup and resetting, we’ve encountered a number of such issues over the years including 3rd party lights which do not turn off when we fade them to off, lights which do not react correctly to scene recalls and lights which stop proper functioning of our Wireless Dimmer Kits.

This will disappoint many, as one of the promises of the Hue system was support for third-party bulbs. All is not yet lost, however …

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9to5toys 

smart home November 27, 2015

AAPL: 117.81

-0.22
Stock Chart

The idea of a smart home is a long running meme in technological circles. Apple has made the biggest stride recently with HomeKit and there is now a significant ecosystem of lights, switches, and other accessories to buy for your home. That being said, smart home accessories are still novelties and quite pricey: they aren’t must-have purchases. However, this makes them great gifts for the holiday season — uncommon presents that are fun to play with and have some long-lasting usefulness. We’ve rounded up our favorite HomeKit accessories below …

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smart home October 14, 2015

AAPL: 110.21

-1.58
Stock Chart

Apple’s HomeKit platform for connected accessories around the house has been steadily expanding over the last few months, and today August is adding to it with a new version of its Smart Lock. Revealed today, the new HomeKit-enabled August Smart Lock is an upgraded version of the Bluetooth-connected door lock that first launched last year. HomeKit compatibility means you can use the Siri virtual assistant on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch to lock or unlock August Smart Lock using voice commands. Working with Apple’s smart home platform also means Smart Lock can be a part of commands like “Goodnight” that turn off connected lights, lock the front door, and lower the temperature. expand full story

smart home October 1, 2015

AAPL: 109.58

-0.72
Stock Chart

Nest Weave, the communications protocol that Nest uses to make its connected home devices talk to each other, definitely isn’t new. But as of today, Nest is making it part of its Works with Nest program so that third-party hardware makers and developers can use the protocol in their own products… expand full story

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