Home automation Stories March 16, 2016

AAPL: 105.97

1.39

Ring slims down and specs up its iPhone-linked doorbell with 1080p video, 5GHz Wi-Fi, more zones

Dom reviewed Ring’s iPhone-linked Video Doorbell last year, and was impressed. I was too, with two minor complaints: video is 720p rather than full HD, and it only connects to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks.

Home automation Stories February 18, 2016

AAPL: 96.26

-1.86

Use your iPhone to control any AA-powered device with this simple $10 adapter

HomeKit-certified devices are the slickest way to control your technology, but if you have any dumb technology powered by AA batteries, you can now remotely switch it on and off using your iPhone.

The Tethercell AA Smart Battery Adapter is a really simple idea. Replace one of the device’s AA batteries with this adapter, which takes a smaller AAA battery, and you can then switch it on and off from an app on your iPhone.

It’s Bluetooth LE rather than Wi-Fi, so range will be limited (the company claims 50-60 feet), but if the device is close enough, it’s a cheap and easy way to add remote control functionality. It’s compatible with all iPhones from the 4S onward.

The adapter costs $20 for two from Amazon.

Via BGR

Home automation Stories December 15, 2015

AAPL: 110.49

-1.99

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 …

expand full story

Home automation Stories October 5, 2015

AAPL: 110.78

0.40

Siri voice control is finally coming to Philips Hue connected light bulbs thanks to promised HomeKit support and a new bridge product. Details have been surfacing over the last month with product listings going up a day early, and today Philips is ready to officially reveal how it’s bringing HomeKit support to Hue bulbs and lamps. As expected, Hue bulb owners will be able to upgrade to the new Philips Hue Bridge 2.0 to enable using Siri to control Hue lights. The new, square-shaped bridge works similar to the old, round bridge — connecting to up to 50 bulbs  only with HomeKit support included even for existing bulbs and plans to support future home platforms as well. expand full story

The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

Home automation Stories September 28, 2015

AAPL: 112.44

-2.27

Netflix unveils its DIY ‘Netflix and Chill’ button

Netflix has shown off a one-touch ‘move time’ button that switches on Netflix, dims the lights and puts your iPhone into Do Not Disturb mode. The button was introduced at the 2015 World Maker Faire, and the company has released the plans to enable you to build your own. It is also inviting idea for further one-touch buttons.

It was done as a PR stunt, of course, but the button does have a serious side – showing the kind of intelligence we can look forward to when Apple’s HomeKit starts integrating control of our smart home products. Being able to use Siri to control lights is nice, but homes will really be smart when we can say things like ‘Romantic dinner’ and have it set the lights, play the right music and keep the kids occupied upstairs by unlocking their favourite games.

Via Engadget

Home automation Stories July 22, 2015

If you were wondering why manufacturers seemed to be rather slow in launching HomeKit-compatible devices, it may all be down to Apple’s stringent security requirements. Forbes reports that manufacturers are finding it hard to incorporate the extremely secure encryption standards demanded by Apple in order to achieve MFi certification for their products.

Apple is requiring device makers using both WiFi and Bluetooth LE to use complicated encryption with 3072-bit keys, as well as the super secure Curve25519, which is an elliptic curve used for digital signatures and exchanging encrypted keys.

While mains-powered WiFi kit is coping, the processing workload in battery-powered Bluetooth LE devices is leading to extremely slow response times, say manufacturers …  expand full story

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