smart appliances Stories February 18, 2016

A smart thermostat that you can control from your iPhone is nice, but if you’re a fan of Siri then HomeKit-compatibly is a must. The ecobee3 Wi-Fi thermostat can be controlled using Siri on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch, and it uses remote sensors to determine temperature and presence around your home to be smarter about automating your HVAC system. Overall, the thermostat itself is rather slick and the software experience behind it holds up well. If you’re curious about HomeKit and in the market for a smart thermostat, the ecobee3 just might be the best option yet …

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smart appliances Stories September 3, 2015

Tado, Europe’s Nest competitor, adds multi-room temperature control and IFTTT support

Tado, Europe’s main Nest competitor in the smart thermostat field, has announced two new enhancements to its system. First, multi-room temperature control, allowing different temperatures to be set in different rooms. Second, support for IFTTT recipes to automatically trigger other actions based on Tado detecting people arriving or leaving the home.

For homes that already have different heating devices in different rooms, such as underfloor heating, adding a second thermostat is all you need for the multi-room control. Most of us, though, will need a new smart radiator valve that won’t be available until next fall.

IFTTT support – first promised back in March – has been added from today. This can do things like automatically switch on your alarm when the last person leaves your home, and turn on lights when someone returns. The company has also confirmed that it plans to add HomeKit support further down the line, enabling Siri control and more.

If you’re considering Tado, you may want to check out my review.

smart appliances Stories May 12, 2015

Broadcom today announced that its new SDK for the Internet of Things (IoT) now officially supports Apple’s home automation HomeKit platform, bringing us a step closer to widespread availability of Siri-controlled smart home devices.

Broadcom notes that its SDK is the first to officially support HomeKit specs for WiFi and Bluetooth Smart accessories, allowing developers to use its Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED) platform to build apps for Apple’s new Siri-controlled, home automation platform. They will also be able to build products that double as a hardware bridge for non-HomeKit accessories.  expand full story

Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

smart appliances Stories January 7, 2015

At WWDC 2014, Apple first announced HomeKit which it describes as a “framework in iOS 8 for communicating with and controlling connected accessories” around your home, and we’re starting to see the first HomeKit-enabled accessories announced. HomeKit is especially interesting as smart devices that use it can be controlled by Siri commands like “turn off the lights” or “lock the front door” and actions can even be grouped together. Below you’ll find our running list of the latest gadgets from CES 2015 to bring HomeKit automation and Siri integration to your home: expand full story

smart appliances Stories October 7, 2014

We’ve already seen a few companies working to turn our current household appliances– everything from thermostats to crockpots– into smart devices controllable with our smartphones. The latest is a new crowd funding project looking to raise funds for a device that will make any window air conditioner an iPhone-connected device with temperature and other predictive climate control features. expand full story

smart appliances Stories March 19, 2014

Finally some much needed smart appliance love for those without central air conditioning (and it’ll keep you cool): the Quirky Aros. Backed by GE, the New York-based start-up Quirky has combined the traditional window A/C unit with some very modern technologies to create the Nest (smart thermostat) of window air conditioners at a particularly reasonable price. On the surface, the Aros is an 8,000 BTU window A/C unit (rated to cool 350 square feet) with an almost Apple-like exterior (it looks as good as any window A/C unit I could imagine). Throw in touch capacitive buttons, Wi-Fi, and an iPhone and Android app for adjusting remotely and you’ve got your smart window air conditioner. The smartphone app doesn’t just let you control the temperature remotely…

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