smart home Stories March 16
smart home Stories February 18
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 …
smart home Stories December 21, 2015
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 …
smart home Stories December 16, 2015
smart home Stories December 15, 2015
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 …