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Articles Tagged:

home automation

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Control4 smart home tech now works with Amazon Alexa voice control

The smart home revolution doesn't seem to be coming as quickly as some had hoped, but whenever it does break out, Amazon intends to be on the ground floor. To that end, the latest addition to Alexa's growing list of voice control connections is Control4, a semi-proprietary collection of home automation tools. The company announced a new Alexa skill that works with the Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, and any other device that can connect to the voice service.

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Piper security cam lets you upload recorded videos to Dropbox and Drive for free (plus more IFTTT improvements)

Piper's home security and automation unit has been improving year over year. Since my initial review, it has overhauled its app and enhanced many of its features, but it also recently released an IFTTT channel that enabled Amazon Alexa integration and let you schedule and automate a couple of actions.

Now Piper is improving its IFTTT channel with more triggers and actions. You can now control your Piper-connected lights with Alexa, get a tweet when Piper detects smoke via a connected sensor, and set dimmer levels or lights when events are detected while you're away.

The best new recipe though, in my opinion, is the one to upload videos recorded by Piper to Dropbox or Google Drive.

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Google Home Is Google's Voice-Controlled Smart Home Hub, Coming Later This Year

Amazon Echo is about to have company. As the New York Times reported, Google has a competing device in the works, and it has the full weight of the search giant's natural language processing behind it. If you haven't already heard the name, you could probably take a guess. It's Google Home.

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WeMo Smart Home Products Now Integrate With Nest

Belkin makes a series of gadgets intended to make your home smarter. Think WiFi-connected light switches and outlets that let you toggle anything you plug in. Now these products work with Nest.

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Alarm.com Brings One-Touch Automation 'Scenes' To Android In Latest App Update

Alarm.com sounds like a website whose sole purpose is starting your day with a broken laptop. Turns out it's a home automation service. The site can manage your security alarm systems, locks, lights, thermostats, and garage doors. Using "scenes," it can manage multiples at once with a single button press.

With the latest update, this functionality has come to the Android app.

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Piper's Home Security System Gets IFTTT Integration And A Brand New Android App

I love crowdfunding projects that work well, especially when the product delivers relatively on time and with most of the features working as promised. Piper's home monitoring / security system is one of these success stories, but despite the product's hardware being great, I have been letdown by its poorly designed software and that didn't change since September 2014 when I first reviewed it. But Piper has been growing up in the meantime, releasing a night vision hardware version, adding Life360 integration, and offering several accessories like sensors and lights, and now it's ready to graduate its software and automation too.

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OnHub Supports Home Automation Via IFTTT After Latest Software Update

The OnHub has been out for more than six months now, and it hasn't evolved much beyond the basic router functionality. Google promised us smart home features, and now it's starting to happen. The latest OnHub update added support for IFTTT. The channel is already live for you to start crafting automation recipes, but your OnHub needs to be on firmware version 7978.51.0, which is rolling out now.

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Nest Releases Weave Connected Home Protocol, But It's Different Than Google Weave

Nest has announced that a communication protocol it's been using internally for its products is now being made available to all device makers. It's called Weave, and I know what you're thinking, but it's not the same as Google's Weave/Brillo platform (because that's not confusing at all). Nest Weave will allow devices around your home to communicate directly (and with the Nest app) rather than relying on the cloud.

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Logitech Updates Harmony App With Support For The August Smart Lock, Ecobee Thermostat, LIFX Light Bulbs, And Insteon

Some homes are smart, and the Logitech Harmony serves as their brain. It provides a single location to control all the things, assuming of course that the products are supported. The latest update adds quite a few more to the list ranging from door locks to thermostats and a few things in between.

The new additions include the August Smart Lock (pictured above) that provides remote control over your doors. There's the Ecobee smart thermostat, which serves as an alternative to Nest. You can also now integrate Harmony with LIFX light bulbs as well as Insteon, which serves as a hub to all kinds of smart gadgets on its own.

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FLIR FX Camera Quick Review: Awesome Hardware With A Few Software Kinks To Work Out

In recent years, Dropcam has been the leader when it comes to smart home security cameras. FLIR recently jumped in to the market with the FLIR FX wireless security camera. This is a mobile-centric security system that offers cool ways to review your video and receive alerts on your phone when something goes down at home. Let's see how it performs.

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