In the wake of Prime Day, Amazon is running a set of "Alexa Deals" that can only be accessed by Prime members via voice commands given to Alexa. Most of the offers are pretty pedestrian, things like gum, snacks, and batteries, but there are a few good ones our readers might enjoy. If you are interested in home automation, you can pick up a ton of stuff, like Philips Hue starter kit, smart plugs, a wireless Lutron starter kit, a touchscreen Schlage deadbolt, and more. Read More
There's a fantastic sale for home automation gear going on today. Over at My Digital Discount right now you can pick up a handful of smart connected motion sensors, outlets, thermostats, locks, and a whole package of the lot together in a quick start bundle. Prices range from 60% off to 76% off, which is a tremendous savings. All the items are for Samsung's SmartThings / ZigBee, so if you don't run a system that will work with their stuff, you're out of luck. Read More
If you are looking for a universal remote with home automation chops, the Logitech Harmony Elite is pretty near the top of the high-end selection. And now it's just $250 at both Amazon and Best Buy. Whether you've yet to dip your toes in the convenience of a modern programmable remote control, or you're an old hand at automated television operations, the Harmony Elite is the remote to beat. Read More
If you are into home security as well as technology, Alarm.com is a popular choice to fill that niche. It is a smart home solution that, as you would expect, allows you to control your security system as well as things like cameras, lights, doors, and thermostats. It even supports Google Home and Amazon Alexa. Think home automation with a security slant, and you've basically got what Alarm.com is about. Initially, this post only set out to talk about the new features in the most recent update, but one of the changes was so incredibly well done that we couldn't help but diverge in our discussion of it. Read More
There are plenty of home automation and security platforms these days, but some consumers like to stick to what they know, and ADT has been doing home security for a long time. It offers its own camera and sensor systems, all controlled via the Pulse app with support for third-party devices like Nest. People pay monthly for ADT services, and now some of them are feeling rather ripped off after an update to Pulse blocked access on rooted or modified devices. Read More
Google Home is great, in certain situations; it's a cool party piece so you can say "Hey Google, play [insert artist name here]" and it'll play, impressing all your friends and causing them to want Google Home too. However, in other areas, such as setting reminders or home automation, it's a bit lacklustre (if you haven't already, read Corbin's great piece on Home's inadequacies). Well, the latter is getting fixed today with the addition of two new partners. Read More
Ever since I got my Wink Hub 2, one of the services I kept seeing in conversations when trying to bridge together different smart appliances and services was Stringify. The app was limited to iOS though, so I never got to use it because I wasn't going to carry my iPad around all the time to toggle a light bulb. But at CES, Stringify made a few announcements that we just came across (excuse the delay, we had tons of emails and releases to sift through) and that are sure to please Android users.
Before going further, here's a quick rundown of what Stringify is for those of you who'd never heard of it. Read More
I bought an apartment in October. You can imagine the joy at the thought that it'd be my future family's home, terror at the sight of the mortgage value on the signed contract, and all the excitement about getting to set up a house from scratch. I could pick everything that I loved from design to materials to colors to organization, and yes, also automation.
I wanted lights that turn on when the doors open, A/C units that cool the place when I'm coming home and the outside heat is too much to bear, cameras that catch intruders the moment they are detected, a washing machine that notifies me when the load is done, colored lights that coordinate with whatever I'm watching on TV, blinds that open and close with the sunset and sunrise, and much more. Read More
A couple of weeks ago, I got my hands on Google Home and immediately set out to use it and record my initial impressions. Now that I've given this odd little device a chance to prove its worth in my home, the time has come to finish the review. Out of the gate, I must confess to a little personal surprise at just how little my opinions have changed from the first 24 hours I had to spend with the device. As such, I'm not going to repeat everything I said in my first post. This is an addendum. I will touch on all of the subjects again and add details where there is more to say – because there is still a lot to say. Read More
Google Home preorders have started arriving and interested consumers can head down to certain brick & mortar stores to pick one up starting today. I've been messing with Home for a little while and I feel like there's already quite a bit to say about it. Read More