A lot of the things we do depend on the weather and outdoor conditions. We crank up the thermostat when it's too cold, wear coats and carry an umbrella when it's raining, turn on the AC when the summer heat is too much, plug in the lights when the sun sets, and more.
Now you can automate many of these things with Weather Underground's new IFTTT channel. There are plenty of existing applets already, including ones from WU that contain many thats as consequences to one this, like the one that transitions the house into night mode by adjusting Hue lights, WeMo switches, and Nest thermostats or the weather preparedness one that notifies you, emails you, and creates a calendar event for rainy times. Read More
Samsung's SmartThings is one of the most popular smart home product lines. The company has developed outlets, light bulbs, sensors, and more all designed to work seamlessly together. Tying everything together is the SmartThings Hub, which acts as the bridge between your smart devices and your home's internet connection. Now you can get the second-generation SmartThings Hub (the latest model) for $50 on Amazon, half off the original $100 price tag. Read More
BestBuy has a sweet deal going on today. You can pick up a Phillips Hue A19 starter kit (3 bulbs plus a hub) and an Amazon Echo for $260.40. That's about $120 less than you would pay if you bought each item separately at full price. This a great combo for those of you wanting to add some tech to your home to make it a little smarter.
I own several Phillips Hue bulbs. I love being able to change the color and intensity of the lights to fit my activity and mood. Waking up to gradually increasing lights instead of an alarm has helped me tremendously in handling the dark Seattle winters. Read More
Today is the day you've been waiting for... maybe. Google Home is available for purchase from Google and other retailers. The voice-activated Assistant hub is priced at $129 and works with many of your smart home devices, assuming you have those. Read More
There are plenty of companies building smart hubs for your home, but it's safe to say that SmartThings, which was bought by Samsung, is one of the most popular. That's not only due to the wide range of connectivity options it has, like both ZigBee and Z-Wave, and the 10-hour backup battery life, but also thanks to the big number of smart home gadgets that are compatible with it. Even better, the community is very active and usually figures out a way, whenever technically possible, to add compatibility to brands and accessories that aren't supported officially.
One of the last companies to integrate with SmartThings is Google and its Google Home speaker / voice control hub. Read More
Google Home was announced earlier this year at I/O, and since then we've heard little about the product itself. Today at the #madebygoogle event, Google has released all the details, including price, shipping date, more about its abilities, and when you can pre-order it (i.e. throw your money at Google). Read More
If you're anything like me, you don't take kindly to unexpected visitors. The doorbell is a sign that something has gone terribly wrong, and I may soon be forced to interact with other people. Shhh, just be quiet and they'll probably go away. Okay, maybe you're not exactly like me, but perhaps you want to know who's at the door before you get up. The Ring WiFi doorbell can do that, and it's on sale for $169.99 right now on Amazon. Read More
The Google OnHub was launched one year ago with a lot of implicit promises about smart home functionality. We never saw any of that materialize, though the router has gotten more capable. Now there's finally some smart home integration happening in the form of a Philips Hue partnership. Oh hey, guess what still doesn't work. Yep, the USB port. Read More
Nest has seen better days. A couple of months ago, a reshuffle was announced at the top of the company's hierarchy, with CEO Tony Fadell leaving and Marwan Fawaz taking his place at the helm. Nest has also been under pressure to bring more products from the pipeline to the market and to be more profitable.
It seems that there's another reshuffle in Nest's future though, according to a report by Fortune. The Nest platform team (think software) might soon be moving to Google, jumping from one Alphabet subsidiary to another. It will be part of a team lead by Hiroshi Lockheimer, current senior VP of Android, that will focus on the smart home and living room, create a unified Internet of Things platform, and continue to develop the upcoming Google Home. Read More
If you're getting started with a smart home setup or working on an upgrade, your wallet is probably feeling pretty light. While you're still on your own for all the connected devices, Amazon has the best price we've seen on Samsung's SmartThings Hub at $79, $20 below the typical going rate. Read More