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Articles Tagged:

smart home

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Smart speaker sales up 187% in Q2 2018: Google Home leads the pack, Chinese market sees rapid growth

With the ultra-affordable Google Home Mini and Echo Dot often on sale for as little as $30, it's no surprise that sales of smart speakers have gone through the roof over the past 12 months. The global market saw year-on-year growth of 187% in Q2, with total shipments increasing from 5.8 million in 2017 to a staggering 16.8 million for the same period in 2018. Google's lead from Q1 has been retained — it sold 5.4 million Home devices in the second quarter.

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NVIDIA Shield TV Smart Home Edition comes with a SmartThings Link hub for $219.99 ($1 more than if bought separately)

Despite how much I love my Shield TV and how often we use it in my household for streaming videos and playing games, I can't help but scratch my head a little at what NVIDIA is doing here. The company is rehashing its streaming box for the umpteenth time with another bundle and no price incentive to make anyone want to jump on board.

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Samsung announces SmartThings Wifi with Plume mesh technology and built-in SmartThings hub

You probably have a Wi-Fi router, and you might have a smart home hub of some sort as well. Why not make those devices the same thing? That's Samsung's latest router, which it calls the SmartThings Wifi. This replaces Samsung's old Home Connect router with SmartThings integration. This time, Samsung's system has Mesh networking thanks to a partnership with Plume.

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Lenovo Smart Display review: The best new kitchen appliance since the dishwasher

So-called smart speakers became the darling of every big tech company in the last three years, with Amazon, Google, and Apple all trying to push their digital assistants as a complementary and indispensable part of their locked-in ecosystems. Incremental advancement continues, and the Assistant-powered responses to Amazon's trailblazing, screen-equipped Echo Show have started to land, the first one being this: Lenovo's Smart Display. And far from just being an interesting first try, Google's Assistant on a screen has already become an indispensable part of my home, especially in the kitchen. 

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The second-generation June smart oven is available now for $500

Back in 2015, June introduced its smart convection oven powered by the Tegra K1 (which was funny, because the chip was known to run hot). It was expensive, though — like, $3,000 expensive. Now, to the chagrin of its early adopters, June is back at it with another K1-powered smart oven that's considerably less pricey at $600. And right now, you can even get a hundred bucks off.

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Swann wired security cameras now support Google Assistant voice commands

We cover plenty of home security cameras here at AP, but they're usually from upstart tech firms or larger companies entering into the market. Swann has been an industry leader since way before smart home security became accessible to the masses, and it's announcing that its wired security systems are now compatible with the Google Assistant.

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[Deal Alert] Arlo Pro 2 kits with three, four, or five cameras on sale for up to $230 off

Arlo Pro 2 cameras are still your best bet if you want a wireless security camera, but they don't come cheap. They're on sale today, and while that doesn't necessarily qualify as "cheap," they're a good deal. The three-cam set is within a few bucks of the 2-camera base model.

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How to turn off info sharing on TVs and set-top boxes with Google Assistant (non-Android TV devices only)

Google Assistant is currently baked into LG's 2018 ThinQ AI TV lineup and all generations of the DISH Hopper DVR set-top box. This means owners of these devices with Assistant built in can command their TV, call up information, manage tasks, control smart home devices, and more with the power of their voice. However, this also means you're granting Google and the device manufacturer access to some of your personal information. If you don't reckon that to be a worthwhile trade-off, there's a simple way to shut off access to this information on non-Android TV devices.

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Google Home now understands room context, only adjusts nearby lights

Controlling smart home devices by voice can feel almost like magic. If you've got a Google Home and compatible connected lights, all you have to do is ask, and bam, illumination. Up until recently, any command involving smart lights translated to "do this to every light in the house;" not particularly intuitive. But lately, such commands have started applying to only the lights in the room you're currently in.

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Nest Hello review: The security camera I've always wanted

As any introvert will tell you, the doorbell can be a source of great anxiety. If I'm not expecting someone, there are only so many reasons for the doorbell to ring. I don't want anything to do with most of those reasons, so it's highly desirable to know what's going on out there before I open the door. I've used various security cameras for this task, including most recently the Arlo Pro 2. None of them have come close to the speed and ease of use you get with the Nest Hello.

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