Millions of homes now contain a smart assistant speaker of some variety and sales of IoT products continue to grow as the market matures and prices come down across the sector. With so many options available, it's hard to know what to buy, and that's where we come in — this is a selection of our favorite smart home gadgets. Whether you want to just dip your toes in the water with a cheap Google Nest Mini or dive into the deep end with smart lights, cameras, thermostats, doorbells, and so on — we’ve got you covered.
Remote IFA festivities today continue, as Philips Hue has announced a handful of new and updated products in its smart home lighting lineup, including a new lightstrip for your TV and the revamped return of the Iris table lamp. On top of that, folks in the August and Nest smart lock ecosystem can look forward to deeper integrations between the two systems starting soon.
August and Yale smart locks are picking up a new feature that should make remote access just a little bit more secure. The opt-in change allows for remote biometric authentication before locking or unlocking your home's smart lock remotely. Further enhancing on-device security, there's a new Hide Entry Codes feature that — you guessed it — makes it so your entry codes can only be viewed for a short time.
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Our homes are increasingly filled with gadgets that connect to the internet in ways that rightly have us concerned for our privacy and security. But when discussing those concerns, it's important to keep a level head and consider just what kind of privacy and security concerns actually stem from using these products, and in what instances they might actually enhance both for you in real, tangible ways. And like surveillance cameras, we think smart locks fall into such a category: they can actually make your home safer and more secure than a traditional, "dumb" lock, and they do it all while bringing a tremendous amount of convenience.
When Amazon launched its smart lock, it had the brilliant idea of coupling it with an option to let delivery people in to drop your packages when you're not home. Although it's a convenient approach, it's not necessarily reassuring to let strangers in. Yale came up with a solution to this problem, with the announcement of its smart delivery boxes. In addition, it also unveiled a connected cabinet lock and a safe, letting you secure items using your phone.
Fall is in full swing and there's a chill in the air (well, where I am, anyway). Warm your bones with some fine deals: today, you can get an Echo Dot for half off and two USB-C cables for just five bucks, plus savings on a cool Bluetooth speaker and some smart security gear.
We've arrived at July's final week, and we've got some great deals to cap the month off right. This week, you'll find a substantial discount on Jabra's excellent new noise-canceling headphones, plus money off the very competent Jaybird X4, Roku Streaming Stick+, and then some.
Smart lock maker Yale announced a new product at CES this year, designed to be fitted on doors that don't have deadbolts, which are generally required for grafting on smarts. The Assure Lever lock gets around that requirement by replacing your doorknob and lock assembly with a lever handle (hence the name) and keypad.
When it comes to home security, peace of mind and convenience are what matter to me, making a smart lock pretty damn appealing. We know that homes generally aren't targeted by burglars for a lack of obstacles, but for an abundance of opportunity (like an unlocked door!), and a smart door lock leaves one less thing to chance when you're away on vacation or at the office. All the locks in the world probably aren't going to stop someone truly determined to break into your home - so unless you're barring your windows and using solid exterior doors (and most US homes aren't), I don't think the physical security argument has many legs to stand on.