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Sure, being able to control your lights using an app is cool and all, but smart bulbs are typically (frustratingly!) expensive. If you don't mind getting basic features on a basic bulb, though, Cree has a new $15 option now out at Home Depot -- that's the same price as GE's Link Bulbs and a lot che...

January 16th 2015 at 2:35am 0 Comments
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Do you want to know every little nuance of what's going on in your home? You'll want to give Belkin's new WeMo home sensors a look, then. The surprisingly wide range of household trackers includes a door-and-window sensor, a keychain tracker, a motion detector and a water efficiency monitor -- the...

January 4th 2015 at 7:00pm 0 Comments
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Many smart light bulbs... well, aren't. You can control them, but they're often blissfully unaware of what's going on in your home. Stack aims to change that with its recently unveiled Alba bulb. This sensor-packed illuminator changes brightness and color based on the time of day, location and who...

September 23rd 2014 at 11:32am 0 Comments
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Logitech's got a new Harmony remote and it's an even bigger push into home automation over the current Harmony Smart Control home theater remote lineup. Shipping this month, the new Harmony Home Control devices start at $99 for the Home Hub (which turns your smartphone or tablet into a home automa...

September 17th 2014 at 9:08am 0 Comments
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All the big players are getting into the smart home/connected device market. First, Google acquired Nest, then came word last week that SmartThings was bought by Samsung. While Apple is staying away from connected device hardware, iOS 8 will bring a home automation framework to iPhone and iPad thr...

August 18th 2014 at 6:30pm 0 Comments
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Many smartphone-controlled light bulbs cost a pretty penny, even if you're not interested in mood-setting colors or other elaborate tricks. How are you supposed to afford enough bulbs to illuminate your entire abode? That's where GE's new Link bulbs could save the day. While you'll need a hub ($30...

July 1st 2014 at 3:02am 0 Comments
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As noted in my Macworld/iWorld 2014 talk on using Siri to control the "Internet of Things", there's one big problem in the home automation world right now -- too many standards! Now I know that sounds like a contradiction in terms, but there are a number of competing standards available: Z-Wave, Z...

May 9th 2014 at 6:00pm 0 Comments
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At Macworld/iWorld 2014, I delivered a talk about Siri and connected devices titled "Siri's Arms and Legs: Giving Apple's Intelligent Assistant the Power to Control Your World." My original idea for the presentation was based on some work I'd done last year for YouTube's Geek Week, in which I used...

April 7th 2014 at 6:00pm 0 Comments
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Philips may be at the forefront of connected lighting with its Hue range, but could soon have a competitor in Samsung's "Smart Bulb," which has just popped up at the FCC. The Korean outfit first revealed plans for a wireless bulb earlier in the year, and expected to launch a three-piece kit during...

October 17th 2013 at 5:39am 0 Comments
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There's a rather nifty crowdfunded project that aims to deliver a "roll-your-own" home security system this August. Using the Selfstarter code available on Github, the Scout Alarm project has so far pulled in almost 800 backers and more than $211,000 in funding. The project is designed to "make...

April 2nd 2013 at 5:00pm 0 Comments