Google IO 2015 Coverage

Nest thermostat will be the central point for Google’s Internet of Things

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Google bought Nest in 2014 with the plan for big things. The Nest thermostat is one of the most powerful WiFi connected thermostats in the word, but programming the temperature in your home is only the tip of the iceberg.

Google started a program called “Works With Nest” last year that allows Nest to communicate with various other home automation devices. The goal is to make Nest a central part of the home automation system, but not the full controller. For example, if you have Philips Hues lights, there are various apps to control those lights on a regular basis. However, the Nest thermostat can kick things up a notch by adding additional controls since it knows when someone is in or out of the house. If Nest detects that you just arrived at home, it might turn on certain lights, or if you have left the house, it could turn off lights that you forget.

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Satechi Spectrum iQ Bulb quick review

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Consumers are flocking to home automation products because of how fun and simple it is to operate electronics from a mobile device. Plus, it saves money. So consumers can only benefit from everything in the home earning a ‘smart’ counterpart. Light bulbs are one of the easiest areas to get started with, but also one of the costliest. Every room needs light and installing an appropriate amount of smart bulbs can quickly reach thousands of dollars. Satechi, however, has positioned its Spectrum iQ Bulb to be very competitive in terms of both price and performance.

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Nyrius Smart Outlet review

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The conversion of everything in the home to be part of a wireless network is not all about the ‘cool factor.’ Home automation makes for convenient and cost-efficient living. Items will activate and shutdown when necessary rather than being turned on manually and staying on for an infinite amount of time. The Nyrius Smart Outlet works manually, with timers, or by proximity to control electronics in the home with a smartphone app. Each Smart Outlet costs less than $40, making home automation with Nyrius relatively affordable.

Hit the break for the review.

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Nyrius Smart Outlet debuts on Kickstarter, automating everything for an easy smart home

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Simplifying the smart home experience while keeping equipment affordable is what Nyrius seems to be aiming for with its new Smart Outlet. The device, which plugs into any existing outlet, converts items in the home into connected devices that are manageable from a phone or tablet. With the Nyrius Smart Outlet app working alongside the hardware, users can perform various functions with connected devices. The Nyrius Smart Outlet app gives users the ability to turn on/off connected devices, schedule operating times, and turn on a proximity sensor.

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Belkin announces new partners for WeMo’s smart lighting options

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Home automation is a big part of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This year, Belkin announced two partners to manufacture smart lighting options for its WeMo home automation system. The new partners are Osram Sylvania and Technical Consumer Products (TCP). The smart light bulbs range in size and strength to indoor and outdoor-made.

The Osram products are currently available through Amazon and will be sold on Belkin’s site in the near future. Prices range from $$29 to $79. As for TCP products, they are arriving at select retailers later this year. The pricing for TCP’s products start at $19 and reach $34. Belkin is covering all price points in order to make the possibly of a smart home likely.

Belkin plans to announce additional partners for WeMo throughout 2015.

Hit the break for the full press release. Click here for our full CES 2015 coverage.

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Nest thermostats add compatability with third-party home automation products

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It was only a matter of time before the now Google-owned Nest Learning Thermostat (and smoke detector) became even more integrated in the “Internet of things.”

Now, the device can be paired and controlled with other home automation products, including Pebble smartwatches (to check and control the temperature in your home), ivee (voice-controlled home manager) and Life360 (an app used to check the location of family and friends and can adjust the temperature when people enter and leave your home).

WallyHome, a device that checks for water leaks, is also on the list of compatible products, as is Rachio, which controls sprinklers in the house for fires. Expect more and more products to become compatible with Nest, as Google is looking for more partners to expand the capabilities of its device.

Source: Engadget

Samsung chatting with SmartThings about purchase for around $200 million

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The next target for Samsung? Your home. The company is reportedly in talks to purchase SmartThings for a deal in the range of $200 million. According to TechCrunch, the deal has yet to be completed but it is very well on its way to being so. Google owns Nest and Apple is launching HomeKit, so it is only right that Samsung gets in on the action. Read more

Developer demos home automation using DroidKC and Android Wear

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In the midst of all the Android Wear hype, one developer has taken Android Wear and demoed a home automation system using it. Not only that, but he’s done it using apps that are already available on the Google Play Store.

A video of the demo shows Doug Gregory, who seems to be associated with DKC Automation, using “OK Google” hotwords along with phrases like “turn off the lamp.” The video also shows a card on the Samsung Gear Live displaying information about the current status of the home. Hit the break to watch the video!

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You can now buy the Nest Learning Thermostat from Google Play

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Now that Google owns Nest, it’s no surprise that the Nest Learning Thermostat is now being offered in the Google Play Store. The price is the same as everywhere else, $249.

If you’re not familiar with the Nest Learning Thermostat, it is the “Mother” of all thermostats. You don’t even have to program this one because it figures out what your habits are based on when you’re home or not. It even knows what the weather is outside, plus, you can even control it from your phone or tablet. It isn’t cheap, but the goal is to save you a lot more than the price of the device over time.

To celebrate Earth Day, Google is going to plant a tree for each Nest ordered from the Play Store for today only. Hit the link below to get your order in.

Click here to order from Google Play

Samsung announces the global launch of its Samsung Smart Home service

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Samsung Electronics announced its Samsung Smart Home service today, which is set to be launched in Korea and United States first, followed by more countries throughout the year.

The service allows consumers with the Smart Home app to connect and control smart home devices such as TVs, lights, mobile phones and more.

“We are excited that the launch of Samsung Smart Home makes the connected home a reality today and allows our customers to live a smarter life,” said Dr. WonPyo Hong, President and head of the Media Solution Center at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung Smart Home lets people live better, worry less and be smarter with their devices and appliances. We also have grand plans to enhance more and more parts of the home experience, especially with a view of expanding it to areas with high growth potential such as home safety and energy management.” Read more