Amazon’s Echo now works with SmartThings hardware


Quite rapidly, Amazon has been expanding the products and services that work with its Echo digital assistant. SmartThings, the home automation platform purchased by Samsung last year, is now supported by the Echo. The only requirement is that the SmartThings hardware is setup and connected through the company’s apps before asking the Echo to detect devices on the same network. Controls for different appliances are then accessible by the Echo and you can use your voice to control them.

SmartThings’ new hub and sensors will be available starting next month, so now could be the perfect time to pair your Echo with a home automation platform. Your other option is to invest in Wink’s products.

Source: Amazon

Piper NV Security Camera review


Security cameras for the purpose of home automation are becoming more and more popular with devices available like the Netatmo Welcome or the Nest Cam. The Piper NV is yet another security camera that can be controlled with your mobile device.

Many smart home cameras are lacking in a lot of areas but Piper claims its NV to be top-of-the-line when it comes to automated home surveillance.

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Weekend Contest: Win a Satechi Spectrum iQ Bulb from Talk Android!


Every room needs light because windows can only get the job done during daylight hours. Regular light bulbs, though, are awfully boring. You need something that can illuminate a room with color! That’s why we are giving away a Satechi Spectrum iQ Bulb this weekend. Satechi’s bulb offers 16 million different colors and lasts 25,000 hours. And the companion app allows you to create a schedule, so you’ll be using one less switch at home. The Spectrum iQ Bulb costs $39, but our contest can have you taking one home for free.

Hit the break to enter.

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Netatmo Welcome smart home camera review


The Netatmo Welcome is a connected camera that features facial recognition, adding another level of safety and security to the home. The Welcome notifies users through their app so that the homeowner knows who is home and when. The device is positioned to compete with some big players in the market, such as the recent Nest Cam upgrade and Piper. Although Netatmo’s offering doesn’t quite meet the standards of those two devices, the company still has a decent camera.

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Nest unveils new wave of products and software for 2015


Today, Nest announced two new products along with some software updates. The Nest Cam and Nest Protect have been introduced with entirely new designs while the Nest Learning Thermostat has received a software update with new features. Also, with people owning multiple devices from Nest, the company has condensed controls and settings into a single app. Everything from Nest looks and feels new and improved for 2015.

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Nest to hold press conference on June 17



Nest is planning on holding a press conference on June 17, when we may hear about new products the company will be introducing. Right now, the Google-owned home automation company only has a thermostat and smoke detector in their product lineup, in addition to the rights to security camera company Dropcam.

There’s no additional info besides the fact that they are actually holding the press conference, so stay tuned to TA on June 17 to hear more.

Source: The Verge

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


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


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


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


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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