Home automation Stories December 13, 2016

Google Home is an absolutely fantastic product, but like its competition, the Amazon Echo, I’ve always felt that it is most useful as a hub for home automation. Unfortunately, unlike its competitor, Google Home is not compatible with most smart home products. However, today the list expands with official support from Wemo.

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Home automation Stories September 30, 2016

We’re right around the corner from Google’s October 4th event where, among other things, the company is expected to launch the Google Home, its Amazon Echo competitor. We know the price and basic functionality of the Home device already, but the biggest question is compatibility.We now know one major platform that will be compatible at launch.

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Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

Home automation Stories May 2, 2016

Update: Samsung has issued a statement to us, which just expands on its earlier response. You can read it below the video.

Computer science researchers from the University of Michigan have shown how malicious apps could take control of Internet of Things devices in Samsung’s SmartThings platform – including the ability of an attacker to unlock a front door to gain physical access to a home.

The main weakness identified is that way that the SmartThings platform grants apps more privileges than needed to perform their stated functions, reports The Verge.

The researchers demonstrated this finding with a proof of concept app promising to monitor battery life on various devices. If the user agreed to let the malicious — but seemingly innocuous — app access their smart lock, the researchers could then not only monitor its battery, but perform the lock’s other functions, including unlocking the door. The researchers found 42 percent of 499 analyzed SmartApps are currently over-privileged in a similar way … 

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Home automation Stories April 4, 2016

Revolv, a home automation device company, has announced that it will be officially be shutting down next month. Alphabet’s Nest Labs purchased Revolv back in 2014 and the duo had worked toward bettering out the Works with Nest platform since then. After the acquisition, Revolv’s products continued to function as expected, but today’s shutdown announces that neither the hub or app will be functional any longer after May 15th.

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Home automation Stories December 30, 2015

LG adds funky-looking hub to its SmartThinQ home automation system

As home automation devices proliferate, most tech companies seem to have decided that wirelessly connecting them up to a central hub is the best way to enable us to keep them all under control. Apple’s HomeKit platform uses the Apple TV as its central box, and Samsung has its SmartThings Hub.

LG is now following suit, pre-announcing the SmartThinQ Hub it plans to formally launch at CES. Interestingly, the device – which looks similar to the Amazon Echo – has a built-in display, which the company says can display alerts as well as allow direct control of devices without using your smartphone.

LG SmartThinQ Hub serves as a gateway to smart sensors and connected appliances in the home but is more than that, with the ability to display reminders from personal calendars and stream music from its built-in speaker. The elegantly designed SmartThinQ Hub includes a 3.5-inch color LCD display and connects to a smartphone app to facilitate two way communication with smart appliances and smart sensors in the home.

LG also offers SmartThinQ sensors, which aim to turn dumb appliances into smart ones by using things like vibration to allow a washing-machine to signal when a wash is complete.

The company hasn’t yet announced a price, but Samsung’s SmartThings Hub costs $99, so is likely to be in the same kind of range.

Home automation Stories December 15, 2015

Philips Hue blocks access to ‘untested’ third-party bulbs due to ‘interoperability issues’

An update to the Philips Hue system has blocked access to some third-party bulbs, including GE Link LED (above) and Cree Connected LED, citing ‘interoperability issues.’ While existing bulbs already linked to the Philips Hue Bridge will continue to work for now, the system is not currently allowing additional bulbs to be added, and Philips says there are no guarantees that this won’t change in future updates.

We are seeing an increasing number of interoperability issues with these untested third party products, which are causing increasing confusion for our installed base. They are also hampering our ongoing development and damaging the consistency of experience for the Philips Hue ecosystem. Next to confusing differences in setup and resetting, we’ve encountered a number of such issues over the years including 3rd party lights which do not turn off when we fade them to off, lights which do not react correctly to scene recalls and lights which stop proper functioning of our Wireless Dimmer Kits.

This will disappoint many, as one of the promises of the Hue system was support for third-party bulbs. All is not yet lost, however.

Philips says that it has created a Friends of Hue program to allow third-party products to be tested and certified for use with the system. It also stated in a blog post that third-party apps will continue to work and will not require certification. If you want to add additional bulbs now, however, you are limited to official Philips Hue products.

The company has created a FAQ, which can be seen below.

Via CNET

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