Home Automation

  • Parrot releases drones for firefighters and farmers

    Parrot releases drones for firefighters and farmers

    Parrot is continuing its push into the commercial drone space with two new drones. The Bebop-Pro Thermo and Bluegrass are aimed at specific targets namely firefighters and farmers. Both join Parrot’s Professional range of drones that include the Disco-Pro AG and Bebop-Pro 3D Modeling. At this point, if there’s an industry that could use a drone, Parrot seems to be building one… Read More

  • The canaries in a coal mine

    The canaries in a coal mine

    I’ve seen startups come and go over the years and I was particularly interested to see what happened to August Home today. The company originally tapped Yves Behar to make a better smart lock, one that would meld with the sensitivities of a certain kind of smart home stylist with the high-concept, high-tech design of the Nest thermostat. The products, while beautiful, were unusable in… Read More

  • August announces new smart locks and a smart doorbell

    August announces new smart locks and a smart doorbell

    August has updated its smart lock line with a new Pro version with Bluetooth, HomeKit, and Wi-Fi support, as well as the more basic model for $149. They’ve also announced the Doorbell Cam Pro for $199 that lets you see visitors approaching your domicile, even at night. The August is unique in that it depends entirely on the phone for usage, improving security but eschewing the keypad. Read More

  • Xiaomi takes aim at Apple with a Macbook Pro rival priced from $858

    Xiaomi takes aim at Apple with a Macbook Pro rival priced from $858

    Xiaomi is shooting a number of arrows at Apple today. Smartphones aside, it just launched an affordable take on the Macbook Air that ships with Windows. The first Xiaomi laptop was a shot at the Macbook Air when it was unveiled in the summer of 2016, and the company is back with its take on Apple’s more expensive computer. The Mi Notebook Pro — because all comparisons start with… Read More

  • Report: Xiaomi is world’s top wearable maker for first time as Fitbit sales slide

    Report: Xiaomi is world’s top wearable maker for first time as Fitbit sales slide

    Xiaomi’s good run has continued after a research firm found that the Chinese firm has ranked top for sales of wearable devices worldwide for the first. Sales of Fitbit devices, meanwhile, plunged by 40 percent Coming off the back of Xiaomi’s reentry into the world’s top five smartphone sellers, a new Strategy Analytics report found that it leapfrogged Apple and Fitbit to… Read More

  • Xiaomi secures $1B loan to expand its international presence and offline retail footprint

    Xiaomi secures $1B loan to expand its international presence and offline retail footprint

    Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has secured a $1 billion loan in order to develop its international focus and build out its offline sales presence. The company revealed today that it has secured a three-year syndicated loan agreement from 18 banks across Europe, Middle East, India, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley served as joint global coordinator, with Bank… Read More

  • Report: Xiaomi sales climb but Huawei remains China’s top smartphone brand

    Report: Xiaomi sales climb but Huawei remains China’s top smartphone brand

    China’s Xiaomi, once the world’s highest valued tech startup, is getting over a disappointing two years with a notable spike in sales in its homeland during the second quarter of 2017. That’s according a new report from analyst firm Canalys, which estimates that Xiaomi, which was valued at $45 billion at the end of 2014, shipped 15 million phones during the quarter to… Read More

  • Xiaomi’s take on the Amazon Echo smart speaker costs less than $50

    Xiaomi’s take on the Amazon Echo smart speaker costs less than $50

    Hot on the heels of reports that Facebook is developing its own take on Amazon Echo, China’s Xiaomi has joined the tech company masses by jumping into the increasingly crowded smart speaker space. The Mi AI Speaker is Xiaomi’s first take at rivaling the Echo, which has already inspired a product from Alibaba in China and counts offerings from Google and Apple among its… Read More

  • Josh.ai raises $11 million for a premium home automation system with a smarter AI

    Josh.ai raises $11 million for a premium home automation system with a smarter AI

    One of the promises of voice-based computing is the ability to make home automation simpler – something that major tech companies, including Amazon, Apple and Google, are now tackling with their own voice assistants and smart speakers. But their solutions are still somewhat clunky, both in terms of the software interface for configuring your smart home and the voice commands you use to… Read More

  • Xiaomi puts the focus on India with plans to open 100 retail stores

    Xiaomi puts the focus on India with plans to open 100 retail stores

    Xiaomi is increasing its office retail presence in China as bids to gain ground stolen by rivals in its homeland, and now it is making that very same push in its second largest market, India. The Chinese company, which is valued at $45 billion, suffered a tough time last year as sales growth slowed — Xiaomi, notably, didn’t go public with sales figures for 2016 — but India… Read More

  • Google-funded ‘super sensor’ project brings IoT powers to dumb appliances

    Google-funded ‘super sensor’ project brings IoT powers to dumb appliances

    Researchers at CMU’s Future Interfaces Group reckon they’ve come up with a quicker, less expensive and less cumbersome way to create a smart home. And one that might have some privacy benefits too. Just plug in their single ‘super sensor’ and play… Read More

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