Home Automation

  • The Parrot Bebop 2 Power Drone

    The Parrot Bebop 2 Power lets you boldly go where no drone has gone before

    Parrot, the original household drone company, recently released the Bebop 2 Power, an upgraded version of the Bebop 2 with a better camera, better controls, and more battery life. This fierce flier can swoop for up to sixty minutes with the included batteries and a first-person view is available using Parrot’s VR glasses and a cellphone. I was quite please with the drone’s… Read More

  • Amazon debuts Cloud Cam and Key to take on Nest, August and others in home security

    Amazon debuts Cloud Cam and Key to take on Nest, August and others in home security

    Amazon wants to be the hub for your connected home, and today the company announced two new products that will help it fill out that ambition, specifically in the area of home security. It announced a new “intelligent” camera called the Cloud Cam, and a new smart-lock service called Key. You control both using Alexa, the voice-based assistant that powers its line of Echo speakers… Read More

  • 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

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