smart home

Fire TV Cube gains a one-way intercom feature called ‘Alexa Announcements’

Fire TV Cube owners can now use their media streaming device to broadcast announcements around the home, similar to a one-way intercom. Amazon says it’s launching a feature called “Alexa A

Rent tech-focused RET closes first fund; pours $5M into management platform SmartRent

Today, Real Estate Technology Ventures (RET Ventures) announced the final close of $108 million for its first fund. RET focuses on early-stage investments in companies that are primarily looking to d

A fictional Facebook Portal videochat with Mark Zuckerberg

TechCrunch: Hey Portal, dial Mark Portal: Do you mean Mark Zuckerberg? TC: Yes Portal: Dialling Mark… TC: Hi Mark! Nice choice of grey t-shirt. MZ: Uh, new phone who dis? — oh, hi, er, Tec

Google’s smart home sell looks cluttered and incoherent

If any aliens or technology ingenues were trying to understand what on earth a ‘smart home’ is yesterday, via Google’s latest own-brand hardware launch event, they’d have come

Amazon’s revamped Alexa app makes it easier to manage your smart home

Amazon’s Alexa app has just been given a major visual overhaul, largely focused on helping users set up and control their smart home. From the app’s new devices tab, users can view all the

Call for smart home devices to bake in privacy safeguards for kids

A new research report has raised concerns about how in-home smart devices such as AI virtual voice assistants, smart appliances, and security and monitoring technologies could be gathering and sharing

Court rules warrants are needed for cops to access smart electrical meter data

You can tell a lot about what's going on in a home from how much electricity it's using — especially when that information is collected every few minutes and recorded centrally. It's revealing enoug

A vacuum vulnerability could mean your Roomba knockoff is hoovering up surveillance

Yet again we are reminded that the mild conveniences of the smart home are all well and good, right up until someone decides to turn one of those Wi-Fi-connected things you invited in against you. But

LifeDoor crowdfunds the production version of its fire-thwarting door-closer

At CES in January I was pleasantly surprised by the LifeDoor, a smart home gadget that's actually worth having. These little boxes automatically close doors when smoke detectors go off, inhibiting the

Smart dresser helps dementia sufferers put their clothes on right

It goes without saying that getting dressed is one of the most critical steps in our daily routine. But long practice has made it second nature, and people suffering from dementia may lose that famili

Piccolo is building a gesture-based smart home ‘vision assistant’

Voice assistants may be the hottest thing since sliced bread when it comes to controlling your $60 Wi-Fi light bulbs, but Piccolo is launching out of the latest Y Combinator class with a desire to put

This is the ultimate Super Bowl smart home setup

Do you like to watch football? How about the biggest game of the year -- which happens on February 4 (aka this Sunday)? If yes to either of these, then you're in luck: I can tell you how to get the mo

LifeDoor closes your home’s doors automatically to protect against fires

It turns out that in case of a fire in your home, a closed door is the best barrier against spreading smoke, heat and flames. But who's going to run around the house shutting doors? LifeDoor is a simp

EZVIZ’s ‘Lookout Smart Door Viewer’ turns a peephole into a smart video doorbell

Home security camera maker EZVIZ announced its first product for smart entry security at CES 2018 today, with the debut of the Lookout Smart Door Viewer. The system is designed to work with the compa

Smart home robot gives LG exec the silent treatment during CES keynote

Keynote demo mishaps with voice recognition products are par for the course, but LG's Hub Robot, which debuted at CES last year, didn't work onstage for the majority of the keynote, leaving an LG exec

iHome debuts a Google Assistant-powered clock radio, the iGV1

Amazon’s Echo Spot, introduced late last year, smartly combined the power of Alexa with a more traditional clock radio type form factor and interface, complete with a screen for video viewing an

Netatmo launches a chatbot to manage all your connected devices

French company Netatmo is adding one more way to control your smart objects around your house. You can now talk and control with all your connected devices using a chatbot in Messenger. The feature is

Smart lock maker Otto suspends operations

Otto showed the world its digital lock in August. Four months later, the company has suspended operations. Hardware is hard. It’s a cliche for a reason. The company made the decision just ahead of t

Amazon’s latest Echos show the smart home space hitting its stride

Amazon’s Echo lineup got a refresh earlier this year that included a brand new version of its basic Echo, well as an Echo Plus with integrated smart home hub, and the stalwart Echo Dot – uncha

Swedish lock giant Assa Abloy acquires smart lock maker August Home

The smart home market continues to heat up, and the legacy giants do not want to get locked out: quite literally. This morning, Assa Abloy, the $23 billion Swedish lock giant that owns Yale and many o
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