Tagged With home automation

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Google Home Hub is the latest member of Google's popular smart speaker family. At first glance, it looks like a Google Home with an LCD bolted on top - which seems pretty superfluous, given you can use existng Homes to stream video to TVs.

However, it turns out that the main selling point isn't video streaming at all. (The key is in the product's name.) In short, it will act as the central hub for all your smart home devices, allowing you to control them at a glance.

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Amazon held a hardware event last night, releasing a pile of new products to drive home automation. The Echo range received a massive boost but a number of other accessories including cameras, smartplugs and even a microwave oven. And while not every product will make it to Australia - we won't be getting the microwave oven for now - there's enough in this announcement for Amazon to be declared the current leader in smart home gear.

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I've been adding a bunch of smart home devices to my home. It's part of an ongoing experiment to see what I can do to make my life easier, my home safer and to save some money on power bills. But I'm finding that I keep hitting some roadblocks. And while I do hit the odd technical roadblock, I'm finding that the biggest problems stem from the intransigence of vendors.

Shared from Gizmodo Australia

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Home automation is where the Internet of Things runs headlong through your front door. And, there are a bunch of devices around for securing that front door. One is the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt. Schlage isn't a particularly well-known brand in Australia but they're a big deal when it comes to door furniture in the US. And the Sense is a nifty door lock that lets you remotely control the deadbolt from a smartphone as well as linking it to other devices so you can automate what happens when you enter or leave your home.

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I'm looking at various home automation and smart home solutions at the moment, experimenting with what works and doesn't work so well in my home. Over the last couple of weeks, I've been playing with some weather sensing gadgets; the Netatmo Weather Station and Elgato Eve indoor and outdoor sensors.

I have to be honest - I like the idea of these and can see how the data they produce can be useful. But I'm still some time away from being able use them for automating anything. However, let's look at what these devices can do and how I might be able to use them.

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For most of us, the journey down home automation starts with one of the simplest things we can add some tech to - lighting. But, for the most part, lighting is pretty boring, Push the globe in, install an app, connect it to your network and you're done. But the Nanoleaf Aurora is a little different. It's an array of triangular LED panels that you can assemble into different shapes so you can add a little bit of artistry to your illumination.

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Over the coming weeks I'm going to be looking at a bunch of different home automation gear. I have several goals in this journey covering making things easier to use, energy saving and home security. But I can already see some challenges along with all those opportunities.

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Belkin's WeMo is a pretty decent set of home automation kit that covers light bulbs, switches, cameras, motion sensors and energy monitoring gear. It is possible to get it to play nicely with other equipment if you're prepared to tinker with IFTTT but the company has finally released a new device, the WeMo Bridge, that lets you link various WeMo devices to Apple's HomeKit ecosystem.

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I'm about to move house and one of the things I want to do is invest in some serious home automation. Not just remote switching - that's easy. I want real automation where I can press a button or say a command like "Goodnight" and all the lights tun off and curtains close. The trouble is systems like this, while available, have been quite expensive and tricky to install in older properties. And renters are pretty much left out of many home automation options. But the B-One Hub wants to change that. It's a multi-radio device that acts as a universal translator that can deal with thousands of different end-point devices.

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Getting started in the world of home automation may seem daunting, but it’s actually fairly simple. Depending on your goals, it can also be quite affordable, and even save you money over time. A smart home isn’t just some automatic lights either - there are loads of options to make day to day life that little bit easier.