gadgets
These Are the Best Smart Home Gadgets to Trick Out Your Pad

The first crop of smart home gadgets from a few years ago weren’t actually very smart, but times have changed, and there’s now plenty of good reasons to upgrade your hoover, microwave, and even your sound system, with a bit of AI-enhanced smarts. Read More >>

google
Did Google Finally Fix the Smart Home?

The Home Hub appeared at this week’s Made by Google event like a dessert you forgot to order. Sure, there were plenty of rumours that Google would announce its own touchscreen-enabled Home device. But after spending just a few minutes with the thing, I realised what a treat it might be. This little hub might be the thing that ties the whole smart home concept together. Read More >>

gadgets
Even the Smoke Alarms are Getting Smarter

Smart smart smart. Everything has to be smart these days, especially if it's a typically mundane device that has sat in our homes for decades without needing any high tech features. IFA is literally filled with such devices, with companies from all over the world trying to show off their products and deliver them to the hands of the public. Netatmo is one of the companies that's been doing this for a while, and the latest announcement is a smart smoke alarm - because earsplitting noise and smoke detection isn't quite enough. Read More >>

smart home
Philips Hue’s New Lamps Look Like the Slickest Way to Throw Colours on Your Walls

There are a lot of dumbass smart gadgets out there, but smart lights aren’t one of them. Yet while Philips Hue remains the leader in intelligent lighting solutions, some of the company’s recent releases, such as this range of outdoor lighting options, have seemed useful – but not super exciting. With the new Hue Play and Hue Signe, however, Philips has made some slick new lamps to help add some colour to your home. Read More >>

google
Google and Lenovo’s Smart Display Trounces Amazon’s in Every Way

Despite Amazon having a two-year head start versus Google in the smart speaker wars, earlier this year, sales of Google Home devices surpassed all of Amazon’s Echoes for the first time ever. And while Amazon still holds the overall lead in market share, it’s not hard to see why Google is catching up fast. Compared to Alexa, the Google Assistant is simply smarter, better sounding, and an all-around more helpful AI. However, even with new additions to the Google Home family in 2017 by way of the Home Mini and Max, there are some holes in the Google’s smart speaker lineup – like smart screens. But thanks to the new Lenovo Smart Display, Google now has an answer to the Echo Show, and it’s a damn good retort at that. Read More >>

smart home
5 Smart Home Tricks That Are Actually Impressive

Going to the effort of setting up a smart home just so you can turn your lights on and off from your phone may not seem like the best use of your time and resources, but with the right gear and apps you can put together some routines that really will impress family, friends, and occasional Airbnb guests. Here are five of our favourites. Read More >>

technology
There’s a New Resource List for Domestic Abuse Victims Targeted Through the Internet of Things

Last month, the New York Times published a report detailing ways in which domestic abusers have weaponised smart home technology, exploiting devices such as internet-connected doorbells, speakers, and thermostats to harass their partners. This month, a research team at University College London published a resource list for victims of domestic abuse, specifically through the exploitation of the internet of things. Read More >>

airbnb
Airbnb Teams Up With August Smart Locks and What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

One of the biggest issues with renting an Airbnb is the potential complications of getting into the Airbnb. Will the host be available to give you the key? Will the neighbours think you’re trying to break in if you’re awkwardly scouring the premises? Is there some annoying trick to getting the door to unlock? Sometimes the anxiety about getting into a rental can make the beginning of a holiday even more stressful. Read More >>

amazon
Alexa is a Pretty Crappy TV Remote, for Now

Plenty of companies want to build the centrepiece for tomorrow’s smart home. Amazon has a head start, too. Tens of millions of Americans now own Echo devices, and Alexa now has tens of thousands of skills. Adding a voice assistant to any TV, I’ve always thought, could be a game changer. And now, Amazon’s Fire TV Cube does just that. Is it a game changer? Not yet. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon is Invading Model Homes to Show Off a Future No One Wants

Amazon announced Wednesday that it will try to pitch the general public on its dystopian future by launching interactive showrooms in model homes across the USA to show off its full line of smart home products. Read More >>

technology
This Cheap Painting Technique Turns Walls Into Giant Touch Sensors

The walls of your house keep the roof up, give your family some privacy, and maybe provide a place to hang some art. But researchers at Disney and Carnegie Mellon University have come up with a way for walls to do more. A cheap paint treatment turns them into giant sensors, creating new ways to interact with a smart home by just walking around in it. Read More >>

technology
Don’t Use a Nest Doorbell to Raise Your Kids

Nest recently released a new ad, and let me tell you: there are some issues with the content. So you see this teenage girl in a prom dress ring a Nest doorbell, and a teen couple walk out the front door. The two girls walk to a car, as a low robotic voice beckons the boy and proceeds to give him a fatherly speech about being a gentleman. Turns out, the voice is actually coming from the doorbell and belongs to his doctor dad who is at work at a hospital. Again, there are some issues. Read More >>

smart home
The Tado Radiator Thermostat Made My Life Feel Complete Again

One of the perks of being a tech journalist is that sometimes you get to try stuff out early. I was one of the first people in the country to try out the Tado wifi-powered thermostat. It might be tricky to remember now that connected thermostats are more common, but back in 2013, the technology was pretty mind-blowing, and subtly transformative. Read More >>

security
How to Build a Smart Home That’s Actually Secure

The number of smart connected devices in our homes is growing at a rapid rate, and that means more opportunities for unwelcome visitors to access your devices and your network. Whether you’ve got one smart home device or one hundred, here’s what to do to make sure your setup is as safe and secure as it can be. Read More >>