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IKEA's Building a Super Cheap and Versatile Smart Home System

Smart lighting systems like Philips Hue are futuristic and awesome and, typically, expensive. But IKEA wants to offer this type of technology to the masses. The Swedish flatpack furniture empire is developing an entire smart home system, and it looks futuristic and awesome and, you guessed it, cheap. » 5/28/15 11:00am 5/28/15 11:00am

Funny ad shows how dumb futuristic smart homes can be

A smart home is supposed to make your life easier. Doors open when you’re near, lights turn on when you walk by, TVs rise up on command and everything can be powered by a phone. This goofy ad by Dutch insurance company Central Beheer pokes fun of the convenience of smart homes by showing how it makes things stupid… » 5/06/15 10:33pm 5/06/15 10:33pm

My Wink Smart Home Is Just Plain Braindead Now

I recently took my first vacation in two years. It was fun! But I was excited to get home, raise my shades and relax in the finicky but sort of useful smart home I’d spent the past few months building. When I walked in the door, all of the automation was gone. The light on my Wink hub was yellow. This was not fun. » 4/28/15 10:00am 4/28/15 10:00am

August Smart Lock and Connect Review: I'll Use Keys, Thanks 

Four months ago, we called the August Smart Lock superb. I knew that sooner or later, I'd invite one into my home. I got my chance a few weeks ago with the August Connect dongle, a $50 add-on that gives the lock internet access so you can control it from anywhere in the world. Sadly, it also revealed the lock's… » 2/13/15 10:20am 2/13/15 10:20am

Why Is My Smart Home So Fucking Dumb?

A few weeks ago, a couple friends and I were about to watch a surprisingly bad scifi movie in my crowded apartment. One of them asked if we could dim the lights, and started to head to the switch. "No, no, I've got it," I said, reaching into my pocket. "He's reaching for his phone!" said the friend. This was the… » 2/12/15 11:05am 2/12/15 11:05am

Cree's Cheap New Smart Bulb Is a Long-Lasting LED Dream

Cree's always impressed us with good-looking LED lightbulbs at wonderfully affordable prices. Now, the North Carolina company is raising the stakes with a new connected bulb that's not only dimmable and programmable; it also lasts for 25,000 hours, just like its less-smart sibling. The best part? It's still a bargain. » 1/15/15 9:00am 1/15/15 9:00am

Wink's New Touchscreen Smart Home Panel Belongs in the Jetsons' Foyer

When it introduced its ultra affordable hub a few months ago, Wink signaled that it wanted to win the smart home wars. Now, with the release of a touchscreen display and control pad called Relay, it's clear that the Quirky off-shoot is in a hurry, too. It's not like the home of the future is going to build itself! » 9/23/14 9:00am 9/23/14 9:00am

Logitech Finally Made a Harmony Remote for Your Whole House

It seems like everybody is racing to build the platform that will transform all of our homes into smart homes. But the blunt truth is that nobody's really in the lead, and a few contenders are still on the sideline. Logitech, however, is gunning for the victory with its new Harmony Living Home system. » 9/17/14 9:00am 9/17/14 9:00am

The Latest Smart Thermostat Knows When You're Away from Home

Smart home thermostats are becoming quite common and, for the Nest at least, downright popular. But most of these systems only monitor from one direction—that is, the user remotely checking the home. The new Wi-Fi-equipped Ecobee 3 system, however, works both ways; the device is watching its watchers with remote… » 9/16/14 8:00am 9/16/14 8:00am

LittleBits Now Lets You Build Your Own DIY Smart Home

We've known and loved littleBits for some time, and now, they just got a lot more useful with the introduction of cloudBit. CloudBit is a module, a.k.a. bit, that brings internet connectivity to anything. With the rest of the littleBit library, you can now effectively create your own internet of things, no fancy… » 7/23/14 10:00am 7/23/14 10:00am

Nest and Friends Are Giving the Internet of Things a Fresh Start

A consortium of companies just announced a new wireless networking protocol for the home called Thread. It's designed to help build low-power, wireless mesh networks so that devices can seamlessly connect to form a true internet of things. In a way, Thread promises to create little mini internet for your home. » 7/15/14 12:42pm 7/15/14 12:42pm

Quirky Wants To Win the Smart Home Wars With This $50 Hub

Smart homes sound awesome. The idea sounded awesome 15 years ago, when Microsoft teased some of their ideas in a concept video, and it sounded awesome when Apple announced HomeKit last month. But do you know anybody that actually lives in a smart home and reaps all that awesomeness? Probably not. And Quirky wants to… » 7/02/14 4:52pm 7/02/14 4:52pm