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Smart home News

Microsoft demonstrates Cortana commitment with new integrations

Microsoft has announced several new integrations for its Cortana digital assistant. The expanded line-up of smart home products is intended to help Cortana catch up with rivals including Alexa and Google Assistant, now widely seen to lead the market.

Apple admits new speaker leaves permanent white rings on wood

Some reviewers of Apple's new $350 smart speaker, the HomePod, have noticed that the device can leave behind white rings on some wooden surfaces.

Amazon quietly bought security cam startup Blink for $90m

Amazon acquired security camera company Blink in a deal worth $90 million, according to a report today. The acquisition was completed late last year and is intended to strengthen the hardware capabilities of Amazon products such as the Echo and Cloud Cam.

Amazon patches Key flaw that it dismissed as not 'real-life'

Amazon has rolled out an update for a security flaw in its Key smart lock which the company had claimed wasn't an issue. Amazon Key is a system which lets delivery drivers place parcels inside your home. The attack could let anyone through the door.

Consumer Reports discovers smart TVs vulnerable to trivial hacks

Popular smart TVs are vulnerable to simple hacks that can be used to obtain personal information or remotely control the device. The warning comes from Consumer Reports which found "unsophisticated" techniques can be used to extract "very detailed" data.

Google to merge with Alphabet smart home subsidiary Nest

Alphabet has announced it is merging Google and Nest together, creating a unified hardware team better equipped to compete with rivals including Amazon and Apple. Google acquired Nest in 2014 but the company was spun off as an Alphabet subsidiary.

Apple to launch HomePod smart speaker on February 9

Apple has announced it will start shipping its delayed HomePod smart speaker early next month. The company said the device is the product of "years" of innovation, culminating in a "magical" digital assistance experience. Preorders will open on Friday.

Google Assistant shouts down Alexa at CES

Google's attended CES with its biggest showing in years, arriving with an aggressive round of promotional material for Google Assistant. It comes after Amazon's Alexa was widely seen to have "won" last year's CES with more integrations than Google.

Microsoft not giving up on Cortana, announces new devices

Digital assistants have been one of the most prominent technologies at this year's CES, with Alexa and Google Assistant appearing in new devices. Microsoft announced today it's still interested in assistance too, promising several new Cortana devices.

LG's robot for 'connected life' refuses to talk on-stage

LG's CES press conference was derailed by its Cloi robot which ignored verbal commands. Cloi is supposed to act as a hub for LG's new range of smart home devices. The incident has resurfaced concerns that IoT development may be progressing too quickly.

Apple patches HomeKit flaw that let hackers unlock smart devices

Apple's released a temporary patch for a serious security issue affecting its HomeKit IoT ecosystem. A security researcher discovered hackers could tamper with devices externally, allowing them to open smart locks and control other smart home components.

GE's smart lights can now integrate with Alexa, Google Assistant

GE has announced an update to its smart lights range, C by GE. The company's expanding the system with a network-connected hub that adds Wi-Fi connectivity. The lights can be controlled by digital assistants including Alexa and Google Assistant.

Apple's HomePod was meant to be much more competitive

Apple's upcoming HomePod smart speaker has been in development for five years and was once a much more ambitious device, according to a report today. Apple delayed the launch of the HomePod last week but it's far from the first time it has been setback.

Apple delays its HomePod smart speaker until after the holidays

Apple's delaying the launch of its Amazon Echo-rivalling smart speaker. The HomePod had been due to hit the shelves in December but has now been postponed until "early 2018." The delay for the "breakthrough" product could extend Amazon's market lead.

Making ‘smart homes’ in and around Seattle

Seattle - The company Kirio is continuing to promote the idea of the ‘smart home’ and making the technology better for the home owner. The company has recently unveiled ‘the smartest new home available on the market today.’

Insurance companies offering smart insurance solutions

Insurance companies are starting to offer ‘smart’ devices to consumers where the data can be used to lower insurance premiums. Such devices can be used in homes and in motor vehicles.

Vulnerabilities of smart home products demonstrated

Many smart home products are vulnerable to cyberattack, according to new research. Businesses involved in manufacturing devices for the connected home need to invest more in preventing malicious hacking and data theft.

Amazon's Alexa gets smarter with new custom lists

Amazon has announced it's improving one of Alexa's most popular features by adding support for custom lists. Alexa currently helps you manage your to-do list and shopping list. The assistant can now also keep track of other items you need to remember.

Microsoft adds Cortana integration to Skype as part of AI push

Microsoft has added Cortana integration to Skype, letting the assistant offer proactive help while you contact friends and family. Cortana works in a similar way to Google Assistant's integration with Allo, letting you check information and ask questions.

Energy providers facing new challenges from the smart home

A new state-of-the-industry report signals how the smart home concept is altering the expectations of energy providers, triggering new innovations in the market.

Amazon's Echo family advances the smart home but risks confusion

Amazon has launched a new line of Alexa smart speakers in a surprise event. The devices include a redesigned "Echo Plus" and the all-new Echo Spot. Analysts have said the devices will help to usher in home automation but the range could cause confusion.

Then and now: Plastics remain important for smart homes

Disneyland’s Monsanto House of the Future was built almost fifty years ago. When it was demolished, with the wrecking ball bouncing off its plastic structure, plastics were key to the future state of homes. The materials remain so half a decade on.

Amazon's Echo Dot leads Prime Day sales

Amazon has announced that its Alexa-powered Echo Dot was the best-selling item during its Prime Day sales bonanza yesterday. The company slashed the price of the smart home device in a bid to increase sales of its connected ecosystem. The effort paid off.

Samsung is planning its own Bixby-powered smart speaker

Samsung is reportedly developing its own smart speaker as it looks towards the smart home. The device will be powered by the company's Bixby assistant and will rival the Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod and Google Home. Development is still ongoing.

China's LeEco put under pressure as co-founder's assets frozen

LeEco has said its ongoing financial crisis is "far worse than expected" and it is still rapidly running out of cash. Its billionaire co-founder resigned today, hours after having his personal bank accounts and assets frozen due to outstanding debt.

Logitech launches Circle 2 smart security camera to rival Nest

Logitech has announced a new household security camera to rival the Nest ecosystem of products. Called the Circle 2 and acting as follow-up to the Logi Circle, Logitech is pitching the device as a peace-of-mind solution to stay in control of your home.

Apple unveils HomePod, its Siri-powered smart speaker

After months of rumours, Apple has officially launched its own smart speaker with Siri built in. Called HomePod, the company has sought to create a fully-fledged rival to Amazon's Echo and the Google Home. It's designed to work with Apple Music.

Samsung's Bixby assistant lands on smart fridges

Samsung is bringing its Bixby digital assistant to its smart Family Hub refrigerators according to reports today. The software update allows you to interact with the fridge using voice commands, a helpful alternative to the touchscreen while cooking.

Amazon unveils its touchscreen Echo Show smart speaker

Amazon has announced its first touchscreen Alexa-powered smart speaker. The Echo Show's display is designed to let Alexa "show" you things like photos and lyrics, rather than communicating solely through voice. Its design could prove divisive.

Spotify building its own 'category defining' music hardware

Spotify is planning to launch a hardware device that will change the way in which "the world" experiences music. The company's ambitious aims are said to be early in development. It's an unexpected expansion of Spotify's business, moving beyond apps.
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File photo: Smart home.
File photo: Smart home.
Affinegy
LingLong s DingDong smart speaker [Image via WIRED]
LingLong's DingDong smart speaker [Image via WIRED]
Beijing LingLong
GE C-Reach and C-Life bulbs
GE C-Reach and C-Life bulbs
GE
Untitled
RT TV
Home of the future
Home of the future
A smart home of the future?
A smart home of the future?