Review: Put a security cam anywhere with Sticker-Eye

Review: Put a security cam anywhere with Sticker-Eye

The most common “Internet of Things” devices that people install in their homes are wireless security cameras. Whether you’re using them to see what’s going on with your pets while you’re out of town or want to catch potential thieves in the act, these devices are popular. There’s one bad point about 99% of all security cameras, though — they need power and in some case even require a wired connect of some sort. A new wireless home security camera that was funded by a very successful Kickstarter project is now available and it’s incredibly easy to install and use. Today I’ll tell you about my hands-on experiences with the Sticker-Eye security camera ($110.49 on Amazon, affiliate link) from EyeCloud AI. 

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How to Prepare Wi-Fi Networks for Smart Devices

How to Prepare Wi-Fi Networks for Smart Devices

It is estimated by research firm IHS that the IoT market will grow from an installed base of 15.4 billion devices in 2015 to 30.7 billion devices in 2020 and 75.4 billion in 2025. Our washing machines, coffee pots, thermostats, lights, probably even the toilet and the kitchen sink will all be hooked up to our home Wi-Fi networks. While this will likely lead to more convenience when it comes to home management and maintenance it will also create bottlenecks on home networks slowing down your smart phone, tablet and laptops. 

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iOS-controlled Smarter Coffee coming to US in October

iOS-controlled Smarter Coffee coming to US in October

The Internet of Things keeps getting bigger, this time with a full "grind and brew" coffee maker from Smarter that's expected to hit the US in October of 2017. The Smarter Coffee 2nd Generation isn't HomeKit-enabled yet, but does come with an iOS app that also controls the company's iKettles and the upcoming FridgeCam that was shown at CES 2017.

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IoT Pays Off: Ecobee and Xcel Energy team up for "AC Rewards"

IoT Pays Off: Ecobee and Xcel Energy team up for "AC Rewards"

Companies and consumers alike are beginning to reap the rewards of the "Internet of Things". A while back, I wrote a review of the Ecobee 3 Lite smart thermostat, a HomeKit-compatible thermostat that works well with Siri. Not only has the Ecobee 3 Lite down a great job of keeping our house comfortable, but it's now going to save us even more money on our electrical bill. Ecobee has teamed up with utility company Xcel Energy for a program called AC Rewards in which the utility can remotely control the thermostat on high-demand hot summer days to reduce electrical loads.

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Review: Elgato Eve Motion HomeKit-Compatible Motion Detector

Review: Elgato Eve Motion HomeKit-Compatible Motion Detector

As part of our continuing coverage of the Internet of Things, Apple World Today tries to take the pain out of selecting HomeKit accessories by testing and reviewing them so that readers don’t get unexpected surprises. Today we’re looking at the HomeKit-compatible Elgato Eve Motion, a US$49.95 wireless motion detector that can be used as part of an overall HomeKit automation plan for your home.

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ecobee3 lite smart thermostat: HomeKit-compatible, stylish and intelligent

ecobee3 lite smart thermostat: HomeKit-compatible, stylish and intelligent

As part of our continuing coverage of the so-called "Internet of Things" and Apple HomeKit, Apple World Today recently had the opportunity to do a hands-on review of the ecobee3 lite smart thermostat ($169, affiliate link). This thermostat is a lower-cost alternative to the new ecobee4 smart thermostat with Alexa that was just announced today, and for those who don't want a device "listening" to them all the time, it's perfect.

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Dumb refrigerator, meet Smarter FridgeCam

Dumb refrigerator, meet Smarter FridgeCam

I'm beginning to think that there are some real advantages to the "Internet of Things". Just last night I was getting ready to cook a pasta dish, took some garlic out of the crisper bin, and was disgusted to see that it was quite green and fuzzy. Spoilage is a bad thing, as is not knowing when you're running out of items in your refrigerator. A new smart device from Smarter called the FridgeCam (US$149, available for pre-order) wants to take your old fridge and turn it into much more than just a hiding place for fuzzy garlic.

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Simple automated Christmas lighting with BlissLights, HomeKit and Siri

Simple automated Christmas lighting with BlissLights, HomeKit and Siri

I usually put up my Christmas lights around Thanksgiving, and in the past that has meant putting LED light nets on some shrubs, running a string of lights along the gutter line of the house, and then changing out some security bulbs in the front yard with red and green lights. This year, my travels kept me from doing that so I had to figure out a way to get lighting done in minutes rather than hours. Fortunately, I was able to make the house look festive very quickly with BlissLights laser projectors ($139.00), HomeKit, and Siri.

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Tales from the Internet of Things: My "smart" scale lied to me for a month

Tales from the Internet of Things: My "smart" scale lied to me for a month

We often get reminders of just how bad the "Internet of Things" is. Whether it's a "smart" lightbulb that turns itself on and off randomly, or walking the exact same route each day and getting distances from a connected device that vary up to a tenth of a mile, it's apparent that these devices that are supposed to help our lives are toying with us. Today's example? A connected smart scale that lied convincingly to me and my wife for about a month. 

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Skylink's ATOMS Garage Door Opener boasts IFTTT compatibility

Skylink's ATOMS Garage Door Opener boasts IFTTT compatibility

You're putting together the ultimate smart home, but there's just one piece you haven't figured out yet -- the garage door. Skylink today announced a $299 garage door opener that's designed with compatibility with IFTTT in mind. While it's not Apple HomeKit-compatible, the huge number of channels available on IFTTT means that you can work up some amazing "recipes" that can operate the Skylink ATOMS Garage Door Opener

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Ecobee3 Lite: All the HomeKit compatibility at a lower price

Ecobee3 Lite: All the HomeKit compatibility at a lower price

For those interested in home automation, the Ecobee3 has been an attractive HomeKit-compatible smart thermostat alternative to the non-compatible Nest Thermostat. But there's been one barrier to entry -- the price. Today, Ecobee launched the Ecobee3 Lite for just $169, an $80 cut on the price of the "full-fledged" model.

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Netatmo's Healthy Home Coach works with Apple HomeKit

Netatmo's Healthy Home Coach works with Apple HomeKit

One of the first Internet of Things / Home Automation devices I reviewed years ago was a first-generation indoor/outdoor weather monitor from Netatmo. The company has been spectacularly successful with its reasonably-priced, durable and easy-to-use devices, and now has a complete line of products. Today, Netatmo announced the new Healthy Home Coach ($99), billed as a smart indoor climate monitor that's compatible with Apple's HomeKit framework.

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Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt now works with Apple's Home app

Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt now works with Apple's Home app

Here's a bit of good news for those who are trying to use iOS 10's new Home app to create a Siri-controlled home. Lock and hardware manufacturer Schlage today released an update to its Schlage Sense app that allows the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt lock to work with the Home app. iOS users get push notifications when their deadbolt is locked and unlocked, making it easier to keep an eye on home security. 

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