smart home Archives - Stuff

smart home

Amazon finally answers how many Alexa devices have been sold

Amazon has finally revealed how many Alexa devices have been sold, handing out the figure before the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2019) kicked off in Vegas this week. This is pretty momentous on its own, as Amazon has dodged the question in the past. All told, more than 100 million Alexa devices have been sold. Amazon revealed that they have sold 100 million Alexa devices — an impressive f...[Read More]

Digital assistants like Alexa and Siri might not be offering you the best deals

Your home digital assistant is always listening. But is it always offering you the best content, the cheapest deals, and the right search results? Digital assistant devices such as Alexa, Google Home, Siri and Cortana are increasingly prevalent. These devices listen for every command, their platforms know where you are, and they have a deep and evolving understanding of your preferences. But there...[Read More]

Smart home tech can reduce your household bills

We all know the age-old tips and tricks about cutting down on household bills, from switching lights off in rooms you aren’t occupying, and installing LED light bulbs, to not letting your taps run while you brush your teeth. But thanks to the ever-evolving world of technology, we can supplement these well-known practices with a few pieces of smart home tech that can help us save money in the long ...[Read More]

One reason people install smart home tech is to show off to their friends

Ever wondered what all the fuss is about when it comes to smart homes? You’re not alone. While the idea of networked entertainment systems, automated security, mood lights and voice-controlled thermostats is popular, uptake of smart home technologies has been lower than anticipated. Some researchers say this is because of affordability and installation challenges. Others claim it’s because smart h...[Read More]

Is there an Echo in here? Amazon has announced a whole list of new smart tech

Amazon isn’t normally one for surprises, but last night the online shopping juggernaut dropped the details on a whole lot of new Alexa-enabled Echo gear, from revamped Dots to an in-car Alexa device, and even an Amazon-branded microwave. Though Alexa isn’t officially supported here in South Africa, we remain ever hopeful that we’ll be able to make use of Amazon’s smart home...[Read More]

Do I want an always-on digital assistant listening in all the time?

The smart device market is exploding. Smart home kits for retrofitting “non-smart” houses have become cheaper. Earlier this year, Apple released the HomePod speaker, the company’s response to dominant smart devices Google Home and Amazon Echo. Amazon, too, is expanding its lineup. Recently, it debuted the Amazon Echo Look, promising to make users more stylish. All of these smart devices are equipp...[Read More]

Smart windows could combine solar panels and TVs too

Imagine standing in front of a wall of windows, surveying the view. You hear someone enter the room behind you. You turn. “Welcome,” you say. “Here is the video I wanted to show you.” At the press of a button, the view vanishes and the windows transform into a high-definition TV screen. No, your friend isn’t James Bond, and you aren’t the next Q. Still, even as you watch the video, your window-TV ...[Read More]

Apple HomePod is already losing the smart speaker battle

The war for your digital home is waging. Apple has finally followed Amazon, Google and Microsoft by launching a smart speaker with a voice-controlled artificial intelligence assistant. Yet even though the “HomePod” is another technological marvel, there’s a chance Apple is already losing the battle. The competition isn’t just through the sound quality of the speaker – but the other things that use...[Read More]

Smart speakers could be the tipping point for home automation

One of the biggest trends of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this year was companies taking digital smart assistants – think Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa – and incorporating them into more and more consumer devices. From smart light bulbs to smart toilets, it’s clear that the market sees great promise in devices you can speak to, combined with home devices y...[Read More]

Home runs: The 11 best smart home gadgets of CES 2018

There’s no doubt about it: buoyed by the widespread adoption of Alexa and Google Assistant-equipped kit and flexible platforms like Samsung’s SmartThings and Apple’s HomeKit, smart home tech feels like it’s finally on the cusp of mainstream adoption. After a decade or so of languishing in the consumer tech background, connected home products are getting some proper time in the spotlight – and ther...[Read More]

Moona is a R5,000 pillow that stays at your preferred temperature

Happiness is the cool side of the pillow, as the twee little saying goes. But, like many cliches, there is a hint of truth there. Occasionally a cool pillow against the cheek is just what you need to escape from the day. The question is, are you willing to pay more than R5,000 for it? The folks behind the Moona smart pillow, a project currently being Kickstarted, seem to think so. Their backers al...[Read More]

A day in the life of a smart-city commuter – and why it’s not so far from reality

The alarm on your smart phone went off 10 minutes earlier than usual this morning. Parts of the city are closed off in preparation for a popular end of summer event, so congestion is expected to be worse than usual. You’ll need to catch an earlier bus to make it to work on time. The alarm time is tailored to your morning routine, which is monitored every day by your smart watch. It takes into acco...[Read More]

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