Tom Kolnowski, Author at Digitized House | Page 3 of 10
Google Home Hub Embraces the Hybrid Connected Home
Google Home Hub aims to be the central command center for your connected home. Image: Google.

Google Home Hub Embraces the Hybrid Connected Home

Making a wager on the existence of connected home life beyond pure voice activation, Google has announced Google Home Hub, a 7-in. touchscreen tabletop display with the Google Assistant built in. As part of the growing Google Home speaker family, the device dutifully processes voice…

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Facebook Bets on Smart Video Calling with Portal Displays
From the new line of hardware from Facebook, the Portal+ features smart two-way video capability on a 15-in. screen. Image: Facebook.

Facebook Bets on Smart Video Calling with Portal Displays

Putting a new face on the social network, Facebook has announced its Portal line of countertop video displays and cameras, designed to enable video calling with Facebook friends or Messenger contacts. Clearly ideated to embrace the video-everywhere mantra of the Menlo Park company, the two-way…

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Google Home Mini Speaker Turns Blue with Aqua Version
The Google Home Mini voice-activated speaker will soon be available in an aqua shade. Image: Google.

Google Home Mini Speaker Turns Blue with Aqua Version

Moving beyond the original chalk, charcoal, and coral versions, the popular Google Home Mini voice-activated speaker has taken a cue from mid-century modern design with a new aqua version. Clad in the same soft fabric as its sister products released last year, the aqua version…

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Ring Branches out with New Stick Up Cams
The first Ring camera that can be used indoors or out, the Stick Up Cam is available in wired (shown), battery, and solar versions. Image: Ring.

Ring Branches out with New Stick Up Cams

In synchronization with product announcements from new parent company Amazon, smart doorbell pioneer Ring brought its own news to the day in the form of a revamped Ring Stick Up Cam. Available in wired, battery, and solar versions, Ring will offer consumers a smart camera…

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Rachio Brings Apple HomeKit and Siri to Irrigation Control
The Rachio 3 Smart Irrigation Controller has been upgraded to support Apple HomeKit. Image: Rachio.

Rachio Brings Apple HomeKit and Siri to Irrigation Control

Filling a gap in the Apple HomeKit home automation ecosystem, Rachio has added HomeKit compatibility to their latest smart irrigation controller, the Rachio 3. The Colorado-based company says this is the first smart irrigation controller with onboard HomeKit firmware. The integration facilitates control with the…

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Yale Connects Its Assure Smart Locks with August App
The Yale Assure Locks - Connected by August line of smart locks integrates Yale touch-screen smart locks with the August app. Image: Yale and August Home.

Yale Connects Its Assure Smart Locks with August App

The first visible fruits of ASSA ABLOY’s acquisition of Silicon Valley smart lock maker August Home in 2017 have reached market, in the form of a new line of locks branded as Yale Assure Locks - Connected by August. Yale, a long-time member of the…

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Future-Proofing Your Smart Home with a Structured Media Enclosure
One of the best ways of future-proofing your new smart home is with a structured media enclosure. Image: Digitized House Media.

Future-Proofing Your Smart Home with a Structured Media Enclosure

A structured media enclosure has become standard fare in many new homes, as production and custom home builders are often including technology wiring packages in their base home feature lists, or offering them as upgrades. These in-wall panels are congregation and access portals for various…

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Control bath humidity with a medium-tech digital fan timer
Designed to replace standard toggle or rocker wall switches, the Eaton Aspire Preset Timer Switch works splendidly with bath fans. Image: Digitized House Media.

Control bath humidity with a medium-tech digital fan timer

As homes are designed and built to be more air tight, mechanical ventilation becomes a necessity. Once a bastion of high-performance green homes, mechanical ventilation systems have made their way into the spec sheets for many production builders. But even in homes with whole-house automated…

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Austin Cool House Tour 2018 a study in smart design
Carter Design Associates and Tensegrity, LLC, exterior shading. Image: Leonid Furmansky.

Austin Cool House Tour 2018 a study in smart design

For residents of Austin, Texas, the 22nd annual Cool House Tour is an opportunity to take in the latest in high-performance residential architecture, encompassing both new construction and remodels across single- and multi-family configurations. These are, well, cool houses that incorporate smart design from the…

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Apple Home app coming to macOS with Mojave upgrade
With the Fall 2018 release of macOS Mojave, the Apple Home app comes to the Mac desktop for the first time. Image: Apple.

Apple Home app coming to macOS with Mojave upgrade

It has been a long time in coming. The Apple Home app—the Cupertino company's elegant interface to Apple HomeKit smart home accessories—is finally coming to the desktop of the Mac with the upcoming Fall 2018 release of macOS Mojave. Until now, the Home app was…

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Your Apple TV is now an AirPlay 2 speaker and HomeKit accessory
Finally, some synergy with Apple HomeKit, Apple TV, and the Home app: With iOS 11.4 and tvOS 11.4, Apple TVs will appear in the Home app and can play AirPlay 2 audio. Image: Digitized House Media.

Your Apple TV is now an AirPlay 2 speaker and HomeKit accessory

Since the launch of Apple iOS 10 and the Home app, Apple TV devices have been stealth-like participants in the Apple HomeKit ecosystem as HomeKit hubs, but have never made an appearance in the Apple Home app itself. That all changed with the release this…

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Italian Firm Nice S.p.A. Takes Majority Stake in Silicon Valley-based Abode Systems
Nice S.p.A. and abode systems will join their global home automation forces. Image: Nice Group USA.

Italian Firm Nice S.p.A. Takes Majority Stake in Silicon Valley-based Abode Systems

The international link-up of connected home products and services companies continued unabated in April, as Italian global home and building automation company Nice S.p.A. took a majority stake in Silicon Valley-based abode systems—a do-it-yourself smart home security start-up. According to the public transaction filing and Italian stock exchange…

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Nest Temperature Sensor enables tailored heating and cooling control
Nest Temperature Sensor (right) pictured with Nest Thermostat E. Image: Nest.

Nest Temperature Sensor enables tailored heating and cooling control

Filling a noticeable gap in their smart thermostat line, Nest Labs has announced the launch of the Nest Temperature Sensor, a remote sensor that works with the Silicon Valley company's 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Thermostat E. The entirely wireless sensor is a…

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Global Internet of Things Day: Join the conversation
April 9 is Internet of Things Day. Image: Digitized House.

Global Internet of Things Day: Join the conversation

Where is the Internet of Things (IoT) headed? One way to find out is to participate in one of the many events conducted during Global Internet of Things Day on April 9, 2018. According to the sponsoring IoT Council: “IoTday is an open invitation to the…

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Automating Window Shades in the Connected Home Era: Part 2
Automating your window shades is easier than ever. These Graber Mezzanine layered shades have onboard Z-Wave motors and work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Image: Digitized House Media.

Automating Window Shades in the Connected Home Era: Part 2

As we wrote in Part 1 of this series, motorized shades and blinds are moving rapidly into the DIY connected home mainstream. You may no longer need to hire a CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) professional or engage with specialized window covering installers…

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Automating Window Shades in the Connected Home Era: Part 1
Graber Layered Shades with Virtual Cord Motorization. Image: Graber.

Automating Window Shades in the Connected Home Era: Part 1

Once a bastion of high-end home automation systems, motorized window shades are moving into the DIY connected home mainstream with product offerings from a number of major window covering manufacturers and big-box home improvement retailers. And if one chooses wisely, shade motorization can be integrated…

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