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Guide to the Connected Home

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…

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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…

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4 Smart Home Upgrades for Smooth Entertaining
Getting ready to entertain? The Nativ Vita High-Resolution Music System is a versatile option for easy-to-use music. Image: Nativ.

4 Smart Home Upgrades for Smooth Entertaining

A smart home can be uniquely positioned to create a welcoming atmosphere for guests. Smart home capabilities provide homeowners with the ability to select from a variety of products, all of which can contribute to a fantastic…

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6 Tips for the Road Ahead—to Your Smart Home
Now more than ever, your smartphone and your voice can make you master of your domicile. Smart tech makes sense in your current home or the one you are moving to. Image: iStock.

6 Tips for the Road Ahead—to Your Smart Home

Smart home technology is among the best things to come out of Silicon Valley in recent years. The ability to control your home from your smartphone or with your voice, even when you’re not there, can be…

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9 Parenting Tips to Help Kids Use Smart Tech Safely
Kids are immersed in smart tech from a very early age, and its up to parents to help them safely navigate through it. Image: Patricia Prudente on Unsplash.

9 Parenting Tips to Help Kids Use Smart Tech Safely

Today’s children have the luxury of technology at their fingertips. In an instant, they can download a favorite song or catch up on a friend’s day. The digital world is a huge privilege for them—but it comes…

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Are Smart Homes Normalizing Energy-Efficient Living?
A multitude of energy- and resource-efficient smart-home technologies are becoming mainstream in today's homes, thereby normalizing energy-efficient living. Image: Brian Babb on Unsplash.

Are Smart Homes Normalizing Energy-Efficient Living?

Smart and sustainable homes can offer excellent energy efficiency, curbing energy and resource waste on a global scale. A variety of technologies and applications promote efficiency in smart homes, with light bulbs, thermostats, window coverings, sprinkler controllers,…

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5 Approaches to Make Digital Assistants a Partner in Your Kids’ Education
Voice-controlled digital assistants can be a valuable asset for parents looking to bolster the education of their children. Image: Digitized House Media.

5 Approaches to Make Digital Assistants a Partner in Your Kids’ Education

Your family has a voice-controlled home assistant, but you’re tired of asking silly questions like “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” If you haven’t explored the technology’s ability to help…

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5 Smart Controllers to Elevate Your Garage Door
Do you know if your garage door is open or closed right now? The new generation of smart garage door opener controllers can let you check via your smartphone. Image: Digitized House Media.

5 Smart Controllers to Elevate Your Garage Door

There are smart door locks and intelligent room lights and thermostats, so why not smart garage door controllers, too? As it turns out, you can buy those and there are a growing number to choose from. Here…

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6 Best Smart Irrigation Controllers to Keep Your Lawn Happy
Skydrop Arc Controller. Image: Skydrop.

6 Best Smart Irrigation Controllers to Keep Your Lawn Happy

As the temperatures creep up during the long days of summer, lawns grow thirsty. Even though you might have the best intentions to keep your lawn properly watered and looking lush and green, busy work schedules and…

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Google Assistant expands with dialect upgrades
Science fiction meets science fact. Cinematic droid R2-D2 faces off with a Google Home Mini speaker and Google Assistant. Image: Digitized House Media.

Google Assistant expands with dialect upgrades

As technology progresses, so does the trek toward artificial intelligence (AI). One of the world's most popular AI tools is Google Assistant, which is learning at a fast pace and constantly upgrading. While it understands speech and…

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4 Indoor Air Quality Monitors for a Healthier Smart Home
As the adage goes, you can't manage what you can't measure. That rings true in your home, where smart devices like the uHoo can help you measure and then improve air quality. Image: uHoo.

4 Indoor Air Quality Monitors for a Healthier Smart Home

Do you often wonder why you sneeze a lot indoors or find your allergies flaring up? It could be because there’s room for improvement regarding your home’s interior air quality. There are smart home accessories for almost everything,…

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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…

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Conversations with your walls: iDevices Instinct smart switches to debut
iDevices Instinct smart wall switch. Image: iDevices.

Conversations with your walls: iDevices Instinct smart switches to debut

Aiming to elevate the lowly light switch, connected home accessory company iDevices has announced their Instinct line—smart wall switches with onboard voice activation capabilities. Designed with the Amazon Alexa digital assistant built in, homeowners can issue voice…

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Day 6 of 12 Smart Gifts: Google Home and Google Home Mini speakers
Day 6 of 12 Smart Gifts: The original Google Home speaker. Image: Digitized House.

Day 6 of 12 Smart Gifts: Google Home and Google Home Mini speakers

Maybe we have spent far too much time frequenting the pâtisseries of Paris; every time we see an image of the Google Home Mini voice-activated speaker in coral—a color exclusively available from the Google online store—we instantly…

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Product brief: iDevices Dimmer Switch, smart-home switch hitter
iDevices Dimmer Switch and Connected app

Product brief: iDevices Dimmer Switch, smart-home switch hitter

Designed to appeal to do-it-yourself homeowners as well as professional integrators and builders, smart-home device manufacturer iDevices has released the iDevices Dimmer Switch, an in-wall dimmer that is equally suited for retrofit or new construction installations. As…

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