The big stories of CES 2018 were the sheer number of smart devices, as well as how Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa are poised to become the interfaces that will control these devices in your home. For just about any kind of consumer appliance or gadget—lights, locks, thermostats, air conditioners, blinds, refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers—CES demonstrated that you can find a version that is connected to the internet. And if that's not enough, most of these devices either have a voice assistant built in, or may be controlled by some kind of voice assistant. The move to connected or smart devices isn't a new trend—it's been happening at CES for years, and I have long believed it will take longer to really happen than most people in the industry think. But there was some real progress this year. There were all sorts of connected products at the show—smart speakers were everywhere, and there were plenty of locks, lights, cameras, refrigerators, washers, … [Read more...] about Will Alexa or the Google Assistant Control Your Smart Home?
When it comes to keeping their homes safe, consumers trust smart home security devices to keep them safe, but only 17 percent currently have them installed in their houses, according to a new survey from PCMag. Of the 1,500 people surveyed, 17 percent own smart home security devices; 14 percent either plan to buy one in the near future, or would consider it. About 3 percent said they used to own one but no longer do. When asked what they trust most to keep their houses safe, 34 percent of respondents said smart home security devices. Twenty-five percent said local police patrols, 15 percent said traditional analog locks and alarm systems, 12 percent said their safe, and 11 percent said neighborhood watch groups. When it comes to the benefits of smart home security systems, 48 percent said the peace of mind they offer is the most important draw. Another 29 percent said increased security is the biggest benefit, while 20 percent said it's the ability to remotely monitor their home. As … [Read more...] about Which Smart Home Security Device Do You Trust? Readers Weigh In
Smart technology has the potential to make many of our lives easier, but it can also simplify things for bad actors. One insecure DVR, security camera, or router is all you need to disrupt the internet. As a result, security is top of mind for those investing in smart home devices. Science fiction is full of examples of smart homes turning against us, but even if hackers have not yet created dishwashers that throw knives at us, they can profit off your sensitive information. Even relatively benign data about lights and thermostat settings can signal when a home is empty or, with the aid of smart lock data, who might be home alone. Parks Associates found that there was little difference when it came to concerns about someone controlling smart products uninvited versus accessing the historical data products generate. In both cases, about 60 percent of respondents said they were concerned or very concerned about such issues with only about 20 percent saying that they are not concerned. … [Read more...] about Smart Homes Are Cool, But Are They Safe?
When we reviewed the Momentum 720p Wi-Fi Video Camera last year, we were impressed with its affordability and sharp daytime video quality, but felt its night vision quality and mobile app needed work. The new Momentum Cori HD Smart Home Security Camera is also very affordable ($59.99 for a two-pack), and it delivered sharp day and night 720p video in our tests. The mobile app looks the same, but exhibits none of the quirkiness we saw with the last time, and the camera's motion and sound detection work as advertised. At $30 per camera, the Cori is a good deal for anyone looking to add a measure of security to their home, but our Editors' Choice for affordable home security cameras, the Wyze Cam V2, is a better deal. Design and Features The oval Cori camera has a black finish, measures 4.2 by 2.6 by 2.7 inches (HWD), and weighs just 5.0 ounces. It sits atop a round base that lets you tilt and swivel the camera. There's a mini USB power port and a reset button on the back, and a microSD … [Read more...] about Momentum Cori HD Smart Home Security Camera (2-Pack)
A Smarter Way to Keep Your Home and Your Family Safe The Internet of Things has made it easier than ever to set up a smart home in which you can remotely control your door locks, lights, thermostats, vacuums, lawnmowers, and even pet feeders, using your smartphone and an app. It's also made it simple (and relatively affordable) to monitor your home from pretty much anywhere. Smart security systems are highly customizable and available as do-it-yourself kits or as full-blown setups that include professional installation and monitoring. Depending on your needs you can go with a system that you monitor yourself, or pay a subscription fee to have your home surveilled 24/7 by professionals who will contact your local fire and police departments when alarms are triggered. Of course, the more coverage you have, the more you can expect to pay. If you're not ready for a dedicated security system there are plenty of individual devices available that let you monitor your home from anywhere using … [Read more...] about The Best Smart Home Security Systems of 2018