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Audi's Smart Energy Network will lower your reliance on the power grid

Audi's Smart Energy Network will lower your reliance on the power grid

By Max Langridge

German car manufacturer Audi has announced it will carry out a trial project for a new Smart Energy Network in its home city of Ingolstadt and the Zurich area. The Smart Energy Network is a system comprising stationary batteries (installed somewhere like... Read more

What is Amazon Echo Connect and how does it make calls?

What is Amazon Echo Connect and how does it make calls?

By Elyse Betters

Amazon has a new Echo accessory that turns your Echo speaker into a voice-controlled speakerphone.It's called Echo Connect. Before it came along, you could only make calls from one Echo speaker to another Echo speaker, kind of like an intercom system.... Read more

What is Amazon Echo Look and how does it work?

What is Amazon Echo Look and how does it work?

By Elyse Betters

Echo Look is one of the newest additions to Amazon's line of Echo-branded devices, and it's also one of the quirkiest.Each Echo device has a different form factor and is best suited to a specific environment - whether you're at home and want to listen... Read more

Apple HomeKit and Home app: What are they and how do they work?

Apple HomeKit and Home app: What are they and how do they work?

By Elyse Betters

HomeKit is basically Apple’s framework for home automation. Apple wants to make it easier for smart accessories - like Philips Hue lights, Wink lights, and other smart speakers, thermostats, detectors, plugs, blinds, locks, sensors and so on - to communicate... Read more

Nissan Energy Solar is an all-in-one solar panel power management system for homes

Nissan Energy Solar is an all-in-one solar panel power management system for homes

By Max Langridge

Nissan has entered the solar panel market with Nissan Energy Solar. More than just some solar panels to fix on your roof, Energy Solar is a complete energy management system that includes a storage system that lets you decide when to use any stored power... Read more

Amazon Virtual Dash Buttons are free and available for all Prime members to use

Amazon Virtual Dash Buttons are free and available for all Prime members to use

By Rik Henderson

Dash Buttons have been around for a few years now, enabling you to instantly order a product on Amazon through the click of a connected, physical button.Each Button costs a small sum which essentially goes towards your first order.Now Amazon has expanded... Read more

Google Home Max review: Turning smart-home sound quality up to 11
4.0 stars

Google Home Max review: Turning smart-home sound quality up to 11

By Elyse Betters

Google has a difficult task: it needs to steal your attention - or rather, your ears and voice - from the competition, as the world of smart home and voice-controlled tech products continues to hot up. These days it's not just Amazon with its Echo line... Read more

Amazon Echo Spot initial review: Smart alarm clock or so much more?

Amazon Echo Spot initial review: Smart alarm clock or so much more?

By Stuart Miles

Amazon revealed the new Echo Spot as it mades a major refresh across its portfolio of Echo devices. Not only is there a new Echo and the enhanced Echo Plus, but the addition of the Echo Spot sees a diversification that takes Alexa into another room... Read more

Amazon Echo vs Echo 2 vs Echo Plus vs Echo Tap vs Echo Dot vs Echo Show vs Echo Spot: What's the difference?

Amazon Echo vs Echo 2 vs Echo Plus vs Echo Tap vs Echo Dot vs Echo Show vs Echo Spot: What's the difference?

By Elyse Betters

Amazon's Echo lineup is insane at this point, spanning smart speakers, video devices and new Alexa Gadgets. And now the Echo Spot has also been announced for the UK (it was already in the US).The Echo family of products has grown rapidly over the last... Read more

Amazon Echo Spot now available in the UK, pre-order today for £119

Amazon Echo Spot now available in the UK, pre-order today for £119

By Chris Hall

The missing piece of the Echo puzzle - the Echo Spot - is now available to pre-order in the UK. The little brother to the Echo Show, the Echo Spot makes for a perfect bedside companion. See the Echo Spot on Amazon UK  Announced alongside the refreshed... Read more

The best new Alexa devices 2018: AI-powered TVs, fridges, mirrors and more

The best new Alexa devices 2018: AI-powered TVs, fridges, mirrors and more

By Adrian Willings

With the ever-increasing popularity of Amazon Echo smart speakers, it's no surprise to see more and more companies jumping on the bandwagon and releasing devices with Alexa.CES 2018 has been and gone and Alexa powered devices were announced in their droves.... Read more

What is Google Home, how does it work, and where can you buy it?

What is Google Home, how does it work, and where can you buy it?

By Elyse Betters

Google wants to embed itself in your home, to one-up Amazon.You see, Amazon has sold its Echo speaker, complete with its voice-controlled personal assistant, Alexa, since 2014. Google followed that up with its own Google Home in 2016. Google Home is a... Read more

How Philips Hue Entertainment can improve your movies, TV and gameplay

How Philips Hue Entertainment can improve your movies, TV and gameplay

By Rik Henderson

Philips Hue is a great lighting system for adding ambience to a room, either in colour or shades of white, all from a handy iOS or Android app. You can even use a voice assistant, such as Siri or Alexa, to change the scene.It can make for amazing, almost... Read more

Philips Hue outdoor lighting range planned for this summer

Philips Hue outdoor lighting range planned for this summer

By Rik Henderson

The Philips Hue smart lighting range has been growing rapidly over the last few years, with different types of lamps and bulbs being added to the basic starter kits that originally launched.One area it needed to expand into though has always been outdoors.... Read more

LG has its own Google Assistant smart display speaker in the LG ThinQ WK9

LG has its own Google Assistant smart display speaker in the LG ThinQ WK9

By Rik Henderson

Although it announced plenty of products and an entirely new connected appliance and product line-up in its ThinQ AI range, LG was strangely quiet about the LG ThinQ WK9 during CES 2018. Indeed, it has appeared on its US product website without much of... Read more

Google Assistant on smart displays: What devices are there and what will they offer?

Google Assistant on smart displays: What devices are there and what will they offer?

By Cam Bunton

The race to be everywhere in your home is on, and as it stands, the competition is between Google and Amazon. With Echo and Google Home, smart speakers are starting to make their way into people's homes.That's not the only way these two companies want... Read more

Best smart home devices of CES 2018: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant everywhere

Best smart home devices of CES 2018: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant everywhere

By Adrian Willings

Along with a wealth of new televisions, laptops and other tech, CES is increasingly packed with connected devices for the home. This year it's all about Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant with a multitude of new devices including the voice assistants. We're... Read more

Microsoft confirms Cortana isn't going anywhere, will appear in more devices in 2018

Microsoft confirms Cortana isn't going anywhere, will appear in more devices in 2018

By Max Langridge

With all the new product announcements at CES 2018 that incorporate Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, you may be wondering where Microsoft Cortana has gone.We recently saw it appear in the gorgeous Johnson Controls JCI Glas thermostat and Qualcomm has... Read more

Facebook is making an Echo Show-like video chat device called Portal

Facebook is making an Echo Show-like video chat device called Portal

By Elyse Betters

Facebook might be getting into the hardware business.According to a report from Cheddar's Alex Heath, Facebook has developed a video chat device. It's called Portal, and it's meant to compete with Amazon’s Echo Show and other Echo devices. Facebook... Read more

Whirlpool devices to support Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Dash Buttons and more

Whirlpool devices to support Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Dash Buttons and more

By Adrian Willings

In the midst of CES 2018, home appliance manufacturer Whirlpool has announced a number of new products which feature smart integration or collaboration with other services aimed at improving consumer experiences. This includes everything from voice command... Read more

Echo Show vs Lenovo Smart Display vs JBL Link View: New year, new smart display devices

Echo Show vs Lenovo Smart Display vs JBL Link View: New year, new smart display devices

By Chris Hall

While Amazon's Alexa is liberally stamping itself all over the world of technology, the fight isn't yet over, with Google staging what might look like the defence of Rorke's Drift. The announcement of new Google Assistant-equipped rivals to the Echo... Read more

Nokia Sleep is an under-mattress pad that monitors sleep and works with IFTTT

Nokia Sleep is an under-mattress pad that monitors sleep and works with IFTTT

By Max Langridge

Nokia has introduced a new style of sleep sensor to analyse your sleeping habits at CES 2018. Rather than be a wearable that you wear on your wrist to monitor sleep activity, the Nokia Sleep is a wi-fi enabled pad that slides under your mattress. Best... Read more

Qualcomm Home Hub: Enabling Google Assistant and Cortana smart home hubs for a connected future

Qualcomm Home Hub: Enabling Google Assistant and Cortana smart home hubs for a connected future

By Mike Lowe

In among the swathe of new products at CES 2018 - the world's largest consumer technology show - it's the new Lenovo Smart Display Google Assistant product that's stood out from the crowd, given its clear position to take on the Amazon Echo Show in the... Read more

Lenovo Smart Display offers Google Assistant by voice or touch in 8 and 10-inches

Lenovo Smart Display offers Google Assistant by voice or touch in 8 and 10-inches

By Rik Henderson

Many have taken note of Amazon's success with the Echo Show. Slapping a screen onto an intelligent smart home speaker has worked rather well all things considered.Google, for one, is interested in taking on the Alexa-enabled device with Google Assistant... Read more

JBL Link View speaker with Google Assistant and 8-inch display steals the Show

JBL Link View speaker with Google Assistant and 8-inch display steals the Show

By Rik Henderson

JBL has a few new products lined up for this year's CES consumer electronics trade show, and its Link View speaker has certainly piqued our interested.We've heard of several Amazon Echo Show alternatives that will be coming this year, but the JBL Link... Read more

Lenovo Smart Display initial review: Google Assistant takes on the Amazon Echo Show

Lenovo Smart Display initial review: Google Assistant takes on the Amazon Echo Show

By Mike Lowe

It was only a matter of time before Google answered Amazon's call in the screen-based smart home market. The Lenovo Smart Display is exactly that: the first Google Assistant device to directly take on the Amazon Echo Show.We highly doubt that Lenovo will... Read more

Samsung: 'All our devices will be connected and intelligent by 2020'

Samsung: 'All our devices will be connected and intelligent by 2020'

By Dan Grabham

Samsung says all its devices will not only be connected by 2020, they will be intelligent. Announcing the 2020 "intelligence of things" on stage at CES 2018, Samsung said its key aim was to bring better connected experiences for people.Samsung first announced... Read more

LG ThinQ: Everything you need to know about LG's smart platform

LG ThinQ: Everything you need to know about LG's smart platform

By Rik Henderson

At CES 2017, LG announced DeepThinQ, its own artificial intelligence technology to be employed in smart, connected home appliances. A year later, during CES 2018 in Las Vegas, it launched an all-new range of products under the name LG ThinQ.But what... Read more

Ring expands line-up with new Stick Up Cam security cameras and Beams lighting

Ring expands line-up with new Stick Up Cam security cameras and Beams lighting

By Rik Henderson

Ring, the company behind the successful smart doorbells and other connected security products, has announced new devices coming to the US in March and other regions later this year.There will be two new Stick Up Cam security cameras and a series of outdoors... Read more

Swann taking on Ring, new Smart Video Doorbell unveiled

Swann taking on Ring, new Smart Video Doorbell unveiled

By Cam Bunton

Swann has announced today that it's bringing a brand new product to the market. The Smart Video Doorbell will seek to compete with the likes of the Ring Video Doorbell and the Nest Hello.  Nest Hello vs Ring Video Doorbell vs Doorbell 2 vs Doorbell Pro:... Read more

Samsung Family Hub smart fridge adds Bixby and SmartThings control for 2018

Samsung Family Hub smart fridge adds Bixby and SmartThings control for 2018

By Rik Henderson

Samsung will be continuing its Family Hub refrigerator range into 2018, with the addition of new smart features as it comes under attack from the LG Instaview ThinQ rival.Like models from previous years, the Samsung Family Hub features a large touchscreen... Read more

The Elgato Eve Button is an in-room control for your Apple HomeKit scenes and devices

The Elgato Eve Button is an in-room control for your Apple HomeKit scenes and devices

By Dan Grabham

Elgato has announced the Eve Button at CES 2018. It’s a device that can control your Apple HomeKit devices without you needing to use the Home app on your iOS device.The $50 device (around £37) is around 5cm square and works off a watch battery and... Read more

LG InstaView ThinQ fridge has 29-inch display, Alexa and tops smart kitchen appliance line-up

LG InstaView ThinQ fridge has 29-inch display, Alexa and tops smart kitchen appliance line-up

By Rik Henderson

After announcing its new ThinQ range prior to CES 2018, LG has revealed some of the smart kitchen appliances that will feature AI and other smart, connected features.There are ovens and a dishwasher, but the highlight is undoubtedly this year's Instaview... Read more

You can pre-order that beautiful GLAS Cortana thermostat in March

You can pre-order that beautiful GLAS Cortana thermostat in March

By Elyse Betters

Look out, Nest. Microsoft is coming at you with its own Cortana-powered thermostat, and it'll be available for preorder this spring.Microsoft announced last summer that it partnered with Johnson Controls on a thermostat called GLAS. The company previewed... Read more

Hive View camera detects movement or sound to keep your Hive home safe

Hive View camera detects movement or sound to keep your Hive home safe

By Chris Hall

Hive View is the second camera from the British Gas smart home brand. After a fairly generic offering with the first Hive Camera, the Hive View looks a lot better considered, bringing some unique features to your smart home.The Hive View, firstly, has... Read more

Amazon's next device? A mirror for trying virtual clothes, patent hints

Amazon's next device? A mirror for trying virtual clothes, patent hints

By Elyse Betters

You have to admit it: Amazon isn't afraid to dream.It had the foresight to develop Echo speakers, as well as the Alexa assistant, and then it opened up the Alexa platform up to developers and manufacturers. Now, we have Alexa everywhere, and in a range... Read more

Roku will power new smart speakers with its own OS and voice assistant

Roku will power new smart speakers with its own OS and voice assistant

By Elyse Betters

Roku has some major moves planned for 2018.The California-based streaming media company announced it will grow its licensing program from things like TVs to soundbars and smart speakers, and, as part of this effort, it will also launch a voice assistant... Read more

GE made a smart ceiling light that doubles as an Alexa speaker

GE made a smart ceiling light that doubles as an Alexa speaker

By Elyse Betters

GE wants to help flesh out your smart home.It is announcing new Wi-Fi-connected products for its C by GE smart lineup. The new devices all have built-in microphones, allowing you to directly control them via Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant (no smart... Read more

Mega deal: Get 3 Google Home Minis for just £99

Mega deal: Get 3 Google Home Minis for just £99

By Adrian Willings

Christmas may have come and gone, but if you're sad you didn't get the Google Home device you were hoping for under your Christmas tree then worry no more. There are deals to be had still, so why not treat yourself? Online retailer Currys/PC World currently... Read more

How to set up and use Drop In on Amazon Echo devices

How to set up and use Drop In on Amazon Echo devices

By Elyse Betters

Christmas is done and that likely means you have new Echo devices.Whether you have an Echo speaker or an Echo with a screen, you can take advantage one of Amazon's coolest Alexa features: Drop In. With Drop In, you're able to instantly connect to any... Read more

Got an Amazon Echo for Christmas? Here's how to get music playing for £3.99 a month

Got an Amazon Echo for Christmas? Here's how to get music playing for £3.99 a month

By Max Langridge

With Amazon recently refreshing its Echo lineup and offering some decent discounts before Christmas, there's a good chance you found one underneath your Christmas tree this year. Now that you've stuffed yourself silly with turkey and done the rounds with... Read more

Google Home bargains: Unmissable Google Home and Google Home Mini deals

Google Home bargains: Unmissable Google Home and Google Home Mini deals

By Chris Hall

Google is keeping the Christmas deals going until 2018. Not only is the company offering movie rentals from 99p, it's also carrying on the device discounts too. The Google Home smart speaker is currently discounted to £89 (or $79) from the original... Read more

Amazing Echo bargains: Post-Christmas deals on the Amazon Echo Dot

Amazing Echo bargains: Post-Christmas deals on the Amazon Echo Dot

By Adrian Willings

Christmas is over now and if you didn't find an Amazon Echo device under your Christmas tree then you might be disappointed. There's no need to fret though as Amazon is running post-Christmas sales so there's still a chance to snap up a bargain.Amazon... Read more

Amazon Echo: First things you should do to get started with Alexa

Amazon Echo: First things you should do to get started with Alexa

By Adrian Willings

Your Amazon Echo has just arrived and you might have glanced at the quick-start guide, but beyond the basic setup, do you know what Alexa can do or what services you want to integrate with your device?Read on as we run through our list of the top things... Read more

Doubling up on Alexa: How to use multiple Amazon Echo and Dots

Doubling up on Alexa: How to use multiple Amazon Echo and Dots

By Adrian Willings

Amazon is pushing the Echo and Echo Dot hard, in a bid to dominate the connected home market before too many players - like Google - can catch up.The Amazon Echo got off to a flying start, establishing itself as one of the hottest smart home devices,... Read more

Amazon Echo tips and tricks: The ultimate guide to Alexa

Amazon Echo tips and tricks: The ultimate guide to Alexa

By Elyse Betters

The Amazon Echo needs no introduction, that gateway to a world of connected fun. Posing as a cylindrical speaker, the Amazon Echo is was one of the hottest gadgets of 2016, and with a continuously expanding set of Alexa skills, it's a hot product for... Read more

16 fun things to ask Alexa this Christmas

16 fun things to ask Alexa this Christmas

By Rik Henderson

Considering the amazing bargains on Amazon Echo speakers during Black Friday and on the build-up to Christmas, you may well have treated yourself or a loved one to an Echo, Echo Plus or another Alexa-enabled device already.Or you might be hoping to find... Read more

Doubling up on Google Home: How and why to use multiple Google Home devices

Doubling up on Google Home: How and why to use multiple Google Home devices

By Adrian Willings

Not to be left behind, Google is pushing hard with the company's various smart home speaker devices - the Home, Mini and Max. Although perhaps not currently popular as the Amazon Echo line-up, these are smart AI-assistant devices that should not be overlooked... Read more

Amazon Echo Buttons are available in the UK, order now for Christmas party fun

Amazon Echo Buttons are available in the UK, order now for Christmas party fun

By Chris Hall

The Amazon Echo Buttons are the first "Alexa Gadgets", a fun accessory for your Echo that will let you play interactive games. They were initially announced for the US, but Amazon.co.uk is now offering them for the UK too.Priced at £19.99 a pair in... Read more