Harsha Nagaraju

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TP-Link squeezed a smart home hub into its new mesh WiFi router

Mesh WiFi routers are no longer all that special, so how do you stand out? If you're TP-Link, you roll in a smart home hub. It just introduced a Deco M9 Plus router that builds on last year's model with a hub for ZigBee- and Bluetooth-based devices like light bulbs and thermostats. If you're not …

Wi-Fi

August announces Alarm.com partnership to make its door lock even smarter

August's Smart Lock Pro is a popular option for those looking to add a connected front door lock to their smart home setup, and now it's getting even …

Home Automation

Amazon launches an Alexa system for hotels

Alexa is coming to your hotel room. Amazon this morning is announcing a new program called Alexa for Hospitality, designed to bring its voice assistant technology to everything from chain hotels to vacation rentals. The system can be customized to include key guest information, like checkout time …

Hospitality

8 things you should do with Google Home right now

Google Assistant is a powerful tool, with hundreds (if not thousands) of ways to use it. Built into every Google Home ($129 at Dell Home) speaker, it can help you around the house and deliver answers for pretty much any question you throw at it.<p>But if all you've done since getting a Google Home …

Google

How Ring went from Shark Tank reject to Amazon’s $1B acquisition

Just five years ago, wireless doorbell company, Doorbot — now Amazon’s billion-dollar Ring — was a team of eight struggling to make ends meet in CEO Jamie Siminoff’s Pacific Palisades garage. Desperate for investment, Siminoff took a gamble and applied for season five of ABC’s ‘Shark Tank,’ where …

CES

Only 6% of smart speaker owners using them to control smart home devices

A new survey of smart speaker owners found that only 6% of them are currently using the device to control smart home devices like lighting and heating.<p>Interestingly, even for HomePod – which is a very music-focused device – playing music was only the third most common use …<p>The IHS Markit study …

Smart Homes

Amazon launches Alexa for Hospitality to bring voice-enabled services to hotel guests

Amazon has announced a new program designed to help hotels deploy Alexa’s voice-enabled smarts across their properties.<p>Though Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo speakers are growing in popularity across the domestic realm — helping users control their doors, lights, and search the web using nothing but …

Hospitality

Google will fix Home and Chromecast bug that reveals your location

Don't look now, but your Google Home speaker or Chromecast could give away your whereabouts... for a little while, that is. Google has promised a fix for an authentication vulnerability that lets attackers obtain your location using the company's devices as a conduit. While the necessary Home app …

Android News

Garmin's Fenix 5 Plus watches help you survive mountain climbing

Garmin is no stranger to catering to fans of specific sports with its GPS watches. Its latest wristwear, however, takes that devotion to another level. It's upgrading its Fenix 5 outdoor watches with the Fenix 5 Plus series, whose star attraction is a new Pulse Ox Acclimation sensor that gauges …

Fitness Technology

A Guide to Complete Home Automation Systems

For the homeowners who want a single smart home solution<p>Adding intelligence to your house can be an intimidating enterprise, involving a multitude of …

Home Automation

Nest drops price of its home security system to $400

One of the main knocks against Nest’s comprehensive smart home security system, the Nest Secure, has been its high cost. Today, that price is dropping by $100 from $499 to $399. It’s still not cheap by any means, but Nest is taking a nice chunk off of the original list price. The lower MSRP is now …

Home Automation

Google Home can now speak in Spanish dialects from US, Mexico, and Spain

One of the most impressive aspects of Google Home and Assistant is the realistic speech that the company achieves. Regardless of language, things sound really natural for the most part. Now, Google is enhancing that for Spanish speakers with support for three new dialects.<p>Google has offered support …

Dialects

Fitbit's first kid fitness tracker is now available

It's still unclear whether kids really need fitness trackers to stay active, but that's not stopping Fitbit. The company's first plunge into kid fitness trackers, Fitbit Ace, has arrived for the summer, and is now on sale. The band was announced earlier this year during Fitbit's launch of the Versa …

Fitness Technology

These Startups Are Using AI and Virtual Reality to Fight Mental Illness

A growing number of Americans suffer from some form of mental illness, yet only a fraction receive treatment. These companies offer a solution.<p>Mental health professionals and entrepreneurs have a message for those suffering from anxiety and depression: You are not alone.<p>That message seems …

Mental Health

News: Epson's Moverio Smartglasses Line Gets Major Upgrades with New SDK and Web-Based Publishing

Electronics maker Epson is courting developers to its Moverio smartglasses with an updated software development kit (SDK) and integration with a …

Augmented Reality

Your Apple Watch fitness workout is about to get way better

Apple announced some great new features for the Apple Watch with WatchOS 5: a Walkie Talkie app, Siri shortcuts and Podcast support. But as someone who uses her Apple Watch mostly for its fitness and workout features, those are the improvements I'm most looking forward to with the new update.<p>Here …

Smartwatches

Navigating Amazon's increasingly complicated collection of Alexa-enabled devices

The Fire TV Cube is just the latest in Amazon's huge collection of Alexa-enabled gadgets.<p>This morning, Amazon announced a new device called the Fire TV Cube. As you might expect, it has Alexa built in, just like the “tens of millions” of other devices made by Amazon and third-party manufacturers …

Smart Homes

Alexa will now take your questions on Apple Watch

Amazon has not launched an Alexa app for watchOS, but new third-party software lets you sideline Siri on your Apple Watch should you prefer the voice of Alexa.<p>The app, Voice in a Can, will also work on iPhone and iPad, though the voice assistant won’t do all the things it does on the Amazon Echo.<p>On …

Apple Watch

Ikea teases a cheaper Sonos speaker

Yup, it’s also a shelf<p>The Sonos and Ikea partnership announced in December is now bearing fruit in the shape of speakers. The non-functional prototypes on display at Ikea’s Democratic Design Days event in Sweden are illustrative examples of what you can expect from Ikea’s new SYMFONISK range. In …

IKEA

Apple is taking mobile AR to the next level

<i>This story was delivered to Business Insider Intelligence Apps and Platforms Briefing subscribers hours before appearing on Business Insider. To be the first to know, please click here.</i><p>Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) — where the tech giant showcases its latest technology and …

Augmented Reality

Dave & Buster's gets multiplayer VR arcades using HTC Vive

If you're curious to try out VR with a buddy, Dave & Buster's is waiting. The longstanding sports bar-arcade-restaurant chain is installing multiplayer VR experiences using HTC Vive hardware, HTC announced Wednesday.<p>VR is coming to 114 Dave & Buster's bars across the US and Canada, using 500 Vive …

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality Adds New Dimension to Employee Recruiting

Virtual reality has generated a lot of headlines in recent years. For HR departments, the most talked-about use case for […]The post Virtual Reality …

Virtual Reality

Marc Jacobs is (un)fashionably late with its first touchscreen watch

At this point in the smartwatch game, it's hard to get excited about yet another Android Wear -- sorry, Wear OS -- device. But that's not stopping Marc Jacobs from showing up fashionably late to the party. The designer's new Riley smartwatch ($295) is its first with a touchscreen display and runs …

Wear OS

Lenovo Explorer Mixed Reality follows the crowd down to $200

The latest version of Lenovo's Explorer Windows Mixed Reality headset system has been toddling along at $400 until today, when it was spotted in the Microsoft Store for half off at $200.<p>Mixed Reality headsets aren't exactly flying off the shelves, and prices dropped significantly in January to help …

Augmented Reality

Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant reportedly joining Cortana on Xbox One

Though many Xbox One owners had already moved on from Kinect by the time it become obsolete, Microsoft never introduced a genuine alternative to take …

Google Assistant

Smart wearables market seeing substantial growth while basic wearables continue decline

While it’s no surprise here, smartwatch sales are growing at a rapid pace, while traditional “dumb” watches are seeing a decline.<p>As reported by <i>IDC</i>, Apple and other smart wearable devices saw an increase of 28.4% in device shipments in Q1 2018, while the traditional wearable market saw a steep 9.2% …

Wearable Tech

The Marc Jacobs Riley Touchscreen is a smartwatch for the fashion conscious

• Marc Jacobs has unveiled a new smartwatch called the Marc Jacobs Riley Touchscreen.<br>• The watch is available in black and rose gold and is powered by Wear OS.<br>• The watch joins the Marc Jacobs Hybrid Smartwatch series that the brand released last year.<p>Mark Jacobs has unveiled a new Wear OS smartwatch …

Wear OS

How to pair a Fitbit Versa with a new phone

Upgrading to a new phone is always an exciting time, but the maintenance that comes with it can sometimes be a hassle — especially when you need to …

Fitbit

Fitbit has shipped over 1 million Versa smartwatches in just under two months

• Fitbit has shipped more than 1 million Versa smartwatches in less than two months.<br>• This is in contrast to the first Fitbit smartwatch, the Ionic, which the company said did not reach sales targets.<br>• The Versa is around $100 cheaper than the Ionic and has a new — some would say better — design.<p>Fitbit …

Fitbit

Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod or Google Home: which is smarter about playing music? We tested them

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — There are so many things Siri can't do, but if you ask Apple's personal digital assistant to play you the latest Ed Sheeran album on the HomePod speaker, tell you when it was released and give you a little information about the top-selling musical performer, Siri is …

Amazon Echo