Alexa Now Your Smart Home Assistant As Amazon Echo Adds SmartThings Device Support

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Amazon’s been working hard to improve Alexa, the cloud-based voice service that makes its Echo gadget more than just an ordinary Bluetooth speaker. Back in June, Amazon made available its Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), a collection of self-service APIs and tools that make it easy for developers to improve Alexa’s skill set. Now Amazon is launching a Lighting API for Alexa with the Samsung-owned SmartThings platform jumping on board.

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Insteon + Harmony Control your Insteon home from your Logitech Harmony remote.

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With Harmony and Insteon Hub, integrating Insteon devices into your home theater experience has never been easier.

Thanks to a Harmony action channel on IFTTT, you can trigger Insteon devices through Harmony IFTTT actions. It’s now possible to turn on the lights and set the whole-house audio to background music – and you can trigger it with any supported trigger on IFTTT like location, SMS or Automatic.

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Samsung will start selling SmartThing’s new home automation hubs from next month

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Earlier this year, we reported that Samsung has delayed the release of SmartThings new home automation products till Q3 2015. Now, SmartThings has announced through its blog that its new-generation home automation hubs will be available to purchase starting next month. Interested customers can pre-order the hub from Amazon for $99 to be the first in line to receive the device.

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The history of home automation from the beginning

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That’s a broad topic for a headline, and one that could fill a book. It dates back much further than people think. Thanks to today’s modern technology and graphics, we don’t need to write that book. It’s all laid out before us in a nice infographic that shows the highlights of what you need to know about how we arrived at things like Harmony, Nest, Philips Hue and more.

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How to Choose a DIY Home monitoring System

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Home automation is futuristic. It lets you can control your home remotely from a smartphone or web-enabled device, and energy management solutions in addition to security protection.

If you want to protect your home, business or property against theft and vandalism, a do-it-yourself video monitoring system is an affordable and effective line of defense.

Read more at JIMI Electronic…

Samsung’s new SmartThings home automation Hub ships next month

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Samsung quickly announced a second generation of SmartThings home automation hardware after acquiring the tech for $200 million last year… and then just as quickly delayed their release in March. Fortunately, there’s good news: the new Hub and sensors are just about ready to go and the company says they will go on sale in September. More info is promised in the coming weeks, but interested customers can preorder the $99 Hub from SmartThings or on Amazon to be first in line.

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Digital Horizons – Home Automation in 1985 – with a touchscreen!

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Despite being from the mid-80’s, this is very cool glimpse into the past of home automation. Much of this is very commonly place these days – climate control, lighting control, security system integration, etc. What is really great to see about this system is the user interface, which is integral to any successful home automation system. Back in 1985, touchscreen LCD displays weren’t available, so they used a CRT monitor with a sensors that would track horizontal and vertical position of your finger as it “touched” the monitor, simulating a “press” on the screen. The user interface, while a bit clunky, is very functional and provides quite a lot of features and end-user control. Take a look!

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Logitech Harmony remote gains new home automation integration

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If you haven’t used a Harmony remote then you’re missing out. The device can control almost any object in your home theater. Lately it’s been adding more home automation features as well, and the latest update enhances that aspect of the universal remote.

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