The Week in Smart Home: Facebook isn't giving up its Portal plans and more

The big smart home headlines from the past seven days

Facebook isn't giving up its Portal plans

It was a mixed bag for Amazon this week. On the one hand, the house of Alexa revealed new versions of the Echo Dot Kids Edition, the child-friendly smart speaker it debuted last year, adding new features, a new design and improved sound.

On the other, it is being sued over Alexa voice recordings involving children, with two cases in the US alleging that the company lacks the required consent to create voiceprints.

Elsewhere, the Wemo 3-Way Light Switch went live, which is HomeKit compatible; Hive unveiled some smart radiator valves; and Samsung's The Luxury TV went on show, measuring up to a whopping 292 inches and boasting an 8K resolution.

Here's everything else you need to know in order to be fully up to speed with all the latest smart home news.

Facebook is planning a Portal sequel

The Week in Smart Home: Facebook isn't giving up its Portal plans and more

Facebook's video assistant-packing Portal range - which isn't actually all that bad - could be getting a revamp this year, with the social network no doubt hoping people may have forgotten that the idea of having a Facebook camera recording their homes is just a terrible, terrible idea.

"We have a lot more that we're going to unveil later in this fall, new form factors that we're going to be shipping," Facebook's VP of AR/VR Andrew Bosworth, told Reuters, during an interview at the Code Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Alexa drops in UK calling

Alexa Calling enables you to make a call or send a message to the Alexa device of anyone in your contacts list and, this week, in partnership with Vodafone, the service went live in the UK.

Interestingly, Vodafone is the first to offer customers the chance to make calls through Alexa by simply linking their phone number to their account. This allows users to call any of their contacts through their existing plan, and it even works if your connected phone has run out of battery.

Find out more on how to use Alexa Drop In, Announcements and Calling on your Amazon Echo speaker.

GE and Jasco team up for Z-Wave assault

The Week in Smart Home: Facebook isn't giving up its Portal plans and more

GE has teamed up with Jasco for the latest line of Enbrighten Z-Wave smart light switches, which include five in-wall configurations, with toggle and paddle styles switches and changeable faceplates.

Jasco and GE have shrunk down the size of the new switches by 20% and introduced SimpleWire technology, with new smart control features including line-load sensing terminals.

“We’re excited to introduce this advanced line of smart controls to Jasco’s robust portfolio of GE-Branded Z-Wave switches and dimmers,” said Cameron Trice, CEO of Jasco. “With the addition of QuickFit and SimpleWire enhancements, our Z-Wave line is filled with the best and most user-friendly smart home options on the market today, making building a smart home easier than ever.”


This week's best deals

Echo Show 5 - Save $40
Echo Show 5 - Save $40
Amazon
$49.99
Fire TV Stick 4K - Save $25
Fire TV Stick 4K - Save $25
Amazon
$24.99
Echo Dot 3rd Gen - Save $27.99
Echo Dot 3rd Gen - Save $27.99
Amazon
$22
Echo Show plus Hue and Dot - Save $70
Echo Show plus Hue and Dot - Save $70
Amazon
$159.99

TAGGED   smart home

Recent stories

smart home ​Hoover Vision smart oven review
smart home Hoover ​AXI washing machine review
smart home How to connect IFTTT with Alexa and Google Assistant

What do you think?

Reply to
Your comment