It's been all about voice assistants this week, for a change. A mini version of the still-to-be-released Galaxy Home smart speaker with Bixby was revealed, Apple promised to never, ever listen to your Siri recordings again, unless you say so, and facial recognition came to Google Home's new, bigger smart display, the Nest Hub Max.
Not everyone was excited about being caught on camera however. As Ring finally revealed how many police departments its partnered with, privacy groups continued to bang the warning drum that the Amazon-owned company is moving us toward a surveillance state.
For the rest of the smart home news that mattered, read on.
Philips Hue's Fugato smart lighting spotted
Leaked images of Philip's Hue's new Fugato Spotlight smart lights appeared on German smart lighting blog SmartLights.de this week. The ceiling-based lights will apparently feature all the colors of Philips Hue's rainbow, plus Bluetooth support, which was announced recently for all its A19 bulbs and is quickly spreading to the entire line. Reports indicate that the spotlights will be available next month from ‚ā¨89.95.
Hue has had a banner year for products, with the launch of its outdoor line earlier this year and a huge range of new products rumored to be coming later this year. With IFA just around the corner we're sure there'll be a lot more to spot from the popular smart lighting brand.
Nuki launches smart lock solution for apartment buildings
Apartment dwellers have largely been left out of the smart home revolution, aside from a few light bulbs, plugs, and occasional door locks. But Austrian smart lock maker Nuki is looking to change that, and just announced an innovative new lock solution specifically designed for apartment buildings (or flats).
The Nuki Opener turns existing intercoms into smart entry systems. It works alongside the Nuki Smart Lock, granting residents completely keyless access from the street to their flat. The Opener works by triggering the door buzzer, and is designed to be a retrofit solution that should take just 15 minutes to install.
A release date and price have not been announced.
Redmi's massive, inexpensive smart TV
Xaomi brand Redmi has unveiled its first smart TV, beating the highly anticipated OnePlus TV to market. Now available for pre-order in China, the Redmi TV 70‚ÄĚ offers 4K and sports a minimalist design, 2GB ram, and 16GB storage, as well as compatibility with 2.4G/5G dual-band WiFi for just $530 (although US availability has not been confirmed). A Bluetooth-enabled remote utilizes voice commands to control the TV or other compatible smart devices with Xiaomi's smart assistant XiaoAI.
Xiaomi‚Äôs smart TVs are the number one seller in mainland China and within the top 5 globally.
Leeo smart alert puts out a call for help
An email from the founders of Leeo, a smart alert device that listens for smoke alarms in your home, raised the alarm among its customers that the company is running out of money and will shut down next month if a buyer can't be found.
"If we cannot find a buyer with an interest in maintaining the Smart Alert network, we will have no choice but to shut the Smart Alert network down as we wind down the operations of the company," said the company in its email. "Presently we expect to have enough money to continue to run the Smart Alert network through September 30, 2019."
After that date, if there's no rescue, Leeo devices will stop being controllable through the accompanying smart phone apps and will essentially become just a basic LED nightlight, with no connected features. Citing the growing costs of maintaining a smart network and a lack of revenue from its existing subscriber base, Leeo's imminent demise could be a warning that cloud-based smart home devices may be on shaky ground.