TESTED: Smart Home Automation – Comparing Apple HomeKit vs Samsung SmartThings Hub vs Wink Connected Home Hub vs INSTEON Hub Pro vs Amazon Echo vs Belkin WeMo

Shopping for smart home automation products can feel a bit like having lunch at a buffet.  You can be easily overwhelmed by too many options to pick from, feeling unsure about what will taste good together.  But unlike a fixed-price all-you-can-eat buffet, these smart home devices can get really expensive, really fast, so choosing the right ones is quite important.  In this article we’ve taken on the task of taste-testing all these delicious pieces of technology for you, to provide you a curated review of what works, and what doesn’t.  Check out the BEST HOME AUTOMATION PLATFORMS as we compare Apple HomeKit vs Samsung SmartThings, vs Wink Connected Home Hub vs Insteon Hub Pro vs Amazon Echo vs Belkin WeMo, and much, much more!

Continue reading TESTED: Smart Home Automation – Comparing Apple HomeKit vs Samsung SmartThings Hub vs Wink Connected Home Hub vs INSTEON Hub Pro vs Amazon Echo vs Belkin WeMo

How to harness IFTTT-like event Triggers with Apple HomeKit in iOS 9

To make the most out of your smart home experience you need the perfect blend of hardware and software.  Up until recently, the software you would use with HomeKit devices was limited by Apple’s iOS 8 short-comings.  Thankfully Cupertino fixed most of that with the recent release of iOS 9, but no developer has taken the time to harness all this potential power.  Now, thanks to a new app called Home by Mattias Hochgatterer, we can finally build the smart home of our dreams!

Continue reading How to harness IFTTT-like event Triggers with Apple HomeKit in iOS 9

FOLLOW-UP: Home Automation – Wink Relay & Wink Hub, Staples Connect D-Link Hub, and Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge – Plus Schlage Connect, Aeotec, Fibaro, and more!

In my second large installment of home automation, testing continues on finding the perfect balance between reliability and user interface.  Mixing a wide variety of devices on multiple platforms I continued to seek the best aggregating hub on the market today.  Can we finally call someone the winner, or is this still a work in progress?  My testing this time around included the new Wink Relay, putting that to the test with the Wink Hub versus Staples Connect’s new D-Link Hub.  Also deeper testing was performed on the Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge.  And finally, I added some new hardware such as the Schlage Connect door locks, flood and tamper sensors from Aeotec and Fibaro, and more!

Continue reading FOLLOW-UP: Home Automation – Wink Relay & Wink Hub, Staples Connect D-Link Hub, and Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge – Plus Schlage Connect, Aeotec, Fibaro, and more!

QUICK LOOK: Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Opener and Rachio IRO Smart Irrigation Controller

During my recent testing of various smart home lighting products I also stumbled upon two VERY cool little devices that upgraded me to Home v2.0 — here is a quick look at those two devices.  Let’s check out the Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Opener and Rachio IRO Smart Irrigation Controller.

Continue reading QUICK LOOK: Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Opener and Rachio IRO Smart Irrigation Controller

Belkin WeMo: Making the Switch to a Smart Home

Inside your home you probably have a plethora of electronic devices that each have their own little computing brain inside.  Each device serves its intended function, without concern or awareness for the other devices around your house.  Now imagine if they could all talk to each other, and “make [your] life easier, simpler, better.”  That’s the claim Belkin makes of their WeMo line of home automation devices.

Continue reading Belkin WeMo: Making the Switch to a Smart Home