Tagged With smart home

Shared from The Sydney Morning Herald

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Typical home upload speeds of less than 1 Mbps mean that bandwidth-thirsty foreign smart home gear is choking in Australian homes.

Australia's broadband blame game tends to focus on download speeds, with growing dissatisfaction over the fact we're not always getting what we paid for. Unfortunately upload speeds get less attention, even though they're proving more amd more important as our appetite for internet-enabled devices grows.

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Temperatures expected to reach above 40 degrees in Sydney today, so here's some advice to keep you from melting into a puddle. It may be tempting to crank the air-con up high and keep your house at sub-arctic temperatures until the weather outside finally cools down, but it's worth thinking about the impact that's going to have on your bill. There are plenty of ways you can cool your house in a more economical way — or, if you can't bear turning off the air conditioner for a minute, we've collected a few tips so that you can use it more economically.

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To say I'm a fan of smart homes is an understatement. Being a renter I'm limited somewhat as to what I can have in my apartment, but that hasn't stopped me from integrating as many smart devices into my environment as humanly possible.

One thing I've discovered a long the way — not only have I saved a lot of effort (regular light switches are for plebs, you guys), but I've saved time, money and kilowatts on my energy bill. Here's my top recommendations for doing the same at your place.

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IFTTT (If This Then That) is now available on the mydlink Home app across a bunch of D-Link's "Connected Home" devices, including Wi-Fi Smart Plugs, Motion Sensors and Wi-Fi Siren. This means you can now create conditional commands and link multiple IFTTT products and apps together for a completely customisable home automation experience.

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Telstra just launched the first products in its Smart Home range of internet-connected wi-fi gadgets — and they promise to make your life "a little bit easier". Whether you want to monitor everything that happens in your house or whether you want to make your appliances a little more energy efficient, Telstra has a widget for that.

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Hidden away in a warehouse theatre in Sydney's Inner West, a stage show with a difference is happening. An improvised re-telling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the actors switching the scene from romantic to sad to action-packed, the mood entirely driven by the colour of the lighting.

And the colour of the lighting is entirely driven by the audience - via Philips Hue.

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The smart home revolution definitely isn't happening overnight. Even with a flood of new devices and platforms available, most of us are still only inching toward fully automated homes. Still, you can take matters into your own hands and speed up the rate of progress with these DIY smart home systems. They're easy to build and most can be up and running in under an hour.

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Amazon recently announced that the Alexa AI powering its Echo and other hardware has now learned 1,000 "skills" (up from just 135 in January). In case you're not up to speed with all the new tricks, we've picked out 40 of our favourites — you can discover the other 960 yourself.

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There are things we all do when we go away. Take out the garbage so the place won't smell on your return. And do whatever you can to make it seem like your house isn't actually empty — put lights on timers, ask friends or neighbours to collect the mail, water plants and put out the bins. But these are awfully 20th century methods of signalling that you're home. You need something smart. Your home needs protection whether you are at home or not.

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Between classic appliance made smart and multiple new types of helpful household robots, smart gadgets are popping up left and right that will make your work around the house a little easier. Whether you prefer to use them individually or as part of a smart home ecosystem, here are some of the best smart household devices on the market — and how they can help you.

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What does your dream home look like? It is a log cabin in the mountains? A sleek design on an ocean cliffside? Whatever the overall look, if you're hoping to integrate smart features that will control the entertainment, lighting and heating systems in your home, maximise energy efficiency or simply have that futuristic edge, here's some inspiration from around the globe.