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Briefly: Google Chromecast backdrops, Honeywell Smart Thermostat in UK

10/09, 8:58am

Google adds backdrop customization options to Chromecast app

Google is starting to enable customizable backdrops for the Chromecast, a feature it first revealed in June. Rolling out from today, owners of the streaming dongle can customize the image feed from the Chromecast app for Android and iOS, including photo albums from Google+, artwork from the Google Cultural Institute, and news images from various publications. More information about an image on display can be brought up by asking the Google search app "What's on my Chromecast?" on any other mobile device on the same network.

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Ecobee introduces smart thermostat with remote sensors, touchscreen

09/17, 3:31pm

Smart thermostat ecobee3 remotely monitors multiple rooms with extra sensors

Thermostat manufacturer Ecobee has unveiled its third-generation device, the ecobee3. Much like other smart thermostats, the ecobee3 is able to work out when is the optimum time to raise or lower the temperature, though this time the unit is able to rely on a network of remote sensors to find out whether a room is occupied or not, as well as the temperature of each area.

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Nest adds support for major home automation systems to devices

09/09, 11:13am

Control4, Creston, RTI, URC work with Nest Protect, Thermostat

Nest Labs has confirmed its range of devices are compatible with a number of major home automation systems. Revealed at CEDIA, the company advised its Learning Thermostat and Protect will work with Control4, Crestron, Remote Technologies Incorporated (RTI), and Universal Remote Control (URC) systems, with Dropcam also joining the list of companies in the Works with Nest program.

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Nest releases public API, backtracks on Google data collection

06/24, 9:10am

New API allows for tighter control, closer peripheral integration with Nest

After nine months gestation, the Nest smart thermostat programmer's API has been released to the public. The cross-platform tool will allow coders on any platform to develop communications and integration tools for the smart device, including bringing new features to it such as geofencing and advanced scheduling tools. Unmentioned in the API documentation is the fact that, contrary to previous statements, Google will collect data from the Nest thermostat and connect its own apps to the product.

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Briefly: Honeywell Pebble thermostat app, Nest Protect back on sale

06/17, 5:16am

Honeywell releases Pebble smartwatch app for remote thermostat control

Honeywell has released an app for the Pebble smartwatch, allowing it to remotely control the company's Evohome smart thermostat. Pocket-Lint reports the app can be used to check the temperature in each zone, as well as to activate a number of thermostat "quick actions," instead of reaching for the smartphone app. The watch face is compatible with both Android and iOS devices, and can be downloaded from the Pebble App Store now.

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Honeywell Lyric smart thermostat takes on Nest with round design

06/10, 10:42am

Lyric thermostat uses smartphone app to activate heating when user returns home

Honeywell is attempting to take on Nest more directly in the intelligent thermostat market, by launching a new round smart thermostat. The Lyric is able to manage the temperature of a home and make adjustments to the heating schedule based on various sensor readings, with the thermostat also using a smartphone app for remote control functions as well as automatically warming the house when it detects the user is returning.

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Briefly: Virgin and Boost offer LG Volt; Tado's Cooling AC thermostat

05/12, 2:50pm

Boost, Virgin Mobile USA add LG Volt to rosters for $200

Boost and Virgin Mobile USA have announced the availability of the new Spark-enabled LG Volt smartphone with unlimited service options plans. The tri-band supported smartphone comes with new, pre-loaded apps that focus on entertainment and productivity, including radio, remote, memo-taking and guest functions. Running Android 4.4 KitKat, the LG Volt features a 4.7-inch IPS display, 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, and an eight-megapixel rear camera. Boost Mobile's Unlimited Select plan start at $40, and Virgin's Mobile Beyond Talk No-Contract plans begin at $35.

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Nest spreads Thermostat to United Kingdom, offers free installation

04/02, 7:17am

Nest adds Heat Link to Thermostat for British boiler compatibility

Nest has opened up sales of its smart Thermostat in the United Kingdom, marking the first time the device has gone on sale outside of the United States and Canada. The smart digital thermostat from the Google-owned company joins the Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector on sale in the country, and could be the sign of a further expansion into Europe.

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EverSense smart thermostat adds Apple's iBeacon technology

01/10, 10:49pm

Competitor to Nest build Aura, iBeacon- and NFC-powered room monitors

Allure Energy, which makes a smart thermostat to compete against the better-known Nest, has used its presence at CES to show off a new add-on to its EverSense system that employs Apple's Bluetooth LE-powered iBeacon technology. The new product, Aura, lets users adjust room temperature by simply coming within range of the iBeacon, such as entering a given room, carrying an iOS device. The system will then adjust the temperature to a pre-determined range.

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Google trialling second attempt at energy monitoring service

12/17, 3:32pm

Trial users being registered for EnergySense service

Google is looking to move into the smart thermostat market, by allegedly starting a trial of an energy monitoring service. Reportedly called EnergySense, the program is said to help users monitor their home energy usage, with Internet-connected thermostats able to automatically adjust the temperature in order to minimize the amount of power used in heating.

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Nest updates iPhone app, adds support for smoke detector

11/15, 1:24am

Makeover includes 'Quiet Time' setting, room naming, Protect compatibility

Nest, a company that makes smart home management electronics and is run by former iPod project manager Tony Fadell, has updated the Nest Learning Thermostat and the iPhone app that can be used to manage it, giving the program a makeover that will match a firmware update rolling out over the next few days. The update revamps many aspects of the current program, adds new features and brings in support for the company's other product, the Nest Protect smoke detector.

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Honeywell adds voice recognition to Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

09/19, 11:15am

Thermostat responds to verbal requests to raise, lower temperature

Honeywell has introduced a new version of its Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat that can be operated hands-free using voice commands. The Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control is able to understand when the homeowner is speaking to it and to follow verbal instructions, thanks to its cloud-based voice recognition system.

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Honeywell debuts color-customizable Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

04/10, 10:44pm

Networkable thermostat boasts touch screen, internal and external sensors

Honeywell today announced the Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat, a networked thermostat that allows design-focused homeowners to customize the display to match or accent existing home decor. In addition, the Honeywell thermostat offers Wi-Fi connectivity that allows consumers to regulate energy usage and home comfort through a smartphone app.

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Briefly: Venstar Wi-Fi thermostat, $50 off Xbox, Peel update

05/16, 6:30pm

Venstar Wi-Fi key for thermostat allows for cloud-based control

Venstar has outed its Skyport Wi-Fi key for the ColorTouch thermostat. The key connects the thermostat to Skyport Cloud Services, run by the company, allowing users to monitor and adjust the thermostat from a phone or tablet. The key is a $100 upgrade to the $300 thermostat, with iOS, Android, and Blackberry apps free to download.

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