Can your smart home be used against you in court?

On a November, 2015 morning in Bentonville, Arkansas, first responders discovered a corpse floating in a hot tub. The home’s resident, James Andrew Bates, told authorities he’d found the body of Victor Collins dead that morning. He’d gone to bed at 1 AM, while Collins and another friend stayed up drinking. This past December, The Information… read more »

Meet the tiny phone company that’s making modularity sustainable

With retro phone brands Nokia and Blackberry remerging at Mobile World Congress this year you’d be forgiven for thinking Mistress Fortune was up to her old wheel-spinning tricks again. And as old tech becomes tech news again, it’s a sign — say some — that smartphone innovation is on the scrap heap. But a commoditized smartphone market offers fresh opportunities if… read more »

Disney Research has robots matching verbal styles with kids

Roboticists at Disney Research are investigating how to improve the quality of human-robot interactions by studying how speech patterns affect engagement with a creepy anthropomorphic bot that imitates its playmates’ speech. It’s a natural enough line of research: computer-generated speech and interaction patterns are so wooden across the board that little is expected of them…. read more »

Most consumers not being turned on by connected home, study finds

Connected homes aren’t yet sparking interest beyond the early adopter crowd, according to survey of nearly 10,000 consumers in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia conducted by Gartner. Across the polled regions the analyst found that only about 10 percent of households currently have connected home solutions. Meanwhile, three-quarters of respondents to the online poll indicated they are in… read more »

The Sonos Playbase sits comfortably under your TV

While all-in-one soundbars are popular with folks who have their TVs mounted to the wall, what about the few and the brave who have their TVs standing on a table? These people have been thus far out of luck when it came to Sonos but, I’m pleased to report, their luck just changed. The Playbase… read more »

Alleged CIA leak re-demonstrates the dangers of smart TVs

WikiLeaks published today notes on what it alleges are a large set of CIA hacking tools. Among the dump was a tool developed by the CIA and MI5 that attempted to turn certain Samsung smart TVs into remote listening and monitoring devices. It’s called Weeping Angel. Because of Doctor Who. The exploit only targeted certain… read more »

Kuri the adorable smart home robot can now detect your face

Kuri, the smart home robot from Bosch internal startup Mayfield Robotics, won a lot of hearts when it debuted at CES in January. Now, the little domestic bot has gained some new abilities, which should help it win minds, too, when it launches officially to pre-order customers later this year. One of Kuri’s new powers… read more »