Nest, the smart-home startup best known for its thermostat, is closing in on some serious cash, according to a new report.
Nest is near the end of a financing round in which it will raise at least $150 million on a $2 billion valuation, Recode's Kara Swisher reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the talks. Nest could raise as much as $200 million on a $3 billion valuation, the site's other sources say.
Over the last few years, Nest has become one of the more popular companies in the smart-home business. The company was founded by Tony Fadell, … Read more
LG has partnered with the free Line messaging app to create a service dubbed HomeChat. HomeChat relies on Natural Language Processing (NLP) to let you send texts to your compatible LG appliances. It works on Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Nokia Asha, and Windows Phone devices as well as OS X and Windows computers.
This is an interesting update, since one major complaint we have about LG's Smart ThinQ line is that the range, the fridge, and the washer/dryer all use different apps. That makes for a fairly chaotic connected experience. Why separate everything when some other brands let you … Read more
That's what Alex Hawkinson, chief executive of SmartThings, envisions. His startup makes a family of Internet-connected devices for the home. SmartThings also runs a platform service that helps people remotely control all of the other disparate devices made by different companies that are beginning to make their way … Read more
Need your mobile Facebook fix but don't have any data coverage? T-Mobile has one option for you.
T-Mobile has tweaked its GoSmart Mobile prepaid wireless plan to offer free Facebook and Facebook Messenger access for all customers starting in January. That means subscribers can use Facebook without chewing up their data allowance or without even needing a data plan.
Rolled out early this year, GoSmart Mobile is aimed at consumers who want low-cost unlimited mobile coverage. The plans range from $25 a month for unlimited talk to $45 a month for unlimited talk and text and 5GB of 3G … Read more
Those of you who buy a Samsung smart TV in 2014 should find it easier to flip channels, open apps, and run other tasks.
Samsung has fine-tuned its voice interaction service, which helps you control the TV through natural language voice commands. As one example, the current crop of Samsung smart TVs force you to utter two commands to change the channel: "Channel Change" and "Channel Number." Next year's sets will require you to speak just the channel number.
You'll also be able to use voice shortcuts to open a Web site or app, … Read more
Surely you've heard the term "Internet of Things" this year, and perhaps you're even intrigued by the concept. Smart devices ranging from thermostats to locks to light bulbs captured our attention this year. The reason in part is because adding some connected smarts to these household basics offers up benefits that are easy for consumers to understand. Whether you want to monitor the comings and goings in your home, save energy, or simply glide through a fully-automated world of connected devices, the appeal is clear.
Extend that idea to large appliances and the benefits become less … Read more
Incandescents have enjoyed a good century as the light bulb of choice, but times are changing. So too are efficiency standards, which jumped to a new, even higher threshold back on January 1, officially rendering 40-and 60-watt bulbs obsolete. Despite Congressional leaders postponing the official phase-out for the time being, manufacturers are continuing to lead the charge into a new era of higher efficiency lighting -- and largely leaving incandescents by the wayside.
Don't be too quick to mourn them though. Recent advancements in LED technology have brought prices down on these highly efficient, long-lasting bulbs even faster than … Read more
Most of today's home automation options come in the form of old-guard systems like Insteon or crowdfunded Internet startups like SmartThings. The Iris Home Management System, a descendant of the UK-based AlertMe, is a little bit different, as it has the full backing of US retail giant Lowe's. You can order Iris online, or pick it up from one of the hundreds of Lowe's across the country that showcase the system, along with the multitude of compatible Z-Wave switches and sensors you can add to it.
As a system capable of working with such a wide range … Read more
LG has made good on its promise to resurrect WebOS in the living room.
An LG researcher, Hong Sung-pyo, said at an event in Korea on Thursday that the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next month will play host to the company's first WebOS-based Smart TV. The television will include a 2.2GHz dual-core processor and 1.5GB of RAM, according to Hong.
CNET sister site ZDNet Korea was first to report on the news.
WebOS has had a long and disappointing experience in the electronics business. The operating system was initially hailed as the Palm's savior, but quickly … Read more