Smart gadgets are getting their own Wi-Fi standard in 2018

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smart-gadgets-are-getting-their-own-wi-fi-standard-in-2018-3-image-cultofandroidcomwp-contentuploads201409150272362_95f26266a2_b-jpg
A new type of Wi-Fi is on the way.
Photo: Ming Xia/Flickr

With CES, aka the world’s biggest consumer electronics show, coming up this week, we’re about to hear a whole lot more about the Internet of Things and smart, connected gadgets.

Which makes this the perfect time for the announcement of a new type of Wi-Fi called Wi-Fi HaLow, which is an extension of the upcoming 802.11ah Wi-Fi standard, designed to end up inside fitness trackers, home sensors and other smart gadgets.

Siri technology is coming soon to more apps, fridges and even robots

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Command your robot to find your cat with just your voice.
Command your robot to find your cat with just your voice.
Photo: Nuance

Your smart life is about to get even smarter with a new set of software development tools that will let coders include world-class speech recognition and natural language processing — the same stuff that powers Siri, Apple’s personal digital assistant — to thermostats, refrigerators, apps and, yes, even robots.

The folks at Nuance have created a new system, currently in beta, to allow any company to include code with language commands that are specific to their hardware or apps. It’s called Nuance Mix, and anyone can sign in and create their own speech-recognition code to work with their apps or connected devices.

“Any developer, big or small, can come in and define a custom set of use cases,” Nuance’s Kenn Harper told Cult of Mac during a demo of the SDK. “You’re going to start talking to everything at home and work — speech is about to get more ubiquitous.”

Budget-friendly smartbulb wants everyone to have cool lights

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Qube Smartbulb
The Qube Smartbulb is taking on more expensive lighting like Philips Hue.
Photo: Qube

I love my Philips Hue smart-lighting kit, but every time I’ve just randomly turned my living-room lights different colors in front of another person, they’ve asked the same question:

“How much did you pay for this?”

And then I just kind of mumble something because while the system has added convenience and versatility to my apartment, I’m still not super comfortable admitting that I plan on paying $60 for a light bulb. Instead, I just say, “It was for work,” and leave it.

But Qube, a new smart-lighting system that launches in April, wants to avoid that kind of awkwardness with bulbs that cost way less than its competitors but offer just as many opportunities for just the weirdest ambience you can design.

Beddi is an alarm clock that’s more like having your own butler

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The Beddi smart alarm clock has a host of functions. Waking you from sleep is just a start.
The Beddi smart alarm clock has a host of functions. Waking you from sleep is just a start.
Photo: Witti

You may have broke your last alarm clock swiping it off your nightstand as you tried to make it stop doing that one thing it’s supposed to do – get your ass out of bed.

In its place comes Beddi, the clock that teams up with your iPhone to wake you, get the coffee started and even hail you an Uber ride. Dock your phone at night for charging, enjoy some pillow talk with Siri, activate a mood light and fall asleep to white noise.

Fancy new smart lock can see who’s at your door

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nucli smart lock by westinghouse
The Nucli smart lock by Westinghouse.
Photo: Westinghouse

Electrics giant Westinghouse is getting into the connected-home game, and its first offering is a smart lock that looks like it should be seeing if it can’t lock down a stabilizer in a Star Wars X-Wing.

The Nucli (which is pronounced “new-klee” and not “nuck-lee,” regardless of how your brain sees it) will offer a wealth of features to help you secure your domain.