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Stories Tagged - tech

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Jan. 24, 2020 | Josh Skapin

Data defence: Smart home devices demand caution

Smart home technologies provide a quick and simple solution for a range of tasks. But is this trade-off for a snap-of-the-fingers convenience creating a strain elsewhere?

Security vulnerabilities within some devices, or at least the way in which they are set up, may be keeping the door ajar, allowing access for cyber criminals.

A Meural digital canvas can display famous artwork, or your own photos.
Courtesy Best Buy

May 16, 2018 | Gerald Vander Pyl

The future is now

How to control almost everything in your home with your phone

Want to have the coolest home on the block? Then fill it with all the latest smart home devices.

"A lot of people are familiar with smart home, and they have bits and pieces of it, but are looking at expanding," said Steven Toews, general manager of Best Buy's Deerfoot Meadows location.

According to Toews, smart lighting is the top-selling smart home category.

Why choose between audio setups for home theatre and music when there are new speaker technologies that can provide the best of both worlds?
Courtesy Devialet

Aug. 23, 2017 | Miles Durie

Sound decisions

Choosing the home audio system that's right for you

Great sound is a key part of any decent home entertainment setup, and these days it's pretty easy to find various systems that will give you fuller range and more volume than your TV's speakers or your phone's headset.

But if you're looking to kick it up a few notches and go for higher-quality audio, there are some important points to consider.

First and most importantly, is your top priority music or home theatre? You might think, "Hey, sound is sound, right?" But the sonic demands of music and movies are quite different.
The Roost Smart Battery can be used in any standard battery-powered smoke detector to alert you when the alarm is activated.
Courtesy Roost

July 26, 2017 | Miles Durie

Safe and sound

Smart alarms provide connectivity and peace of mind 

A smart home needs to be a connected home, but the fact that a home is connected doesn't necessarily make it smart. When it comes to safety, though, there really is a new level of intelligent connectedness available in today's generation of smart smoke alarms.

At their most basic, and cheapest, they can alert you remotely via a mobile app when an alarm is activated. In fact, a device like the Roost Smart Battery can smarten up any standard, functioning smoke detector – as long as it's battery-powered or has a battery backup – for about $60. This deceptively simple device is a lithium nine-volt battery with a Wi-Fi chip and a microphone that "hears" your alarm.

Not only will you get an alert when the alarm is activated, you'll also get one when the battery needs replacing. No more annoying low-battery chirps, and yes, you can just swap in any standard 9-volt cell when it's time.


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