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Top 10 smart home gadgets and appliances

You've heard about the Internet of Things, but what smart products are on the market?
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1 of 10 Philips

Hue

Philips Hue is a smart home lighting range which combines LED lighting with mobile technology. An accompanying mobile app connects to your Wi-Fi and allows you to control multiple bulbs and lighting systems, changing color sets depending on your mood. When I played with Hue at a recent conference I was impressed by the range and soft quality of the lighting, which can be customized based on the spectrum or colors you enjoy, selected from images saved on your smartphone or tablet.

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2 of 10 SmartThings | CNET

SmartThings

If you have a smart home, you need a smart hub to control your appliances. SmartThings is one such device, a plastic cube laden with sensors and equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. You can control appliances through the SmartThings mobile app, set preferences and monitor your home, whether you choose to do so through motion sensors or cameras. The hub works with many third-party IoT appliances from companies including Netgear, Philips, Honeywell and August.

Read onCNET

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3 of 10 Skylink

SkylinkNet alarm system

The SkylinkNet alarm system is one of several options on the marker claiming to be a 'smarter' home security system. As part of the system, window and door fixtures contain motion sensors which alert you when there is a trigger through an accompanying application. SkyLink's product is easy to set up and connect to your smartphone, and also comes with a keychain hob which allows users to remotely alarm and disarm a system -- as well as a 'panic' button, which if pressed, alerts the connected smartphone to the call for help. This feature alone could be useful for those with elderly parents or for the disabled. The product can be connected up to multiple sensors and up to 10 wireless cameras.

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4 of 10 CBS Interactive

Belkin WeMo Switch

Belkin's WeMo switch + Motion is a simple, plug-and-go type of IoT device. The home automaton product works with any device which is plugged in to a socket -- instead, once plugged into the WeMo, you can remotely control the gadget from your smartphone, turning it off and on at will. The $79 product, which also includes a motion detector, is in addition compatible with IFTTT -- a free program which allows users to create 'if this, then that' functions. For example, an automatic trigger can be set up when the motion sensor detects movement, and you can command the unit to send you an alert or text message.

Read onCNET

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5 of 10 Nest

Nest smart thermostat

The Nest Thermostat, a smart home device developed by Nest -- recently acquired by Google -- is touted as a gadget which can reduce your energy bills by up to 20 percent through a system which learns your preferences and schedule. Controllable via smartphone and an accompanying app, the IoT device can also be set to maintain a specific temperature in your house if you're away for a while.

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6 of 10 Amazon

Amazon Echo, updated

The $199 Amazon Echo IoT device is a voice-controlled speaker system. Connectable via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, the speaker is equipped with the Alexa voice assistant which can be commanded to control the speakers as well as other compatible devices -- such as Philips Hue and Belkin's WeMo. While controlling lights and sound without moving a muscle is a novelty, sister site CNET's review suggests that the speakers' audio quality is currently rather poor, but shows promise.

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7 of 10 LG

LG HomeChat

LG is another company looking to capitalize on the idea of connected homes. The LG HomeChat hub, compatible with devices including the Nest Thermostat, is a controller for your smart appliances. LG calls communication between the hub and devices a 'chat' as you send messages through an accompanying app which can then control your devices remotely -- from changing washer and update cycles to starting up your robot vacuum. In addition, the hub keeps an eye on your appliances and is able to diagnose issues with compatible products such as LG Smart ThinQ ovens and fridges.

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8 of 10 Aros

Aros Smart Air Conditioner

The Quirky+GE Aros Smart Air Conditioner is a smart air-conditioning system which, in the same manner as Nest, is able to learn your temperature and usage preferences with the overall aim of saving you money. The $279 IoT product, controllable via an app, can also be customised based on your budget and location.

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9 of 10 Kevo

Kevo Kwikset

Willingness to trust household access to digital encryption and subsequent risks aside, you can now transform your smartphone into your door key. Available to Android and iOS smartphone users, the Kevo is an electronic deadbolt which communicates with a Kevo Fob and accompanying app to lock and unlock your door. A simple touch on the deadbolt unlocks the door, and you can also use your app to 'send' eKeys to guests, allowing them access for specific time periods -- or remove them from your Kevo network entirely.

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10 of 10 Skybell

Skybell

The $199 SkyBell is an IoT device which extends the functionality of the humble doorbell. Once attached -- requiring power full-time -- the SkyBell connects up to your smartphone with an accompanying app and sends you alerts when the doorbell is pressed -- and allows you to see, hear and speak to visitors before going to the door. Perhaps a little useless if you're in, but if you're away, you can check out who is calling and if known to you, hold a conversation remotely.

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