Removing features is a shitty move

by @edent | , , , | 17 comments | Read ~1,246 times.

Lots of reviews with people complaining.

I've worked on some big product launches. Every time there's a major update, developers have to think about which features to port over and which to drop. Sometimes it is easy. Analytics show no one is using this feature? Drop it. Sometimes it is hard. It's a moderately well used feature, but complicated to get…

Blimey! A WiFi smoke alarm for twenty quid!

by @edent | , , | 10 comments | Read ~339 times.

Smoke detector and instruction manual.

After my rant a few weeks ago, I finally found a cheap WiFi smoke alarm. A few disclaimers before I get into this review: It was shipped from China, not from the UK as stated. The device doesn't exist on the manufacturer's website. Stock on Amazon keeps appearing and disappearing, so may be difficult to…

Whatever happened to IoT smoke alarms?

by @edent | , , | 18 comments | Read ~1,808 times.

In app warning that my Nest smoke alarm needs replacing.

I've had a Nest smoke alarm for about 7 years. It connects to my WiFi network and occasionally pings a message to my phone that I've burnt my toast. Nifty! But, due to planned obsolescence regulatory requirements, it needs to be replaced. Back in 2014, the Nest cost £100. In the exciting world of 2021,…

Preview: Virgin Media's Intelligent WiFi Plus Pods

by @edent | , , , , | 1 comment | Read ~1,661 times.

A plug in unit with two ethernet ports.

Virgin Media have provided me with a test unit of their new Intelligent WiFi pods to review. They're useful, but come with some annoying limitations. If you have a big home, put a pod in every room and you'll have fast WiFi broadcast everywhere. Well, that's the theory. Limitations The big limitation is that both…

How many connected devices do you have at home?

by @edent | , , , | 4 comments | Read ~281 times.

Five years ago, I wrote that I had 30 connected devices at home. How has that changed over the last half-decade? Some of my devices have consolidated. My Eufy security cameras have a hub - so despite having more cameras, They're using fewer IP addresses. Similarly, I've replaced most of my LIFX bulbs with Zigbee…

Review: eufyCam 2C Wireless Home Security Camera System

by @edent | , , , | 3 comments | Read ~227 times.

Flyer explaining how Eufy is different.

I hate the Internet of Things. It's a load of overpriced junk, which abuses your privacy and demands a monthly fee in return. That's why I was pleasantly surprised to see this fall out of the eufyCam 2C box. There's no monthly fee. The recordings stay in your home. The batteries last for ages. I…

Gadget Review - Nooie 360 Security Camera

by @edent | , , , , | Read ~223 times.

Nooie camera sat on a table.

The good folk at Nooie have sent me their 360 WiFi camera to review. Cost is usually £50 - but check the bottom of this post for a discount code. The design is gorgeous - and award winning. It's a sleek unit and, surprisingly, feels nice in the hand. It can store videos on an…

Hacking your Smart Meter - Part 1 - Zigbee

by @edent | , , , | 8 comments | Read ~3,618 times.

Zigbee menu items.

I have a new Smart Meter to measure my electricity and gas usage. It's the Honeywell AS302P. It's a SMETS2 meter, which means it has a number of interesting features. ALCS (Auxiliary Load Control Switch) - this means that a car charger can be remotely started and stopped based on network demand. DCC connection -…

WTF - Welcoming The Future!

by @edent | , , | 3 comments

App screenshot saying it is now updating the firmware of Liz's bed.

My wife wasn't allowed to go for a post-lunch nap yesterday. Our smarthome wouldn't let her... OK! OK! It wasn't as bad as all that. I built an Internet-connected electric blanket so I can yell at the Alexa to pre-warm the bed. One of the IoT switches needed a firmware update. All over and done…

Gadget Review: DophiGo DV-200 WiFi Doorbell

by @edent | , , , , | 2 comments | Read ~576 times.

Unboxed content.

In my ongoing quest to open my house to hackers create the ultimate smarthome, I've added a new toy. A video doorbell! Why? I've got a tall house and can't be bothered walking down several flights of stairs just to tell a peddler to piss off. And, when I'm away, it's nice to know where…