4 Ways the Nest Hello Is Smarter Than Your Traditional Doorbell
If you’re planning on replacing your traditional doorbell, consider replacing it with an intelligent one – Nest Hello.
The Nest Hello is an intelligent doorbell that functions beyond just allowing visitors to announce their presence; this doorbell is equipped with a high-quality camera, microphone and speaker and contains technologies that make it an intelligent device.
Here are 4 ways that the Nest Hello is smarter than your traditional doorbell:
1. Facial Recognition
Traditional doorbells simply tell you that someone’s ringing the doorbell – it won’t tell you who the person is. The smart doorbell, with its facial recognition technology, lets you know who is ringing your doorbell and whether the person is a stranger or someone you know.
You’ll receive a notification via your smartphone or tablet whenever Nest Hello’s camera spots a person. You’ll have to teach Nest Hello who you know in order for it to be able to send you alerts for unfamiliar or familiar faces.
At first, you’ll receive a lot of alerts for unfamiliar faces as the Nest Hello is learning. Every unfamiliar person alert will ask if you know the person and you can select Yes or No. Through this process, the device will begin to recognize who is familiar and who isn’t.
It’s recommended that you review the face library in your Nest app during the first few weeks to identify the familiar faces. This helps to train the facial recognition technology to become more accurate. Those that you marked as unknown will be deleted in your familiar faces library.
Nest Hello also acts as a security camera – it will alert you if a person approaches and doesn’t ring the bell.
Nest Hello is equipped with HDR imaging and night vision, giving you a clear view in both day and night of the unfamiliar person or persons approaching your home.
2. Activity Zones
With this intelligent doorbell, you can choose a particular area – activity zone – and receive alerts whenever there’s motion there.
For instance, you can choose your front porch as your activity zone. Choosing this activity zone will turn off motion and people notifications outside of this area.
Even if you choose your front porch as your activity zone, the camera of your Nest Hello will still shoot and stream the entire view. The camera of this device captures 160 degrees of view.
The video feed of the view in front of your door, not just the activity zone, will continue to be streamed and recorded up to 30 days if you subscribe to Nest Aware. The activity zone only applies to notification alerts.
3. Connectivity with Other Smart Devices
The Nest app enables you to connect your Nest Hello with your smartphone or tablet. This way, you can receive notifications whenever someone approaches or rings your doorbell.
You can also connect Nest Hello with Google Home; this allows Google Assistant to announce when someone’s at your door or rings your doorbell. If you’ve tagged every family member by name in the Nest app, Google assistant will welcome home every family member by name.
To connect Nest Hello with Google Home, follow these steps:
- Open the Google Home app.
- In the top left corner of Google Home app screen, tap “Menu” and then “Home control”.
- You’ll then see the “Devices” tab. At the bottom, right tap “Add” and tap Nest Hello to connect, then follow the steps.
- When pairing between Nest Hello and Google Home is completed, tap “Done”.
You can also connect this doorbell with your TV and live stream what your smart doorbell sees. Connecting Nest Hello with Google Home is an initial step in connecting the smart doorbell with your Chromecast or Chromecast-enabled TV.
In addition to connecting Nest Hello and Google Home, you need to setup Chromecaston your TV. After setting up Chromecast, link your TV with Google Home. To enable live streaming of footages captured by Nest Hello, you simply use your voice via Google Home and say
“Ok Google (or Hey Google), show the <doorbell name> on <chromecast name>.”
Nest Hello can also be connected with the Nest X Yale smart lock, enabling your trusted guests to unlock or lock your door via their smartphone or tablet using assign codes.
4. Flexible Scheduling
Nest Hello is a smart doorbell that allows flexibility. This intelligent doorbell allows you to do the following:
- Turn camera on or off
- Turn chime on or off
- Turn on the camera automatically when you’re away and turn back off when you get home
- Turn on and off camera at specific times
- Choose what type of activity you want to be notified and when to get notifications – whether all the time or only when you’re away
- Change video quality to save bandwidth or for slow internet connection
- Turn Nest Hello’s microphone on or off
- Reply to someone who rings the doorbell with a pre-recorded response in the language of your choice.
If you’re looking for a smart doorbell that recognizes familiar from unfamiliar faces, gives notifications if anything happens in a selected activity zone, can be connected to other smart home devices and offers flexibility, then Nest Hello is the right doorbell for you.
6 Insights & Analytics Your Water Sensor Should Have
Water sensors detect water leakage, however, your water sensor should be more than a water leakage detector since this indicates that damage is already done.
The Flowie water sensor – which can easily be installed by strapping it on to your municipal water meter without tools – does more than just detecting leaks. It provides you with the following 6 insights and analytics directly to your tablet or smartphone using the Alert Labs app (Alert Labs being the manufacturer of Flowie water sensor):
1. Water Consumption
Unusual high-water consumption is a sign that you have a water leak at home. Using the Alert Labs app, you can view your water usage right down to the minute.
You can monitor your water consumption even if you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection at home as the Flowie water sensor works with a cellular network.
The Flowie water sensor knows your usual water consumption. When it detects an abnormality in the water consumption, the Flowie automatically alerts you via your mobile devices.
The Flowie provides peace of mind by alerting you when there is unusual water consumption. Through this alert, you can then check or ask someone to look for the source of the leak and fix it. These automatic alerts will help you catch water leaks while they’re still at an early stage, minimizing the possible damage.
The Flowie water sensor will also provide you with insights and analytics about the weather in your area. Weather is one of the biggest predictors of the likelihood of flooding or pipe freezing in your home.
In addition to the weather report, your Flowie water sensor also provides you with the actual temperature inside your home. Knowing the actual temperature inside your home is important as temperature is a good predictor of the likelihood of pipe freezing.
Many homeowners lower the heat when they leave the house. A lower temperature saves costs for space heating, but this could have negative repercussions; during cold spells, pipes could freeze or burst.
The Flowie’s insights and analytics will notify you of abnormal temperatures, for instance, extremely cold weather, allowing you to increase the temperature in the house to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
4. Pipe Freezing
When water freezes, it expands. When water in a pipe is exposed to extreme cold conditions, it freezes and causes the pipe to burst.
Homes are generally built with pipes located inside the building in order to protect the pipes from the freezing weather, however if there are holes in the building, during extremely cold weather the pipes could freeze or burst.
According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), pipe freezing is one of the biggest risks of property damage when the temperature drops. It added that a frozen pipe can cause a pipe to burst and result in over $5,000 in water damage. 37% of frozen pipe failures happen in a basement, IBHS said.
Flowies alert you when your pipe freezes. A pipe freezing alert will warn you that pipe bursting is possible, giving you time to take action to prevent further damage to your home.
Here are some measures to prevent frozen pipe damage:
- Keep doors on cabinets under bathroom sinks and kitchen open during cold spells to allow warmer air to circulate around the pipes; and
- During cold spells, open faucets to keep water flowing through the pipes. Ice may still form in the pipes during cold spells but an open faucet enables water to get out before the pressure builds up to the point where a pipe can burst. If no more water comes out, this means that ice is blocking the pipe. Keep the faucet open still as this step relieves pressure inside the pipe.
5. Power Outage
The Flowie water sensor gives you alert on your mobile devices whenever there’s a power outage. A power outage notification during cold spells is particularly important. During power outages, your important home appliances like a heater will no longer function. Space heating is particularly important to prevent pipe freezing.
A power outage notification allows you the oppportunity to take measures to prevent pipe bursting.
The Flowie will also give you humidity insights and analytics. Humidity refers to the dampness or water vapor in the air.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor relative humidity should be kept below 60% – ideally between 30% and 50%, if possible. High levels of humidity can be a source or a contributing factor for mold growth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) people have different reactions to molds. CDC said “exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin.”
“Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath,” CDC added. “People with a weakened immune system, such as people receiving treatment for cancer, people who have had an organ or stem cell transplant, and people taking medicines that suppress the immune system, are more likely to get mold infections. Exposure to mold or dampness may also lead to development of asthma in some individuals.”
Unattended indoor flooding is also one cause of mold growth. The Flowie’s companion device, the Floodie sensor, alerts you whenever there is a small or big flooding in your home.
With your Flowie water sensor, Floodie sensor and the Alert Labs app, you’ll have access to insights and analytics regarding leaks, flooding, water consumption, weather, temperature, pipe freezing, power outage and humidity.
Learn moreand prevent a flood in your home today.
Google Smart Speakers Take the Number One Spot in the Smart Speaker Market
The smart speaker market landscape is changing – Google has overtaken Amazon, the once dominate force in the smart speaker market, with its Google Home.
According to the market analyst firm Canalys, in the first quarter of 2018, 9 million smart speakers were shipped to different parts of the world. Google took the top spot for the first time shipping 3.2 million units of the Google Home and Home Mini devices, while Amazon only shipped 2.5 million Echo devices.
By 2020, the leading research company Gartnerprojected that a total of $2.1 billion smart speakers will be sold worldwide, up from $360 million in 2015. Gartner also projected that 25% of households worldwide will have 2 or more smart speakers by 2020.
“The value of the device is derived from the ease of use and the natural, intuitive interaction model,” Gartner said. “If this value is recognized by all household members, it will drive the desire to have terminal access throughout the entire house, not just in one room.”
Google Home comes in 3 sizes: Google Home (original and regular size), Google Home Mini (smallest version) and Google Home Max (the biggest version).
Here are the top 4 reasons why people see more value in the Google Home compared to other smart speakers:
1. Smart Assistant
At the heart of every Google smart speaker is Google Assistant – an intelligent assistant developed by Google. In total, Google Assistant is capable of helping you with more than 1 million actions.
With Google Home, you can ask Google Assistant to help you with any of these actions hands-free. There’s no need to stop what you’re doing and type your query into Google Assistant; you only have to say this introductory phrase: “Hey Google” or “Ok, Google” to activate Google Assistant.
Just like you would Google anything that you want to know, you can also ask Google Assistant anything – weather, calculations, translations and much more. All you need to say is “Hey Google, how many cups are in a liter?” or “Hey Google, how do you say ‘awesome’ in French?” and Google Assistant will provide a response.
You can set up Google Assistant to give you a daily brief to start off your day, letting you know about the weather, news, traffic, daily reminders, appointments for the day and even your flight status.
With your permission, Google Assistant can help you manage your tasks such as adding items to your shopping list, setting alarms and making hands-free calls.
Most importantly, Google Assistant allows you to turn your home into a smart home. To date, Google Assistant works with more than 5,000 connected home devices.
If your TV has a built-in Chromecast or you’ve purchased a Chromecast – a device that allows for screen casting – you can connect it with Google Home and turn your room into a smart entertainment center.
With your Chromecast enabled TV, Google Assistant and Google Home, you can watch your favorite shows. For instance, you say “Hey Google, play Stranger Things from Netflix on my TV.”
Aside from turning your home into a smart entertainment center, you can also say, “Hey Google:
Turn on the lights
Set the temperature to X degrees
Dim the lights
Stream security camera (using Google Home and Chromecast or a TV with Chromecast built-in)
Google Assistant has also dramatically improved its language understanding, so you can speak to it naturally and it will know what you mean. For instance, Google Assistant understands more complex questions like “Hey Google, what’s the weather like in Montreal and Calgary?”
According to Google, it will soon roll out an update to Google Home that eliminates the need to utter the words “Ok Google” or “Hey Google” for each follow-up questions or orders.
“Soon you’ll be able to have a natural back-and-forth conversation without repeating ‘Hey Google’ for each follow-up request,” Googlesaid in a blog post. “The Assistant will be able to understand when you’re talking to it versus someone else and will respond accordingly. This feature has been one of our top requests and you’ll be able to turn on Continued Conversation in the coming weeks.”
2. Far-field Voice Recognition
People are choosing Google Home over other smart speakers due to its far-field voice recognition feature. To enable accurate far-field voice recognition, Google Home was designed with 2 microphones.
Google Home can recognize voices and minimize error rates even from across the room as its microphone system uses “neural beam forming”. Neural beam forming is a system that simulated hundreds of thousands of noisy environments and applied machine learning to recognize patterns, allowing the microphone system to filter and separate human voice from noise.
3. Multi-Room Capability
People are turning to Google Home due to its multi-room capability. If you put one Google Home in every room of your house, you can set-up your Google Home devices to synchronize music throughout the home or broadcast your voice across devices. For instance, you can say, “Hey Google, broadcast its dinner time!” and your message will be broadcasted to all Google Home devices in your home.
4. Hi-Fi Speaker
People are choosing Google Home over other smart speakers in the market today due to its hi-fi speaker. It has an integrated high-excursion speaker that delivers crystal-clear highs and rich bass.
So, if you’re looking for a smart speaker that’s intelligent enough, is capable of far-field voice recognition, has multi-room capability and has hi-fi speaker, then Google Home is the right smart speaker for your home. Connect with ustoday and learn how to make you your home more smart and comfortable.
5 Reasons to Choose a Lennox Air Conditioner over Other Air Conditioners
If comfort and cost are of the utmost priority when buying or renting an Air Conditioner, then the Lennox Air Conditioner is the right match for you.
Everyone loves summer, but with the bright sunshine comes high relative humidity and elevated air temperatures, producing an uncomfortable indoor environment.
Here are the top 5 reasons why the Lennox Air Conditioner gives you the best indoor comfort and why it’s worth the investment in comparison to conventional Air Conditioners:
1. Precise Temperature
The Precise Comfort™ technology of the Lennox Air Conditioner gives you the temperature that you want, every time. You simply set your preferred temperature and your Lennox Air Conditioner changes the temperature to match your preference without delay.
With the Precise Comfort™ technology of the Lennox Air Conditioner, your chosen temperature is maintained with an accuracy of 0.5 degrees or less.
To maintain your desired temperature, the variable-capacity and inverter-controlled compressors in the Lennox Air Conditioners continuously make tiny adjustments in fan speed and cooling output.
Conventional Air Conditioners only offer single capacity and single speed mean airflow, which results in temperature swings between cycles.
2. Humidity Removal
The air in your home will still feel light and cool in the hot summer months as the Lennox Air Conditioner removes approximately 30% more humidity compared to conventional Air Conditioners.
3. Silent Comfort
Conventional Air Conditioners are non-discreet appliances; they have a distinct noise while running.
The SilentComfort™ technology of the Lennox Air Conditioner – technology that combines a specially shaped fan blade, vibration resistance and thick insulation – greatly reduces sound levels.
The Lennox Air Conditioner with its SilentComfort™ technology is 50% quieter than a conventional Air Conditioner.
4. Save the Environment
Sunlight can be converted in to usable energy to power your Lennox Air Conditioner.
A Lennox Air Conditioner is compatible with the solar roof modules in a SunSource® Home Energy System. Here’s how the SunSource® Home Energy System works:
First, the solar roof modules capture the energy from the sun and send the harnessed energy to your Lennox solar-ready Air Conditioner.
Second, the energy harnessed by the solar roof modules is used to cool your home through your Lennox Air Conditioner.
Third, the energy that’s left over is used to power other electronic devices and other small appliances in your home.
The solar roof modules can be installed on your home without major modifications. You can also add more solar roof modules whenever you want to increase the volume of energy captured from the sun.
5. Save Money
If there’s energy left after you’ve powered your electronic devices and appliances in your home, the excess energy can potentially be sold to your utility company and possibly earn you a credit.
Using SunSource® Home Energy System™ can cut your Air Conditioner bill, as well as your heating bill, by up to 50%. This also qualifies you for possible rebates and tax credits.
The Lennox Air Conditioner, in particular model XC25, is an ENERGY STAR qualified product. This means that the product is recognized by ENERGY STAR as one of the most efficient products in 2018.
In Canada, the ENERGY STAR name and symbol are administered by Natural Resources Canada and registered in Canada by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“Looking for the ENERGY STAR label is a simple way to save you money and protect the environment,” EPA said. “Now EPA introduces ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2018, a new distinction that recognizes products that deliver cutting edge energy efficiency along with the latest in technological innovation. It is an award that truly represents the best of ENERGY STAR.”
“Room Air Conditioners contribute more to the summer peak demand for electricity from the electricity grid than any other household appliance,” Natural Resources Canadasaid. “On hot days, when the demand for electricity for air conditioning increases, the generation of coal-fired electricity can soar, with a corresponding increase in nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx), carbon dioxide (CO2) and other emissions that lead to smog, acid rain and climate change. By choosing an ENERGY STAR qualified room Air Conditioner, you can help the environment and realize significant electrical savings.”
You can save hundreds of dollars in your utility bill every year with the Lennox Air Conditioner model XC25 because this product has the industry-leading energy efficiency of up to 26 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio).
Air Conditioners are rated according to their SEER, which refers to the relative amount of energy needed to provide a specific cooling output. Conventional or older air conditioning systems have SEER ratings of 6 or less. Higher SEER means greater savings.
The Lennox Air Conditioner model XC25 also saves you money as the unit’s PermaGuard™ cabinet offers extra protection against corrosion and rust, extending the lifespan of this unit. It also has a 10-year limited warranty on the unit’s compressor and 10-year limited warranty on covered components.
The Lennox Air Conditioner model XC25 works with Lennox’s iComfort® S30 thermostat. This thermostat uses the GPS in your family members’ smartphones. You only have to set the automatic schedule once on the iComfort and it’ll automatically adjust your Lennox Air Conditioner to match.
Lennox iComfort detects when your house is empty and automatically changes the temperature of your Lennox Air Conditioner to a more energy-efficient setting. This thermostat also detects when a family member is on the way home and automatically changes the temperature to its regular setting. This makes your household energy savings consistent as this thermostat adapts to the schedules of your family members.
9 Things to Look for in an Outdoor Security Camera
If the security of your home is important to you, then an outdoor security camera is for you.
What is an Outdoor Security Camera?
An outdoor security camera is a camera that’s installed outside of your home in order to protect it from unauthorized persons.
Not all outdoor security cameras are created equal. If you’re planning on buying an outdoor security camera, look for the following features in order to provide optimum security for your home and your family:
1. HD Image Quality
When choosing an outdoor security camera, select one with high definition. A security camera is judged mainly by the quality of the footage that it produces. Watch out for security cameras that claim they have high definition quality, when in fact their lenses and sensors produce lower image quality.
A true high definition camera gives you 1080p HD image quality. Image quality is especially important in worst case scenarios, for instance, when a burglar tries to enter your home. If you want to report this incident to the police, they’ll ask for a copy of your security camera footage. Nest outdoor cameras have taken footage of package thieves and break-in culprits. Criminals have been identified and arrested via the Nest outdoor camera footage.
Footage that is not of HD quality and is too grainy is useless for authorities as perpetrators can’t be identified.
The Nest outdoor camera provides true HD image quality with its all-glass lens. You can zoom in up to 8 times in order to see every detail.
2. Night Vision
When choosing an outdoor security camera, select one with night vision. Many criminals operate during nighttime thinking that darkness will conceal their identity.
The Nest outdoor camera has night vision. This security camera, with its high definition and all-glass lens, produces clear footage regardless of whether it’s day or night.
3. Wide Angle
When choosing an outdoor security camera, choose one with a wide angle view.
The Nest outdoor camera has a wide angle, providing you with a 130° view of your home.
4. Weather Resistant
When choosing an outdoor security camera, choose one that’s weather resistant. A non-weather resistant camera is useless outside as it has to battle nature’s elements: rain and snow.
The Nest outdoor camera watches your home rain or shine.
5. 24/7 Recording
When choosing an outdoor security camera, select one that records everything, 24/7.
When you subscribe to Nest Aware, your Nest outdoor camera records everything 24/7 and you can easily review everything that the camera has recorded.
This camera has continuous power as it can be plugged into an outdoor or indoor outlet. Compared to battery-operated cameras, those that derive power from outlets are better, as battery-operated cameras are often in the sleep mode and only turn on when there’s motion.
6. Differentiates Between a Person from a Thing
In selecting an outdoor security camera, choose one that can differentiate between people and objects.
When you subscribe to Nest Aware, your Nest outdoor camera will give you a notification alert when it senses a person. On Android smartphones, this notification includes a cropped close-up of the person.
Using the Nest app, you can review the footage of what the person was doing in your home.
7. Activity Zone Alerts
In selecting an outdoor security camera, choose one that has activity zone alert capability.
Many criminals surprisingly choose the front door as their entry point. If a camera has an activity zone alert capability, it can send notifications whenever someone moves into your selected activity zone. The Nest outdoor camera gives you alerts whenever it senses someone in your identified activity zone.
In selecting an outdoor security camera, choose one that allows you to interact with the person who has entered your home.
The Nest outdoor camera allows you to interact with whoever has entered the vicinity of your home by being able to see, hear and talk to the person.
For instance, if an unauthorized person attempts to open your front door, using the Nest app on your smartphone or tablet, you can yell at the intruder as the Nest outdoor camera is equipped with a microphone and speaker.
You can also interact with friendly visitors like the delivery person. Using the Nest app on your smartphone or tablet, you can give instructions to the delivery person on where to put the package. The delivery person can also interact with you using the camera’s speaker if he or she has any questions.
9. Easy Installation
In selecting an outdoor security camera, look for a camera that is easy to install. With the Nest outdoor camera simply plug in the camera in the cable and adapter, mount the camera and it’s good to go.