By Wares November 18, 2018 Smart home & security

A round-up of some of the latest local and international smart homes category news


A substantial range of Kodak brand smart home security and baby monitor products will be available from December in Australia and New Zealand through DLG International.

All products share the same mobile platform making it simple to view both security and baby monitoring products using the same Kodak Smart Home app (for IOS & Android).

The system has been designed for simplicity and ease of set-up but customer support is also available through the app or online/via email and data logs can also be sent to Kodak to aid the resolution of any issues.

All the cameras are Wi-Fi capable which enables the baby monitor to also serve as security cameras and, as both the baby monitor and security cameras have built-in batteries, they're easily and quickly relocatable.

All cameras also have onboard direct recording onto Micro SD (Max 128GB) as well as a cloud storage option.


Amazon has released a raft of new products to ensure that Alexa can infiltrate all aspects of your life.

Now available by invitation, Echo Auto (photo above) brings Alexa to your car with a cassette-sized device that sits on a car’s dash or central console and interacts with its infotainment system so users can play music, navigate and any usual Alexa enquiries while behind the wheel.

EchoAuto has no less than eight microphones to help overcome car noise when speaking but does still rely on your smartphone’s internet connection to operate.

Other devices include an updated Echo Dot with improved sound, and new and improved versions of the Echo Plus and Echo Show.

Some affordable companion devices have also been released starting with the Echo Wall Clock that connects to your Echo device to visually enhance timers, alarms and reminders.

To improve sound quality the tiny, affordable Echo Input (above) adds Alexa to an existing speaker while Echo Sub adds deep rich base to an existing Echo unit.

The puck style Echo Link connects to home stereo systems to stream music and the top of range Echo Link Amp offers a 60W, two-channel built-in amplifier to stream high-fidelity music to active or passive speakers.

Also available is the Amazon Smart Plug, a simple and cheap way to make lights, fans, coffee makers and more voice-activated, as well as the Amazon Basics Microwave, a compact countertop microwave that connects to your Echo device.

For third party manufacturers, Amazon has the Alexa Connect Kit (ACK) which is a new way for device makers to connect devices to Alexa without worrying about managing cloud services, writing an Alexa skill, or developing complex networking and security firmware.

Is Amazon seeking to smother any opposition by covering all bases at once? 


Google is also bringing more to its smart home hardware offerings with the release of the Google Home Hub (above).

Like the Amazon Echo Show, this device is a voice-activated smart speaker with a touch screen to enhance usability and add visual media elements.

Uniquely though, Google has made a conscious decision to exclude a camera from its device, taking on users concerns about privacy, particularly in the bedroom.

Like Google Home, the Home Hub matches to different user’s voice changing content and responses to suit.

The screen has received praise for its Ambient EQ feature that monitors lighting condition to control colour, brightness and tone to make it less intrusive but still easy to use.



Samsung Electronics New Zealand has expanded the functionality of its latest Family Hub Refrigerator, with three new app partnerships that will enable Kiwis to better coordinate their household – straight from the fridge door’s touchscreen.

New app partners Uber, Nespresso and Ring Video Doorbell will allow Samsung’s Family Hub fridge to provide Kiwis with better connected experiences, designed to support the lifestyles of busy households.

These new app partnerships come as research recently commissioned by Samsung found that New Zealanders are optimistic about the growing connected home trend and are keen to reap the benefits of using smart technology and Artificial Intelligence as a tool to better manage household efficiency and provide practical day-to-day solutions.



D-Link ANZ has launched the Vigilance 3 Megapixel H.265 Outdoor Dome Network Camera (DCS-4633EV), a professional surveillance solution suitable for small, medium and large enterprises, as well as schools or universities.

This high-definition camera features H.265 support, IP66 capabilities for outdoor use and a microSD card slot for local recordings.

Featuring a rugged, all-in-one design, the DCS-4633EV is a reliable and ideal solution for deployment in a wide range of surveillance applications without the need for additional accessories. 


The Uniden App Cam Solo+ is a wireless battery-powered full HD smart security camera powered by a quick-swap rechargeable Li-ion battery which provides up to 180 days operation per charge.

Low battery notifications are sent once the camera reaches 10% capacity but an optional solar panel can be purchased to ensure non-stop camera operation.

Solo+ features a PIR Motion Sensor and Thermo Sense Technology and films in Full HD for higher resolution, there’s a 130° degree viewing angle for a wider field of vision and fewer blind spots as well as 10+ metre night vision and an inbuilt speaker mic for two-way communication which can also can emit a siren to deter unwanted visitors.

The camera records to its own SD Card (up to 64GB) for local storage with optional cloud back-up storage available.

Motion alerts can be sent via email, voice or push notifications via the free app and live recording can be accessed and viewed anytime from anywhere via IOS or Android devices.

IP65 rated the camera is suited for use both indoors or outdoors and with no wiring it is simple to fix the camera either permanently or move it around using the magnetic or screw mounts.

Available in single, twin, triple and quad packs. 


New to Pudney & Lee is the Phillips HUE Outdoor lighting range, bringing the smart controls offered by the HUE lighting range from inside to out.

These outdoor lights work with the HUE bridge to give total control from a smartphone or tablet via the Philips Hue app to control a huge range of colour and diming options, set timers, notifications, alarms, and more.

Voice control is also available via Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit and Google Assistant.

Users can also add their existing indoor switches to the system.

Pudney currently has the Lily Outdoor Spot Light and the Calla Outdoor Pathway Light available with a plethora of other options to come in early 2019.

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