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30 votes
Accepted

Where can I harvest energy in my home to power my wireless sensors?

DOORS!!! I don't know if it is in the scope of your question but you can't imagine the wasted energy of opening/closing a door! A French comic strip named Gaston Lagaffe written in 1970 introduced a ...
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  • 3,636
24 votes

Securing small home automation setup

The absolute most common issue with IoT devices is default passwords. So change all the passwords. Pick a unique, random password for every device and write it down on paper (paper is safe from remote ...
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22 votes

Securing small home automation setup

As always, a big part of security with "connect from anywhere" setups is ensuring the security of your account information. The usual rules apply: Don't share your password Avoid using cookies to ...
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  • 1,787
20 votes

When to use Wi-Fi over Bluetooth or vice versa in an IoT system?

Wireless and Bluetooth are very close technologies. But, when to choose between one of them you have to consider many things. Speed: Bluetooth 4.0 offers 25 Mbps while WiFi Direct can offer you 250 ...
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  • 814
20 votes

Where can I harvest energy in my home to power my wireless sensors?

Solar energy is even indoors an alternative to thermal and vibrational energy harvesting. This indoor photovoltaics use both the natural light and artificial light. On the Feasibility of Indoor Light ...
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  • 2,419
19 votes

Making Amazon Echo / Alexa work outside of US, UK, Germany and Canada

TLDR: YES Yes, Amazon Echo will work outside of the supported countries, but some functionality will be lost. Power Amazon Echo supports 110-220 volts which means it works across the whole world ...
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  • 791
19 votes
Accepted

What are the best security practices to secure a remote IoT camera?

PuTTY is actually quite secure - the session itself is encrypted. That's part of what SSH gives you "out of the box". I do a lot of this type of thing myself, and here are a few hit-points I would ...
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  • 782
19 votes
Accepted

Is my Samsung Smart TV vulnerable to the "weeping angel" attack?

Weeping Angel No, you were with a probability bordering on certainty not spied on by the Weeping Angel at least as described in the leaked documents. Why? The attack involved a physical component—"...
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  • 8,045
15 votes
Accepted

Adding Devices to Samsung SmartThings

Apparently Smart things uses Z-Wave protocol among others like Philips Hue. Maybe you should add your devices near the SmartThings hub for it to recognize them to check if they are compatible. ...
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  • 3,636
14 votes

Safety of a smart switch on a fireplace

In my opinion, "smart switches" are a natural progression of the current switch. I assume when switch-activated fireplaces first arrived people wondered "is it safe to have a fire that is activated ...
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14 votes

What are the best security practices to secure a remote IoT camera?

The other answers cover a lot of the technologies that you can use to protect your system. Here are some more general thoughts/philosophies. A DMZ is your friend - In almost every case where you have ...
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  • 409
13 votes

Securing small home automation setup

Adding to the most basic IoT security rule Gilles details, the first rule of security at home is to secure your entry gate adequately. Proper settings on your router will stop most attacks in their ...
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  • 8,045
13 votes
Accepted

Safety of a smart switch on a fireplace

There is no 'standard practice' for this sort of application to date. Simple, insecure, remote electrical switching is accepted practice - provided the switch hardware complies with the normal ...
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13 votes

Are there any Bluetooth LE light dimmers with open APIs?

In general Bluetooth equipment always comes with a proprietary app for your phone... I think that if you want to have the control over your Bluetooth switches, you might want to take a look at ...
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  • 3,636
13 votes
Accepted

Why do I need hubs for some devices when automating my home?

Technically, different devices will communicate using protocols that are not internet-based, protocols that are proprietary, and tied together with different administration tools. The reality is, ...
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  • 1,483
13 votes

Where can I harvest energy in my home to power my wireless sensors?

While having so much valuable answers to my question I have also done some further research about the topic. I have found an additional harvesting solution and also a great reference design about a ...
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13 votes

Are There Energy Monitoring Smart Plugs That Don't Compromise my Privacy/Security?

There are plenty of smart plugs, based on ESP8266 chips, which can be flashed with new firmware relatively easily. A popular (open source) firmware that has a lot of users and community support is ...
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  • 350
12 votes

Safety of a smart switch on a fireplace

As with all smart devices it completely depends on their security level. As such you have to evaluate the security level of the specific smart switch to determine its safety level. If the smart ...
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  • 8,045
12 votes
Accepted

Is it better to control smart lights or smart light switches/fixtures?

There are a few aspects to consider, and the answer will depend a lot on your exact situation. Customisation Smart switches will allow far more choice in lighting overall, since you can use any bulb ...
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12 votes
Accepted

Why do most smart assistants offer little, if any, customisation of the wake word?

Yes there are several reasons. This blog post explains it about the Echo and the wake word Alexa. I'll summarize a bit. Wake word recognition is done locally and in real-time. That limits the ...
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  • 8,045
12 votes
Accepted

How do consumer IoT devices typically enable Internet connection?

I think you'll find a fairly high percentage of "#5, Other", because the list is missing one of the most common consumer IoT architectures: indirect communications via an in-home gateway. All the ...
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  • 2,422
12 votes

Is my Samsung Smart TV vulnerable to the "weeping angel" attack?

I'm drawing primarily from this article on ibtimes.com. There are several things you should realise: Weeping Angel can only infect Samsung TV's from 2012 and 2013. From the article referenced: The ...
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  • 4,613
12 votes

How can I control my TV from my computer?

You can do this a little easier (missing out the hardware building) by using something like a RedRat USB Ir blaster (http://www.redrat.co.uk/products/). They also do network attached versions that you ...
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  • 11.9k
12 votes

Are there any devices with open-source protocols over Wi-Fi?

The IKEA Trådfri lighting system is all CoAP based, you can find my write up on the protocol here Belkin WeMo devices are all uPnP and SOAP controlled as well so another open/self describing protocol
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  • 11.9k
11 votes
Accepted

How to write custom Alexa Skills without 'Ask xxxx'

I've been exploring dropping the invocation name for Alexa custom skills myself for a couple of projects. And what I came up with after hours of reading through guides and documentations is that... It ...
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11 votes

How to detect the state of "dumb" entertainment equipment?

I know you want to use the plug to shut off the entire media center to eliminate the expense (and waste) of the standby power draw, but I would strongly recommend the simpler solution of leaving the ...
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  • 2,422
11 votes

Why do I need hubs for some devices when automating my home?

Generally, you need a smart hub when some of your devices don't use Wi-Fi and can't communicate with your home network directly. Quite a lot of devices, especially sensors and actuators (like door ...
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11 votes

Is my Samsung Smart TV vulnerable to the "weeping angel" attack?

To answer your second question, yes, this attack was publicized in 2013 at Black Hat. Two Korean researchers demonstrated an attack that was developed against Android. Attacking TVs was easier than ...
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  • 2,422
11 votes
Accepted

Data generated from smart bulbs?

The bulbs themselves do not generate data. You might see data being generated by a building management system, where sensors are used to determine where and how to light the rooms. It's conceivable ...
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11 votes
Accepted

Is there a way to control my lights from my Linux desktop?

Belkin WeMo devices use uPnP and SOAP messages for control so can be easily controlled from any number of languages and options. Some details on the work I've done working out the protocol can be ...
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  • 11.9k

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