Awair raises $10M to help customers like WeWork monitor their office environments

Monitoring a space is about a lot more than security cameras. Awair is trying to help businesses and consumers more deeply understand the environments in which they live and work. Awair has raised a $10 million Series B led by The Westly Group with participation from iRobot, Altos Ventures, Emerson Electric and Nuovo Capital. The […]

Dandelion Energy, the Alphabet X spin out, raises another $16M led by GV and Comcast

As tech companies continue their race to control the smart home, a promising energy startup has raised a round of funding from traditionally tech and strategic investors for a geothermal solution to heat and cool houses. Dandelion Energy, a spin out from Alphabet X, has raised $16 million in a Series A round of funding, […]

Amazon looked to the past to build the future

Over the last 20 years, smart home gadgets have evolved from fantasy to commodity. Walk into Best Buy and there are dozens of products that take just a few minutes to set up. It’s wonderful. Even better, it’s easy. There are lights and locks and screens from big and small companies alike. And therein lies […]

Cheap Internet of Things gadgets betray you even after you toss them in the trash

You may think that the worst you’ll risk by buying a bargain-bin smart bulb or security camera will be a bit of extra trouble setting it up or a lack of settings. But it’s not just while they’re plugged in that these slapdash gadgets are a security risk — even from the garbage can, they […]

Philips Hue has been having a holiday outage, too

Alexa wasn’t the only thing that crashed over Christmas due to an influx of new users. Apparently, Philips Hue has been having an outage, as well. A multi-day outage, in fact. The company confirmed on Wednesday that customers were experiencing issues creating new accounts, logging in and linking their account to third parties. It blamed […]

Rent tech-focused RET closes first fund; pours $5M into management platform SmartRent

Today, Real Estate Technology Ventures (RET Ventures) announced the final close of $108 million for its first fund. RET focuses on early-stage investments in companies that are primarily looking to disrupt the North American multifamily rental industry, with the firm boasting a roster of LPs made up of some of the largest property owners and operators […]

A fictional Facebook Portal videochat with Mark Zuckerberg

TechCrunch: Hey Portal, dial Mark Portal: Do you mean Mark Zuckerberg? TC: Yes Portal: Dialling Mark… TC: Hi Mark! Nice choice of grey t-shirt. MZ: Uh, new phone who dis? — oh, hi, er, TechCrunch… TC: Thanks for agreeing to this entirely fictional interview, Mark! MZ: Sure — anytime. But you don’t mind if I […]

Google’s smart home sell looks cluttered and incoherent

If any aliens or technology ingenues were trying to understand what on earth a ‘smart home’ is yesterday, via Google’s latest own-brand hardware launch event, they’d have come away with a pretty confused and incoherent picture. The company’s presenters attempted to sketch a vision of gadget-enabled domestic bliss but the effect was rather closer to […]

Court rules warrants are needed for cops to access smart electrical meter data

You can tell a lot about what’s going on in a home from how much electricity it’s using — especially when that information is collected every few minutes and recorded centrally. It’s revealing enough that a federal judge has ruled that people with smart meters have a reasonable expectation of privacy and as such law […]

LifeDoor crowdfunds the production version of its fire-thwarting door-closer

At CES in January I was pleasantly surprised by the LifeDoor, a smart home gadget that’s actually worth having. These little boxes automatically close doors when smoke detectors go off, inhibiting the spread of fire and smoke. The company is heading to KickStarter to fund the production version of the device, which has several improvements […]