CES 2017: Yale to Add HomeKit to Select Smart Locks by Late March

Lock manufacturer Yale at CES 2017 this week announced that its lineup of Real Living Assure smart locks will be compatible with HomeKit by the end of March. By then, new Assure locks will be sold with a HomeKit module, which will also be available to purchase separately to add to existing Assure locks.

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HomeKit support will enable users to lock and unlock their homes by using Apple's new Home app on iOS 10 or the free Yale Assure companion app (U.S. and Canada only) for iPhone and iPad. Homeowners can also use Siri voice commands such as "Hey Siri, lock the front door" and "Hey Siri, is my front door locked?"

Users are also able to check a lock's battery and current lock status, create up to 12 unique pin codes, customize lock and notification settings, name a lock, and add a new lock through the Yale Assure app. Users with a third-generation Apple TV or later can control HomeKit accessories in the Home app while away from home.


The deadbolt locks feature a backlit capacitive touchscreen keypad for keyless entry. If a smartphone is unavailable, users can enter a unique 4-8 digit pin code to enter the home. The Bluetooth-enabled lock is powered by four AA batteries included, or users can touch a 9V battery to the battery terminals at the bottom as a backup option.

Yale said the HomeKit module will also be compatible with its recently launched nexTouch Wireless smart lock targeted at small business owners. The new HomeKit-enabled smart locks and standalone HomeKit module are expected to be available for purchase on Yale's website at some point in March. Pricing was not disclosed.

The non-HomeKit Real Living Assure locks retail for $199.99 on Yale's website in polished brass, satin nickel, and dark gray colors. ZigBee and Z-Wave modules are also available for $50 each. Here's an installation video.

Other HomeKit-enabled smart locks include the Schlage Sense and August Smart Lock.


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CES 2017: The Best Apple Related Accessories

Apple may not take part in the annual Consumer Electronics Show, but the event is still filled with all kinds of Apple-related accessories from third-party vendors. Some aren't so great or are the same old thing, but others are novel, fun, and bring something new to the table.

For this video, we spent a couple of days exploring the show floor to find some of the best Apple accessories of CES 2017.

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Incipio showed off a new iPhone 7 case that brings back the headphone jack. The case itself is rather thin, but there is a large chin at the bottom to accommodate both the headphone jack and and a Lightning charging port.

Griffin displayed its BreakSafe cables for the MacBook and MacBook Pro. The cables, including a new 100W model for the 2016 MacBook Pro, are designed to replace Apple's MagSafe connector, offering the same breakaway functionality over USB Type-C.

Henge Docks debuted a number of products to complement the new MacBook Pro. The original Vertical Dock allows you to dock your computer off to the side of a monitor, while the new Horizontal Dock allows you to securely dock the MacBook Pro without compromising usability. The Horizontal Dock features pressure sensors to know when the computer is present, and it then automatically connects itself with the computer. This dock has 13 ports available including HDMI, USB Type-A, and Ethernet. Henge Docks also announced the Tethered Dock, which gives you a station to connect multiple cables and charge your MacBook.

CMRA showed off a prototype Apple Watch band that features a front and rear-facing camera, but it didn't have a functional model on hand. We only saw a dummy unit, so we'll have to wait to see the band in action. The CMRA is already available for pre-order, but won't ship out until later this year.

Finally, NanoLeaf displayed its colorful array of Aurora lights. These HomeKit-enabled lights can be displayed on a wall and each individual light can be controlled through the Aurora app. NanoLeaf also demoed the new Aurora Rhythm sound sensor that allows the lights to react to music and sound.

If you missed them, make sure to check out the videos we did at CES Unveiled and Pepcom, two events that had tons of cool Apple products. You'll also want to check out our full CES coverage, which has dozens more accessories worth looking at.

Tag: CES 2017

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CES 2017: Mixtile Hub Promises to Expand HomeKit to ZigBee and Z-Wave Smart Home Devices

Focalcrest, a Chinese company focusing on intelligent hardware solutions, today debuted a new HomeKit hub that promises to bring HomeKit connectivity to various connected home products that would not otherwise be able to interface with Apple's smart home platform.

The Mixtile Hub, which is MFi certified by Apple, is designed to connect to ZigBee and Z-Wave products and interface with HomeKit, allowing them to be controlled in via Siri and with Apple's Home app.

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The hub plugs into a television set, which is used as a display to allow users to discover smart devices located in the home. From the television, the devices can be connected to the hub, and an accompanying smart phone app allows users to designate what a product does so that it can be used appropriately through HomeKit.

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According to Focalcrest, it can interface with Z-Wave and ZigBee products, as well as connect to various smart home devices through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Focalcrest did not provide specific examples of the kinds of hardware the hub can work with, so there are some unknowns with the product at this point in time.
The Mixtile Hub supports wireless communication protocols such as ZigBee, Z-Wave (optional), Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. It can also communicate with various other sensors (temperature and humidity sensors, optical sensors, door sensors) surveillance devices (monitors, alarms, intelligent locks) and smart home products (intelligent lamps, outlets and air conditioners), through ZigBee and Z-Wave.
Several existing hub-based HomeKit products work the same way as the Mixtile Hub, such as the Philips Hue. The Philips Hue base station is HomeKit enabled, while all bulbs connect to and receive commands from the base station using the ZigBee protocol.

ZigBee and Z-Wave are popular options for smart home products that don't support HomeKit. Many home security companies use Z-Wave, as do some major brands like Honeywell, GE, Schlage, D-Link, and First Alert. A wide range of connected home products use ZigBee, like the Logitech Harmony Remote, Cree lightbulbs, GE lightbulbs, and more.

Hardware wise, the hub is equipped with a quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, and 8GB of storage space. It has a built in 2,500mAh battery, dual microphones, an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, a micro-USB port, and a USB 2.0 port.

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Focalcrest says the Mixtile Hub will be priced at approximately $150, and it will tentatively see a release sometime around March of 2017.


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Pepcom at CES: HomeKit Accessories Galore, a Tiny Apple Watch Charger, an iPhone-Connected Car HUD, and More

One of the best ways to see the highlights of what CES has to offer is at the shows -- CES Unveiled, Pepcom, and ShowStoppers. MacRumors videographer Matt hit up Pepcom last night, where he searched for the coolest, most interesting products available on the show floor.

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Amid the highlights at Pepcom were the motion-activated Ring Floodlight Cam, iDevices HomeKit-enabled switches and outlets, the HomeKit-enabled Eve Series, Incase luggage equipped with batteries and Bluetooth, and a snazzy keychain-sized Apple watch charger from Kanex.

Navdy's iPhone-connected heads-up display unit for use in cars was one of the neatest products at Pepcom, and Corning was there showing off Gorilla Glass 5, which is more resistant to impacts and could be used in future iPhones.

If you missed our CES Unveiled video, make sure to check it out here, and for our full CES coverage, click here. Stay tuned to MacRumors and follow us on YouTube because we're going to have more CES content to share this week.

Tag: CES 2017

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CES 2017: Henge Docks Debuts New Horizontal and Vertical Docking Stations for 2016 MacBook Pro

Henge, known for its range of docks for Apple's line of notebooks and iOS devices, today introduced new docking stations designed for the 2016 MacBook Pro. There are a total of three new docks: the Tethered Docking Station, the Vertical Docking Station, and the Horizontal Docking Station.

The Tethered Docking Station, available in Space Gray, is designed to be an extension of the MacBook Pro, with an 85-watt power supply, three USB Type-A ports, two Mini DisplayPorts, an SD card slot, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an audio port, and support for USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 (there are two models). An angled design allows the MacBook to rest directly on the dock.

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The Vertical Docking Station, also available in Space Gray, includes pass-through connections for USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, allowing customers to dock their MacBook Pros and have an instant connection to peripheral devices. Designed to pair with the Tethered Docking Station, the Vertical Docking Station is available for all three MacBook Pro models.

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The Horizontal Docking Station is an all-in-one-dock that features 13 ports and the ability to drop your MacBook in place to have immediate access to all of your accessories. It features 85-watt power, support for up to four external displays, multiple USB Type-A ports, an SD card slot, and more. Like the other docks, it is available with either Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C support.

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Henge is also announcing a new partnership with Apple, which will see it becoming an Apple Authorized Business Solution Provider. Henge can now sell bundles that include Apple MacBooks and Henge docking stations, and plans to introduce a variety of options that can save customers up to $150.

Bundles will range from the Clique paired with an Apple Magic Trackpad 2 and Apple Magic Keyboard to a new MacBook Pro paired with a Horizontal Docking Station.
"This partnership, coupled with the new products we are launching, allows us to offer our customers a complete workstation setup in one convenient spot, and at a discounted price," said Matthew Vroom, Henge Docks CEO. "It's an honor that we were selected for this program after having worked so hard to build products designed to complement and enhance the Apple user experience."
The Tethered Docking Station will be available in March of 2017 for $199, the Vertical Docking Station will be available in the Spring of 2017 for $149, and the Horizontal Docking Station, also available in the Spring of 2017, will be priced at $499.


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Alpine Introduces $900 Infotainment System With Wireless CarPlay

While wireless CarPlay implementations have been supported since iOS 9, the functionality has so far been limited to a single BMW model. That will change next month, however, as Alpine has introduced a new aftermarket system with wireless CarPlay that will be available in February for a suggested price of $900.

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The wireless support enables drivers to connect an iPhone to CarPlay via Wi-Fi to make and receive calls, access text messages, play music, get directions, check traffic conditions, and more. Previous standard and aftermarket CarPlay configurations have required connecting an iPhone with a Lightning cable.

Alpine's new iLX-107 in-dash receiver, which debuted at CES 2017 this week, features a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, LED backlighting, and standard AM/FM radio functionality. Alpine offers five other aftermarket CarPlay systems with screen sizes ranging from 7-9 inches, priced from $900 to $4,000.

While the iLX-107 has a $900 list price, resellers may offer it at cheaper price points as seen with previous Alpine models. Prospective buyers looking for cheaper options should consider other aftermarket systems from Alpine, Pioneer, Kenwood, JVC, Sony, and other manufacturers, although wireless CarPlay will not be supported.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
Tags: CES 2017, Alpine

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CES 2017: Razer Debuts ‘Project Valerie’ Triple Display Laptop

Razer, known for its gaming laptops and accessories, today unveiled its latest product, the world's first triple display laptop. Project Valerie features a Razer laptop that's equipped with one main display and two fold out side displays, all of which are 4K.

Each display measures in at 17.3 inches, for what Razer says is the most expansive viewing experience in a notebook. Project Valerie is powered by an NVIDIA GeForce 1080 GPU and supports NVIDIA Surround View with a resolution of 11520 x 2160 for an immersive gaming experience.

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While the three displays can be used as a single display, they can also be used individually to run multiple applications at the same time. An automated deployment system that uses durable aluminum hinges lets the laptop be set up in a matter of seconds, with perfect display alignment.


According to Razer, though its equipped with three displays, Project Valerie has a form factor that's comparable to other 17-inch gaming laptops on the market, fitting neatly into a laptop bag so it can be taken anywhere. It's about 1.5 inches thick and weighs approximately 12 pounds.

Project Valerie is still a prototype machine and it is not clear if it will eventually see a release. No launch date information or pricing details are available, but interested customers can sign up to learn more about it on Razer's website.

Tags: Razer, CES 2017

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Hands-On: OWC’s ‘DEC’ Adds an SD Card Slot, Ethernet, and USB Type-A Ports to the MacBook Pro

With the release of the 2016 MacBook Pro, there were a slew complaints over the compromising thinness and the removal of ports. For professionals who rely on the MacBook Pro, this latest iteration fell short of expectations. The outcry was so loud, in fact, that Apple slashed prices on its USB-C adapters, a move rarely seen from the company.

This is the DEC from Other World Computing. It's a new dock for the 2016 MacBook Pro that's designed to return some of the missing features Apple removed. It's unique in the way that it connects to the computer and the functionality it brings.

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The DEC attaches to the bottom of the MacBook Pro by replacing the screws that hold on the bottom plate. This method won't void your warranty, but it will allow for the dock to be securely attached at all times.

At first glance the DEC looks comically large, but in person the size and weight are more than manageable. OWC claims that when attached to a 2016 MacBook Pro, the DEC will be as thin as the 2012 MacBook Pro. Weight didn't seem to be an issue, but this is an unfinished prototype that doesn't have all the hardware in place.

When considering the functionality of the dock, the size and weight compromises may be worth it. The DEC connects to the MacBook Pro over Thunderbolt 3 and will bring USB Type-A ports, Gigabit Ethernet, an SD Card Slot, and up to 4TB of storage. Additional features are also being considered, such as an expanded battery pack.

The models shown here are still in prototype phase, but OWC assured us the final models will be available within months. The DEC will come in both Silver and Space Gray, and at release it will be available for the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Pricing is not yet available, but OWC expects it to be priced lower than the BTO 2TB storage upgrade available from Apple.

Tags: OWC, CES 2017

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CES 2017: Honeywell Debuts Two Home Security Cameras, Adding HomeKit to Lyric Security System

Honeywell today unveiled two indoor security cameras and confirmed plans to add HomeKit to its Lyric Security system at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.

The semi-cylindrical Lyric C1 camera captures 720p video at 30 FPS with a 135-degree viewing angle, while the circular Lyric C2 camera records in 1080p at 30 FPS and has a 138-degree viewing angle. Both models have a built-in speaker and microphone for two-way audio functionality.

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Honeywell's new Lyric C2 (left) and Lyric C1 (right) home security cameras

Like other smart home security cameras, including the just-announced D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD and Canary's All-in-One Home Security System and Camera, the Lyric C1 and Lyric C2 let homeowners monitor their homes while they are away for extra peace of mind, with both motion and noise detection.

The free Honeywell Lyric app enables users to control and view a live stream of their Lyric cameras with an iPhone or iPad. When the camera detects motion or certain sounds, users will receive notifications directly on their devices to get a bird's eye view of what's happening in their homes. Screenshots are also available.

The cameras have wired power and connect to a home's Wi-Fi network to provide live streaming at all times. Recordings can be saved locally to an 8GB SD card included with every Lyric C1 and C2 camera, even if the home's Wi-Fi is not working. Free cloud storage per day is also included, with 7- and 30-day upgrades available.

Honeywell said the new Lyric cameras will be available within the first three months of 2017. Pricing was not disclosed.

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Meanwhile, the Lyric Home Security and Control System, originally launched in 2016, will receive a software update with HomeKit support within the first three months of 2017, enabling homeowners to control the system using Siri voice commands or Apple's new Home app on iOS 10.

The Lyric Home Security and Control System is a pro-installed security monitoring system with a 7-inch touchscreen and built-in camera. If a Lyric sensor or motion detector detects an unusual situation, the system will provide visual and audible notifications and send alerts to a paired iPhone or iPad.


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CES 2017: Promise Technology Unveils New 2TB Apollo Cloud With Lower $199 Price Tag

Promise Technology today unveiled the latest version of its Apollo Cloud personal cloud storage device, which offers 2TB of storage for $199. The 2TB Apollo Cloud joins the original 4TB model which is priced at $249.

The Apollo Cloud is designed to combine the ease of use of the cloud with the security of local storage, making network-attached storage simple and accessible for anyone. The Apollo Cloud lets individuals, families, and small businesses share and access files from anywhere.

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Content stored on Apollo Cloud can be accessed through dedicated iOS and Mac apps. Up to 10 users can use the Apollo Cloud, with each receiving personal storage and the ability to share files with others.

Apollo Cloud features AES-256 encryption to safeguard data, and it has been optimized for macOS Sierra and Time Machine backups. Apollo is hoping the new 2TB storage tier and entry-level pricing will make the Apollo Cloud available to an even broader range of users.

The 2TB Apollo Cloud will be available from Apple retail stores and the online Apple Store in February.


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