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Newsletter (14th Dec 22): Eufy Caught “Lying” (Apparently?), & Other Smart Home Updates

(This newsletter was originally sent to subscribers on 14th December 2022)

Hi I’m Tristan, and welcome to today’s Smart Home Point newsletter, covering the latest smart home news and updates over the past few weeks.

A Tweet from Paul accusing Eufy of transmitting local data to their cloud servers
A Tweet from Paul accusing Eufy of transmitting local data to their cloud servers

Security researcher Paul Moore caused a splash in smart home circles, by revealing that Eufy’s cameras and doorbells transmit data to Eufy’s own servers – even if you have it set-up for 100% local storage.

However The Hook Up done an interesting ‘rebuttal’ video, showing that the original claims don’t tell the full story.

Video: A Quick Look At The Hue PC Gradient Strips

A clip showing the Philips Hue PC Gradient Strips with the text A brief demo of Philips Hues PC Gradient Strips
A clip showing the Philips Hue PC Gradient Strips

I mentioned in the last newsletter that I purchased Philips Hue’s new PC Gradient Lightstrip product. They’re pretty awesome – I have been enjoying them so far. Late night Rocket League sessions feel more immersive with these, for sure. So I wanted to do a quick video showing them off:

News: Amazon Alexa Is Losing $10 Billion A Year

You know how Amazon keeps selling Echo devices for $15 in the sales, and are constantly rolling out new Alexa features (many of which people are not using)? Well, that has resulted in Amazon losing a boatload of money.

This has resulted in Amazon cutting back plans – and unfortunately jobs – in their Alexa division.

I very much doubt that Alexa (or Echo devices) will disappear, but I imagine there will be less discounts in the future – and less new features over the next few years.

Blog: Echo to Echo Calling: A How-To Guide

Blog screenshot showing the Echo calling article
Blog screenshot showing the Echo calling article

Amazon Echo devices can call each other, which is a pretty useful – but underused – feature. So we published a blog post at the start of December that explores exactly how to make calls with your Echo – including to people outside your household.

News: Ring Officially Cancels HomeKit Support

A few years ago, Ring made two big promises: upcoming HomeKit support, and that 24/7 recording would soon be possible. It has since become a bit of a running joke for Ring customers, because Ring simply never delivered these features – while still announcing on Twitter that they are “working” on them.

But now Ring have finally been honest, and in a tweet they said that HomeKit support is no longer being worked on.

This sucks for HomeKit fans, of course, but I doubt anyone can be too surprised by this.

The Ring tweet which finally said that HomeKit support was cancelled
The Ring tweet which finally said that HomeKit support was cancelled

Wrapping Up

Thanks for reading today’s newsletter. As always, if you have any questions (or just want to say ‘hi’), please feel free to reply to this email.

While I’m not surprised that Alexa is losing money, or that HomeKit support is being cancelled by Ring, I was disappointed to see the claims about Eufy. Eufy are probably my favorite smart camera provider right now – partly due to their local storage support – so I’m hoping they can roll out extra settings that prevent any data being transmitted to the cloud. We’ll see.

I hope that you all have a great holiday season, and I’ll be back early in the new year with another newsletter.

– Tristan

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions about this article, please leave a comment below. Please note that all comments go into a moderation queue (to prevent blog spam). Your comment will be manually reviewed and approved by Tristan in less than a week. Thanks!

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