Stories by Pulkit Chandna

The Ola smart biometric entry lock eliminates the need to carry your smartphone or memorize a passcode

An undercurrent of frustration has brewed ever since the first key-operated lock was invented some four thousand years ago, erupting to the fore each time a key is forgotten or goes missing and someone is locked out of their own home. Smart locks are one solution to this age-old problem, but many people have issues with their reliance on memorized passcodes or smartphones. Enter Ola, a smart lock that ditches keys altogether, relying instead on recognizing your fingerprint.

Pulkit Chandna | 25 Jun | Read more

Camio turns your spare phone or tablet into Dropcam

For all their out-of-the-box convenience, advanced features and constant improvements, cloud cameras such as Dropcam and Netcam HD aren't exactly the cheapest home-surveillance option. In addition to the upfront cost of the unit itself, there's usually a recurring fee for cloud storage. But what if you could get your webcam or a spare iOS or Android device to work like Dropcam?

Pulkit Chandna | 25 Apr | Read more

iSmartAlarm is now armed with a dedicated IFTTT channel

iSmartAlarm burst onto the smart-home scene with a rip-roaringly successful Indiegogo campaign two years ago, exceeding its funding goal many times over. Although none of that buzz was attendant upon the launch of its IFTTT (IF This Then That) channel last week, make no mistake it is an important milestone for a product that was beginning to look out of its depth against smarter, better-connected competitors.

Pulkit Chandna | 25 Mar | Read more

Google's smart-home plans include 'neighborhood security networks' and security ratings for homes

On Thursday, March 5, 2015, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a patent application filed by Google in September. Titled "Security Scoring in a Smart-Sensored Home", it simply repeats, with a few additions, the claims made in a prior patent application filed by Nest in March 2013, almost a year before the smart thermostat-maker was acquired by Google for $3.2 billion. But that's beside the point, which is that Google is toying with the idea of scoring smart homes on how secure they are.

Pulkit Chandna | 13 Mar | Read more

Researchers show why buying a used Nest may not be such a bright idea

At last year's Black Hat security conference, a team comprised mostly of researchers from the the University of Central Florida set alarm bells ringing when it showed just how easily a hacker could make deep cyber inroads into a smart home using the Nest thermostat . Inspired and curious, researchers at security firm TrapX Security took it upon themselves to put those claims to the test in a real-world scenario.

Pulkit Chandna | 11 Mar | Read more