Big Data Suggests Big Potential for Urban Farming

Amy Crawford for CityLab: A global analysis finds that urban agriculture could yield up to 10 percent of many food crops, plus a host of positive side benefits.

Microsoft continues to push Cortana into the smart home with IFTTT integration

Emma Boyle for Tech Radar: Though adding new devices such as Ecobee, Honeywell Lyric, LIFX, and Geeni to Cortana's roster is a positive step, it's IFTTT integration that will really give the assistant a boost.

Smart irrigation scheme cuts water use and boosts crop yields - scientists

BT: The micro-irrigation system, which is being trialled on a farm in Tamil Nadu, southern India, has cut water use by up to 80% and doubled the yields of some crops, the scientists from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh said.

Facebook to launch smart home speakers in July: Report

Zee Business: "The Aloha model, to be marketed under the official name Portal, will use voice commands but will also feature facial recognition to identify users for accessing Facebook via a wide-angle lens on the front of the device," the report added.

With Blink's camera chip and a few AA batteries, Amazon goes low-energy

Valentina Palladino for Ars Technica: On the flip side, Blink's cameras are powered by AA batteries, and its embedded, energy-efficient chip allows those batteries to last up to two years at a time.

Alphabet rolls its Nest smart home unit back into Google

Jillian D'Onfro for CNBC: The company writes that by bringing Nest back into Google, it can "supercharge Nest's mission." Nest's current CEO, Marwan Fawaz, will now report to Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh.

Mozilla Offers a Slick New Way to Control Your Smart Home

Lee Mathews for Liliputing: Mozilla announced a major upgrade to Things Gateway. With the new version come a number of features that put it more in line with its retail competition.

Tesla and Australia will turn 50,000 homes into a virtual solar power plant

Mark Austin for DigitalTrends: Installation of the 5kW solar panels and Tesla batteries has already begun on 1,100 public housing properties, with 24,000 more to follow. After that, the program will be opened up to as many as 50,000 South Australian homes.

Nissan moves into home solar energy storage

Nick Lavars for New Atlas: Nissan reckons its solar energy system can save UK homeowners up to 66 percent on their energy bills

Tesla to set up mini solar stores inside Home Depot

Lauren Thomas for CNBC: The expansion would help Tesla test the appeal of its renewable-energy products to a wider audience. It would help Home Depot use some of its excess floor space to sell new products and gain a competitive edge over its peers.

The Future Of The Smart Home: Your Home's Operating System & The Artificial Intelligence To Power It

Andrew Weinreich for Forbes: I'll analyze the race between tech giants to develop an operating system and artificial intelligence for the smart home.

A new approach to rechargeable batteries

David L. Chandler, MIT News Office: New metal-mesh membrane could solve longstanding problems and lead to inexpensive power storage.

Here's What Life Will Be Like With 3D Printers That Can Create Anything

Kristin Houser for Futurism: Today's desktop 3D printers are fairly limited in terms of capabilities. However, we could be just a couple of decades away from a world in which every home has a 3D printer, capable of producing almost anything we can imagine.

Ring's First Takeover Is Major Milestone For Emerging Force In Smart Home Security

Paul Lamkin for Forbes: "It's not a revenue thing and it's not a technology thing - it has to be an area that we see as fitting the mission and it has to be a culture that we think we can work with,"

Audi aims to compete with Tesla Energy through a new 'Smart Energy Network'

Fred Lambert for Electrek: They are combining electric vehicle charging, energy storage, and solar power to provide balancing services to the grid with benefits for both the homeowner/electric car owner and the electric utility.

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