Gear Up on IoT: Fitbit Is No. 1 App + Hacking Holiday Lights

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Five IoT news bites to start your Monday.

Fitbit, temporarily, nabbed the No. 1 spot for free apps from Apple’s App Store by Christmas afternoon. One of the more popular exercise wearables, Fitbit is promising some new updates at next week's CES. Consumers, though, are obviously already hooked, and eyeing ways to work off those holiday cookies. 

The best of times — the worst of times. That sums up the 60-second spot dropped by Nest Cam over the weekend, showing what their customers captured in 2015. From a baby's first steps to a marriage proposal, the big moments in life made the ad. But so too a home break-in and a bear (yep) invading at night. (Here’s our review in case you missed it.)

Smart cleaning tools are getting competitive. Consider LG’s Hom-Bot Turbo+, set to premier at CES next week, which is adding an augmented reality twist to robotic vacuum cleaning. Snap a picture of a dirty spot in your room, and Hom-Bot will race over to take care of the issue. A nice perk: if the cleaner picks up movement in the room, it will take an image on its own, then forward to an app so users can check. Roomba? Take note.

Feel savvy enough for some IoT DIY this holiday season? Hackday gives a step-by-step tutorial on building your own Internet of Things power strip to control holiday lights — or maybe your New Year’s Eve decorations — through a smartphone.

Finally, LeBron James fans who nabbed a Samsung Gear VR headset for the holidays can watch the Cavaliers’ forward dunk — and hear from his trainers too — during a 12-minute virtual reality flick. Tagged “Striving for Greatness,” the short VR film is part of the growing field of VR entertainment, hoping to lure more consumers to VR headsets  in the coming year.

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