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Patrick Hearn

Patrick Hearn

Former Digital Trends Contributor

Patrick Hearn writes about smart home technology like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, smart light bulbs, and more. If it's a smart or connected device, he has probably been hands-on with it or at least written about the product at some point.

Patrick also has bylines at CNET, Progressive, Xfinity, GameSpot, Online Tech Tips, and a number of other publications. When not working on the latest smart tech, he spends his time writing a sci-fi/fantasy fiction series.

How to convert your window blinds into smart blinds

Smart blinds can be prohibitively expensive, but DIY conversion kits can save money while providing all of the same benefits.
spooky halloween lighting haunted house

Here’s how to throw a killer Halloween party with your smart home

With Halloween just around the corner, it's the perfect time to use smart home technology to make your home the spookiest one around.
The iRobot Roomba i3 Plus dirt disposal unit.

Self-emptying robot vacuums: Do you really need one?

Self-emptying robot vacuums make cleaning your floors smarter and more efficient. But do you really need one? Here's a look at the benefits and drawbacks.
Amazon Astro following a person through a door.

Amazon Astro: everything you need to know about this home robot

This is everything you need to know about Amazon's home robot, Astro, including its capabilities, price, and more.
blink expands lineup affordable video doorbell floodlight camera

Are Blink’s floodlight and solar panel add-ons worth it?

The Blink Outdoor Cam is a versatile camera with a set of accessories that make it even more powerful -- but is the added cost for these accessories worth it?

Apple HomePod mini vs. Google Nest Audio

The HomePod mini and Google Nest Audio are two of the best smart speakers on the market. But which is best for your home? Here's a closer look at both products.
The Click and Grow 25 beside the kitchen counter.

Click & Grow 25 review: fresh veggies on a weekly basis

The Click & Grow 25 is a smart garden that, while expensive, has a lot of potential and can expand to match a growing family.
Arlo Go 2

The Arlo Go 2 can go beyond Wi-Fi, and that’s really cool

The Arlo Go 2 is a wireless, LTE-compatible security camera that goes where other cameras fear to tread: beyond Wi-Fi range.
nordstrom memorial day sale half year smart garden 3

This is how much it costs to run a smart garden, and how much it can save

Smart gardens are pitched as a way to cut down on produce costs, but are they really cost-efficient?
A cat sits in the Litter Robot 4 and watches his owner.

Litter Robot 4 review: a smart, automated pooper-scooper

The Litter Robot 4 is a fantastic, self-cleaning litter box that can help keep an eye on your cat's health.
The PuriCare AeroTower acts as a conversation piece in a room.

Turns out, sleep mode in smart fans isn’t just a gimmick

A lot of smart fans have a sleep mode. Turns out, it's not just a gimmicky feature -- it can actually help you sleep better.
The Gardyn in someone's kitchen.

Gardyn review: easy gardening for a high price

The Gardyn 2.0 is the most advanced smart garden I've ever gotten my hands on, but it could still use some improvement.
The Google Pixel Table and the Speaker Dock.

Is the Pixel Tablet a competitor to the Echo Show 15?

Not much is known about the Google Pixel Tablet, but early looks suggest it just might be a competitor to the Echo Show 15.
Someone presses the Nest Video Doorbell in front of their home.

The new Nest Doorbell has an hour of onboard video storage

The new Nest Doorbell is a hardwired option with a lot of new features that make it a worthwhile upgrade from the previous model.
Astro looking at a dog on a couch.

Despite its new features, Astro is still impractical for most people

Amazon's Astro is a nifty invention, but it's functionality is still limited. It's not the most practical purchase for the vast majority of people.
The Echo Dot with Clock sits on a table.

New Amazon Echos bring ‘dot displays’ and mesh networking, plus models for kids and cars

At Amazon's Devices & Services event, the company launched four new products including an upgraded Echo Dot and Echo Auto.
The Amazon Halo Rise displaying a wake-up light.

Amazon’s Halo Rise is an alarm clock, sleep tracker, and wake-up light in one

The Halo Rise is a privacy-focused bedside sleep tracker, wake-up light, and alarm, all rolled into one package.
Samsung Bespoke Jet in an empty hallway.

Samsung Bespoke Jet review: aesthetic, powerful cleaning at a cost

The Samsung Bespoke Jet is a powerful vacuum cleaner that looks great in your living room, but does a vacuum cleaner need to be art?
John Cleese, naked except for a photo held in front of his crotch, in A Fish Called Wanda.

Alexa has seen me naked, and that’s okay

Your smart home technology has probably seen you naked, too. Is that something to worry about? I say no.
The iRobot app overlaid on a Roomba.

Why Amazon acquiring iRobot will make Roombas even better

Amazon has signed a deal to acquire iRobot, and that could mean a lot of benefits for customers.
The Dreo Pilot Max smart fan in an empty room.

Dreo Pilot Max S review: a smart fan, not a smart price

The Dreo Pilot Max S smart fan makes it easy to control it from anywhere, but we're not sure that minor convenience justifies the price bump.
Amazon Echo Show 15 hanging horizontally on the wall in a kitchen.

5 reasons I still use the Echo Show 15 everyday

The Echo Show 15 came out six months ago, and I still use it on a daily basis to stay on top of tasks. Here's why I still love it.
The AeroGarden Harvest on a countertop beside the sink.

AeroGarden Smart Garden Review: hydroponics for dummies

The AeroGarden Harvest Smart Garden makes it easy to grow fresh vegetables and herbs in your home with little to no guesswork.
The Echo Show 15 is the largest smart display yet.

Cloud services are convenient, but they hurt smart home longevity

Relying on cloud servers for basic smart home functionality is a terrible idea.
Apple HomeKit ecosystem

Apple’s Home app redesign is just what HomeKit needs

Apple has redesigned the Home app from the ground up to improve navigation and usability.
Amazon Echo Show 15 hanging horizontally on the wall in a kitchen.

Are we becoming too dependent on the smart home?

Smart homes are convenient, but are we trading mental strength for that convenience?
The LG PuriCare AeroTower sits in the center of a room and cools the entire space.

LG PuriCare AeroTower Review: Powerful, quiet, effective

The LG PuriCare AeroTower is an air purifier and fan in one, but most importantly, it does all of these tasks quietly.
Hosting a Zoom conference through Nest Hub Max.

There’s no new Nest Hub, but that’s OK

Google didn't announce a new Nest Hub yesterday, but that's OK. Other areas need to be focused on first.
Google assistant, displaying own photos.

The ‘Look and Talk’ feature means you don’t have to say ‘Hey Google’

Updates to Google Assistant make interacting with the device easier and more streamlined than ever before.
A person weraing the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro for sleep monitoring

The Sandman wars, or how accurate are sleep trackers?

I compared the results of three different sleep trackers to determine which one is the most accurate.
The Dock Pro ME covers only one side of the bed.

Chilisleep Dock Pro Sleep System review: Room for improvement

The Chilisleep Dock Pro ME Sleep System is designed to keep you cool and comfortable at night.
The Tineco Carpet One cleans a dirty floor.

Tineco Carpet One review: Powerful, efficient cleaning

The Tineco Carpet One Smart Carpet Cleaner pulls dirt and debris from your carpet that you didn't even know was there.
Nanoleaf Lines in a gaming room.

How do the Nanoleaf Lines hold up after six months?

After six months of daily use, the Nanoleaf Lines are still a solid investment in dynamic home lighting.
iRobot Roomba S9.

Can a robot vacuum work as an air purifier?

Is there a future where robot vacuums and air purifiers are the same device? Not likely, but they might be able to work together.