New CTA Smart Home Security Checklist for Tech Installers Will Improve Consumers' IoT Security

"To better safeguard consumers' privacy and sensitive information, CTA created the first-ever tool designed by installers, for installers, that outlines existing best practices, standards and methods for today's smart home security challenges."

Choosing the Right Size Structured Media® Enclosure

Structured Media enclosures make it easy to manage your home network connectivity and hardware, but choosing the right size can be difficult.

Unified Electronic Security Solution Improves Automotive Part Company's Production, Efficiency and Safety

Rapid return on investment for cutting edge video surveillance and analytical technology.

iSmartAlarm Unveils Major Updates and Innovative Features

iSmart Alarm, Inc., the leader in DIY smart home security, today announces the launch of iSmartAlarm App v2.0.1, the largest update to date to the award-winning iSmartAlarm Apps on iOS and Android devices. With this new update now available for download, fans will have a host of exciting new features, the ability to customize all system Modes, a cleaner UI experience, and significant upgrades in speed and stability.

CIA Exploits of IoT Devices, What Lessons Can We Learn?

All too often, companies building connected devices either ignore security completely, try to bolt it on late in the development cycle, or treat it as a "nice to have" feature.

Not trying to outdo Comcast, this Philly start-up finds its own home-automation niche

Diane Mastrull for Philly.com: Moorman and Buchert decided that multifamily residences represented a vast opportunity in the IoT -Internet of Things - and launched StratIS (for Strategic Implementation and Support), a software company in East Falls, in June 2015.

A look inside the 2017 HGTV Smart Home in Scottsdale

12 News Arizona:  With an audio system wired into every room, a security system that can monitor for pipe leaks, and outlets with USB ports built in, the HGTV Smart Home 2017 is not your grandma's house.

The fully wired, 3,300-square-foot home is located right in the Valley, in north Scottsdale.  HGTV representatives say they chose Scottsdale -- "The West's Most Western Town" -- for its combination of tech and culture, as well as opportunities for year-round family fun.

Designer Tiffany Brooks says she took her cues for the house from the desert landscape -- using natural materials like stone, wood, leather and glass, as well as incorporating antique tribal pieces and work from local artists.  Full Article and Video:

Toys for Tots: Toys are Getting Smarter, More Educational but Riskier

All of the great "toys" are simply logical extensions of technology you're begging to use yourself and will help your kids be light years ahead of you when they're your age!

Can your smart home be used against you in court?

Brian Heater for TechCrunch:  On a November, 2015 morning in Bentonville, Arkansas, first responders discovered a corpse floating in a hot tub. The home’s resident, James Andrew Bates, told authorities he’d found the body of Victor Collins dead that morning. He’d gone to bed at 1 AM, while Collins and another friend stayed up drinking.

This past December, The Information reported that authorities had subpoenaed Amazon over the case. The police were considering Bates a suspect in what they suspected was a murder after signs of a struggle were found at the scene. They hoped his Echo might hold some insights into what happened the night before.

Amazon initially pushed back against the request, citing First Amendment protections, but ultimately conceded when Bates agreed to allow the information to be handed over to police.

While Amazon’s fight has been rendered moot, this case lays groundwork for some tough and important conversations to come, raising a slew of fascinating questions around the technologies.  Cont'd...

Comcast completes acquisition of Icontrol's IoT and home security arm

Tas Bindi for ZDNet:  Comcast has completed its acquisition of Icontrol Networks' Converge business, which creates Internet of Things (IoT) and connected home security solutions.

Converge already powers Comcast's XFinity Home, in that it allows Comcast to communicate with and manage security sensors that are part of Xfinity Home, and also supports home-automation devices like cameras and thermostats.

While the terms of the deal remain undisclosed, Comcast SVP and XFinity Home general manager Daniel Herscovici explained in a blog post that the acquisition will give the company full control over Icontrol's research and development roadmap. Specifically, it will allow the company to accelerate the pace of XFinity Home's development, especially in the area of connected home security.  Cont'd...

Nest is working on at least 3 new smart-home gadgets right now - here's what we know

Antonio Villas-Boas for Business Insider:  Nest, the struggling connected-smart-home company bought by Google's parent company, Alphabet, in 2014, will expand its range of smart-home products with new and updated devices you can control from apps on your mobile devices, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

Those new products include a home-security alarm system with window and door sensors, a key fob for arming and disarming your alarm, and a smart doorbell with a camera.

The news comes after a tumultuous period at Nest, during which the cofounder and CEO, Tony Fadell, resigned amid criticism of his management style and a lack of new products.

The new products would give Nest a more complete presence in the smart-home ecosystem, instead of forcing users to mix devices from a variety of companies.  Cont'd...

Extra security for your Nest Account.

From Nest:  Here’s how it works: the first time you sign into your Nest Account after activating two-factor authentication, you’ll type in your email and password as always, but then you’ll get a text with a verification code. Enter the code and you’re set.

To turn on two-factor authentication, go to the Nest app, tap the menu icon on the top left, then go to the category Account Security. You’ll see an option there to activate “2-step verification.” After you’ve turned it on, you’ll need to sign in again. It takes a minute or two for our customers, but for hackers working from computers all over the world, things get a whole lot harder.

Smart home opportunity in its infancy

Simon Quicke for Computer Weekly Microscope:  If anyone in the channel was worried that they were missing out on a booming smart home market then they can sleep more easily knowing that the Uk is in its infancy when it comes to connected homes.
Some of the distributors are positioning themselves ready for the uptake of services to control features likes security and heating but according to Gartner things are still at an early stage.
The assessment of the market from the analysts means that the channel still has the time to develop skills and vendor relationships in the smart home area. Gartner estimates that current adoption rates are around the 10% mark.  Cont'd...

The connected home window is open, but for how long?

Paul Lalancette Opinion piece for RCR Wireless News:  The potential for “connected homes” enabled by the internet of things to become a major market opportunity is no longer in doubt. The benefits for consumers, such as controlling energy costs, increasing security and having a home that learns how to behave according to personal preferences, are too promising. Offering these services represents an enormous opportunity for communications service providers, but it is not a forgone conclusion they will lead in the arena.

CSPs can play a central role in delivering an easy to use yet valuable experience to consumers in managing their connected homes. The number of devices and services operating across different and fragmented platforms for the connected home is holding back its widespread adoption. For the connected home to make the jump from being used by early adopters to being commonplace, the experience has to evolve to be far more seamless than it is today. This is the window that is open for CSPs to step up and bring a truly integrated consumer experience to the connected home. But it may not be for long.  Cont'd...

Cobalt Robotics Introduces a (Mostly) Autonomous Mobile Security Robot

Evan Ackerman for IEEE Spectrum:  Today, Cobalt Robotics (a startup based in Palo Alto, Calif.) is announcing an autonomous mobile robot designed for indoor security applications that can “work alongside human guards to provide better security than people can do alone.”

The key realization here is that security guards spend the vast majority of their time doing almost nothing, and even in a worst case scenario (like someone trying to break in, or a fire or other serious problem), their primary responsibility is making the right phone call as quickly as possible as opposed to dealing with the situation directly.  Full article:

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