Home Automation Finally Simple with New Cloud Services

Now, several companies are trying to make home automation easy by creating technologies that allow software and services that connect the disparate gadgets and get them to perform several tasks together — such as opening the front door, turning on the lights and firing up the stereo when you pull into the driveway.


One of those companies is a startup called Revolv. The company makes a single small box, called a hardware hub, which is designed to control all the devices in a home, whether they use common wireless technologies, such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, or relatively obscure ones, such as ZigBee or Z-Wave.

"Our hardware hub has seven different radios,” said Revolv co-founder Mike Soucie. "It can talk to all these devices, depending on what language they speak." This could include thermostats, locks, security cameras, garage-door openers and even those automated drapes.

One neat feature on the hardware hub is its ability to use a single smartphone app in place of the individual apps for each connected device, such as a wireless lock or a Sonos streaming music player.

But Revolv takes its hardware hub one step further by incorporating Geosense technology. Through the home Wi-Fi network, the hardware hub connects to the company's cloud service to automate tasks based on your location.

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