Chuck Martin for IoTDaily: Any consumers who go shopping specifically for a smart, connected home device this holiday season are going to face a bewildering assortment.
The number of products ranging from smart appliances and home control systems to smart security systems and streaming media devices is now in the thousands at Best Buy alone, according to a new study.
The study on consumer attitudes toward smart appliances is based on a nationally representative sample of 1,000 consumers each in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany, conducted by Futuresource Consulting.
Researchers counted more than 3,000 connected home devices being sold at Best Buy. The tally provides a general idea of the largest and smallest categories. Cont'd...
Mike Brown for Inverse: The world’s first data transmission over a power grid has been successfully completed, paving the way for a decentralized future where smart houses tell each other how much energy they need. The tests, conducted by Reactive Technologies in the UK, sends data along the 50Hz electricity signal that passes through sub-station transformers that link up the country’s grid. The wires themselves have been used to send data before, but it’s getting through those transformers that’s never been done.
“We are keen to support innovative products like this one that can bring a real benefit for customers,” Cordi O’Hara, director of systems operator at National Grid, told The Guardian on Tuesday. “It represents another step forward in the development of the smart grid technologies that are going to play an increasingly important role in the energy systems of the future.” Cont'd...
Blake Montgomery for Buzzfeed: Today, Thington launches. It’s a smart assistant app that aims to simplify smart home devices.
Thington’s distinctive feature? Thington Concierge, a conversational bot that helps you set up and control the smart things you’ve already set up in your home. From weather stations to light switches to security cameras, it supports a range of devices.
With its bot messenger interface, Concierge allows you to create rules for your house. You can set your lights to glow fluorescent during the day and incandescent during the night, or to turn on when you get home. Or, for example, you can program your Nest thermostat to lower the heat while you’re sleeping in your cozy bed, and then to raise the temperature before you wake up. And you can add people to a “Guest List” to give them access to your home’s controls when they’re visiting you. These kinds of combinations and features, Thington founders Tom Coates and Matt Biddulph believe, is their product’s competitive edge: It’s more like an assistant with a personality than a remote. Cont'd...
Taylor Martin for CNet: Google announced its Amazon Echo competitor back at its I/O developer conference in May. Today, it made Google Home official with arelease date and price.
It also gave us a closer look at how the company plans to compete with the more established household assistant today, Alexa.
While Google has its work cut out in getting broad third-party support that includes other smart-home brands, there is already a healthy list of in-house features Google Home will be capable of out of the gate that Alexa could only hope to add in the future.
Here are nine things Google Home can do that Alexa can't. Cont'd...
Todd Shields for Bloomberg: Imagine watching TV without paying the cable company for the blinking set-top box, using a gadget of your choice that makes it easy to switch between cable channels, streaming programs and online shows.
The idea, simple in concept, is proving difficult in execution.
U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is pushing a plan to force cable companies to give up their control over set-top boxes, "unlocking" the marketplace as he puts it.
But he’s drawn opposition from lawmakers in both parties, not to mention some of the most active corporate lobbyists in Washington. Comcast Corp. and the cable industry -- which stands to lose $20 billion a year in box rentals -- say it’s unnecessary and are fighting it. So are Hollywood studios, DirecTV owner AT&T Inc., and CBS Corp. Even a fellow commission Democrat said Wheeler’s plan set for a Sept. 29 vote is flawed. Cont'd...
Mark Gurman & Ian King for Bloomberg: Apple Inc. is pressing ahead with the development of an Echo-like smart-home device based on the Siri voice assistant, according to people familiar with the matter.
Started more than two years ago, the project has exited the research and development lab and is now in prototype testing, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing unannounced Apple projects. Like Amazon Inc.’s Echo, the device is designed to control appliances, locks, lights and curtains via voice activation, the people said. Apple hasn’t finalized plans for the device and could still scrap the project.
If a product reaches the market, it would be Apple’s most significant piece of new hardware since the company announced the Apple Watch in 2014. Cont'd...
Julian Horsey for GeekyGadgets: Zip The Fish has created a new Raspberry Pi adapter which has been specifically designed to enable a wide variety of home automation features allowing you to transform any property from a single small room to a large hotel smarter, say its developers.
Watch the promotional video linked below to learn more about the Zip The Fish Pi home automation system which has been specifically designed for the Raspberry Pi.
Main Features of the Zip The Fish Pi include :
– More power for PI – Three different power supplies up to 3A each.
– Micro USB power supply input
– Uninterruptible power supply: Seamless switching between three power sources. There is the possibility to connect small or large batteries – a special chip takes care of battery health, including charge and protection.
Peter Sayer for PCWorld: "A series of tubes" is one of the most famous explanations of what makes the internet work, but it's also what many Europeans use to heat their homes. That's made room-by-room heating automation difficult -- until now.
Heating systems in Europe typically circulate hot water from a boiler to radiators around the home, with the pump and boiler controlled by a central thermostat. Programmable timers can boost the temperature on winter evenings or lower it at night.
Generally, though, such control is an all-or-nothing, whole-home affair, making it impossible to heat the living room only in the evening but warm the bathroom for a morning shower. Smart controllers like Nest and its European competitors Tado and Netatmo can't change that, as the series of tubes in most homes doesn't allow for independent control of different heating zones. Cont'd...
Oliver Winkler has designed and developed the new smart home assistant that incorporates a touchscreen display, together with camera and voice control technology to help you manage your life.
The L.U.C.Y. home assistant has this week launched via Kickstarter with the aim of raising €100,000 and is available to back with pledges starting from just €358 for early bird backers.
L.U.C.Y. takes the form of a 17 inch display complete with companion application. Watch the promotional video below to know more about what L.U.C.Y. is capable of providing and how she can help your day run even smoother. Kickstarter Page:
Raymond Wong for Mashable: Sony has reintroduced the Xperia Agent at tech showcase IFA 2016, adding some new tricks, including the ability to connect to a smart coffee machine to make you a caffeinated cup.
Also, the last time we saw Sony's adorable little personal home-assistant robot, Xperia Agent, it didn't have a screen on its body. Now it does.
The Xperia Agent is still at concept stage, but it's getting more and more smart-home features as it edges towards the production line.
Sony showed off how it could now connect to a Nestlé smart coffee machine and serve up a caffeine fix at your command.
It's really no more special than pushing a button on a smartphone app and having a connected machine start dripping out coffee, but it's undeniably more fun to see a small robot do so, while dancing along on your counter and blasting out notifications, such as the time and weather. Cont'd...
Shelly Banjo & Shira Ovide for BloombergGadfly: Best Buy's quarterly financial results on Tuesday were downright Amazon-like: Consecutive quarters of double-digit online sales growth. Hot new products including virtual-reality headsets and techy watches. Words like "exploration" and "experimentation."
Gone were the store-closing announcements of quarters past, along with talk of bad weather or other tired excuses for why consumers aren't shopping (many of which we've heard from Target, Macy's and other retailers in recent weeks). Shares surged 19 percent on the news, marking Best Buy's biggest one-day stock gain since 2001. Cont'd...
PR Newswire: "Did I lock the car?" "How can I warm up my car on a snowy morning without going outside, get my news and still get to work on time?" These are questions that can leave many car owners feeling frazzled. But not G80 and G90 owners, as Genesis is the first automaker to launch an Alexa skill, allowing remote voice commands to control connected cars. Genesis Connected Services can take care of these tasks and more from inside the home using the Alexa voice service on Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Amazon Tap. The new Alexa skill for Genesis is available today across Alexa-enabled devices.
"We're excited to bring the convenience of voice and Alexa to the Genesis G80 and G90," said Steve Rabuchin, vice president, Amazon Alexa. "With this innovative Alexa implementation, customers can now start their car, and get the heat going all just by asking Alexa from the comfort of their own home. We can't wait for our customers to try it out." Cont'd...
By Luke Dormehl for DigitalTrends: There’s no doubt that device-filled connected smart homes are on the way. The real question is how we’re going to control them.
That was the starting point of a nifty proof-of-concept project created by interaction designer Ian Sterling and software engineer Swaroop Pal during a recent HoloLens hackathon in San Francisco. Their augmented reality pitch shows how smart devices could be controlled with glances and gestures — in what Sterling calls a “virtual Zen mode,” complete with calming lights and sounds. Full Article:
Meghan Ottolini for CRN: Could robotics provide solutions that would help the Internet of Things to go mainstream? iRobot CEO Colin Angle believers IoT-integrated robots can solve issues around IoT device mapping and maintenance. “In order for the Internet of Things to work, we need maps,” Angle said. “We need to understand where all these devices are. We need to maintain them, and a robot can do that on its own every day.”
Angle used the example of the simple Roomba robot, which quickly learns where walls meet and furniture lies. “While it’s doing that, why not build a map?” Angle proposed.
That way, as the Roomba cleans, it can also test whether connected lights are still operative. That type of robot can also be used to turn lights on and off depending on room usage to save energy. Cont'd...
DAVID CURRY for ReadWrite: Almost every product in the house now has a smart alternative, Nest revolutionized the thermostat and smoke detector, August built a smartphone connected door lock, and Samsung launched a smart fridge.
Even with the abundance of smart alternatives, Lux Research says there is still disconnect between the consumer and manufacturer. Price is the most obvious issue, despite manufacturers lowering prices in the past year, they are still too high for consumers that aren’t fully invested in the usefulness of smart home devices.
Lux Research also argues that retrofitting may have helped major smart home firms like Nest and Samsung keep customers on board. Some, after purchasing first generation tech, decided not to purchase the second generation, either due to cost or lack of additional features.
“Current prices [for smart home appliances] are three times higher and will have to be lower for manufacturers to push smart appliances for mass adoption,” said Jessica Hernández, Lux Research Associate and lead author of the report. “Also, businesses can benefit by focusing on retrofit technologies as a bridge for smart appliance adoption, drawing in products such as refrigerators and air conditioners that have a long life cycle.” Cont'd...
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