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...
Keith Nelson Jr. for DigitalTrends: Home is where the heart is and the heart of Sonos’ new 4,200-square-foot retail store is a recreation of the home experience. Located in New York City’s trendy SoHo neighborhood, multiroom audio pioneer’s first ever retail store was built following one core acoustic principle: 50/50. “We wanted a 50/50 environment. 50 percent diffusion and absorption, 50 percent reflective,” said Whitney Walker, general manager of Sonos Stores, during a tour of the store, referring to the different manners in which sound interacts with the store’s surrounding environment.
The result is a retail store that never feels as if it is trying to sell you anything other than a good listening experience. The highlights of the store are the seven listening rooms, each designed to “recreate that experience of going to somebody’s home” and hearing new music, according to Siegel. Cont'd...
Rob Stott for Dealerscope: Not to say that the Home app is a killer to companies/platforms like Control4 and Crestron, but Apple is clearly encroaching on their space.
That said, the aforementioned companies don’t necessarily see this as a problem. Rather, as Paul Williams, Control4’s VP of Solutions, put it, it’s more of an opportunity.
“We would put this in the category of something that we think helps the smart home automation market,” Williams recently told Technology Integrator. “much like when, in the rise of the Internet of Things and IoT, what it’s really done has opened up consumers’ eyes to the possibilities. We’ve said, long before IoT came around, the biggest hurdle that we have in this space for us and other manufactures that specialize in home automation is customer awareness. Customers don’t even realize that this technology is available, that they can even do these kind of things, that there’s these sophisticated but simple-to-install and simple-to-use home automation systems that allow them to have great experiences in their homes.” Full article:
Patently Apple: Late last month the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a series of six Google patents regarding a future home security system that will part of a larger home automation system that will be revealed over time.
In today's brief non-Apple patent report we cover an overview of Google's six patents relating to a future home security system that will eventually be a part of a greater home automation system. Google's first security system patent filing is titled "Home Security System with Automatic Context-Sensitive Transition to Different Modes." Full Article:
Aaron Tilley for Forbes: On the first warm summer week of the year in Provo, Utah, the headquarters of Vivint Smart Home appears quiet. It’s not till you make your way to the second floor that you stumble upon a flurry of activity. That’s where row after row of cubicles house mostly young men in their 20s, many sporting beards and tattoos. Some stand or pace about the room with headsets on, their eyes focused on sales scripts. Others stare into the distance past suburban office parks and toward the scrubby foothills of the Wasatch Mountains. Mawkish soft rock plays in the background. Above the cubicles, a monitor flashes the names and numbers of top salespeople. This year’s prize for the number-one seller is a trip to Hawaii.
It’s a pretty low-tech operation, especially when you consider these reps are selling the future. Along with an army of 2,500 door-to-door salespeople across the United States and Canada (and a few in New Zealand), these 200 or so Utahans are aggressively pushing the Vivint smart home. They have already managed to persuade more than a million homeowners to pay between $40 and $80 a month to have their houses come to life with Internet-connected thermostats, lights, door locks, doorbells, garage door openers, cameras and sensors, whether they are made by Vivint or one of its partners. Cont'd...
Marc Saltzman, Special for USA TODAY: If you don’t know where to start, the following are five trends to consider before your summer Netflix binge session. 4K with HDR: There’s two things you need to know about 4K TVs.
For one, they look spectacular, due to the fact these televisions deliver four times the resolution of 1080p HD TV – instead of 2 million little dots (“pixels”) that make up the image, we’re talking more than 8 million. There’s so much detail in the picture it’s almost like being there.
Secondly, thanks to falling prices and more 4K content than ever before, there’s never been a better time to invest in 4K TV (otherwise known as “UHD” or “Ultra High Definition”). Cont'd...
Business Insider: Wink’s smart home controller, known as the Relay, received an update that integrates services from Uber and Fitbit, as well as the capability to communicate with other devices over the If This Then That (IFTTT) protocol, reports PC Mag.
The Relay is a touchscreen device installed on the wall that controls smart home devices connected by Wink. The update will allow users to see how many steps they have taken that day by tapping into their Fitbit data, and allow users to order Uber rides through their controller.
Integrating the IFTTT communication protocol will allow the Wink Relay to send one-time commands to other smart home devices that support the protocol. Users can create specific "recipes" with the protocol to automate specific tasks. Cont'd...
Chuck Martin for IOT Daily: Some serious marketing dollars may have to be spent just to get consumers aware of smart home products and how to go about getting one.
Most consumers don’t know where to turn to buy smart home products or services, that is, if they even know about them.
The reality is that smart home devices are relatively new and not likely to be on the average person’s radar until they need or want a particular new or replacement device for their home.
And when someone decides they want a so-called smart home device, many don’t know where to turn at that point, based on a new study.
Fewer than a third (30%) of households are familiar with where to buy smart home products or services, according the study by Parks Associate
And of those, fewer than half (40%) prefer to buy the smart products at retail outlets, particularly home improvement stores.
But there still is a gap between stores selling smart products and consumers acquiring them. Cont'd...
Cate Lawrence for ReadWrite: In Argus Insights’ newest “Smart Home 360” report, it’s clear there’s a strong distinction between consumer perception of the apps associated with the most popular Smart Home Service Providers and MSOs (Multiple System Operators) and the apps coming with Do It Yourself (DIY) devices.
Argus Insights found that — from over 56,000 app and device reviews — ADT andSuddenlink are the least liked of MSOs and service providers and their associated apps saw a drop in both the tone and volume of feedback over the last month, an indication that frustrated users could be moving to other providers.
This is consistent with previous research that demonstrates a high degree of satisfaction by customers in DIFM (“Do it for me”) installations.
However, Vivint’s Sky app, Cox Communications Homelife app, Xfinity Home app and Alarm.com app all trended up — an impact of both new releases and subscriber growth. Cont'd...
Greg Miller, Senior Analyst for Wall Street Daily: Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve discussed the promises and perils of the Smart Home, as well as why this segment is on the cusp ofbreaking into the mainstream. Naturally, it’s time to ask: “How can I profit from this?”
Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. Ideally, there would be one or two tickers predicted to soar from the rising Smart Home trend, but there isn’t such a company out there yet. However, there are still ways to participate in the upcoming boom. It will require some creativity and careful investing, specifically in companies with small current exposure to the area. Here are some guidelines for investing in the Smart Home – and for avoiding expensive mistakes. Cont'd...
Harrison Weber for VentureBeat: Comcast and security company Alarm.com have entered into agreements to acquire and divvy up Icontrol, an 11-year-old Internet of Things and home security company founded in Palo Alto and now based in Austin, Texas.
Comcast previously invested an undisclosed sum into Icontrol and relies on the company’s tech to power parts of its connected home and home security platform.
In this multi-part deal, Comcast says it’s buying Icontrol’s Converge platform and wholesale business, which “powers the Xfinity Home touch-screen panel and back-end servers, allowing them to communicate with and manage security sensors in the home, as well as supporting home-automation devices like cameras and thermostat.” Cont'd...
John C. Dvorak, Opinion Article for PCMag: Home automation has been on the back burner for decades, and is something Icomplain about at least once a year. It was in the news again after Apple's WWDC this week, when observers looking to squeeze some news out of the long keynote seized on news about HomeKit. This led me to the HomeKit homepage, which finally answered all my "what is it good for?" questions. Absolutely nothing!
Let's amuse ourselves with Apple's assertions. First, we are told to be on the lookout for the HomeKit seal of approval logo (above) for any sort of device we want to use within a HomeKit microcosm.
This ensures interoperability and security. Apple is using all sorts of proprietary protocols for these devices to protect users against house hacks that I've described in the past, where devices are controlled by smirking jokers on the net. Cont'd...
Adam Bannister for IFSEC Global: IFSEC has introduced an interactive Home Automation House for it 2016 edition, with products integrated and demoed – through a Control4 system – from Lilin, Nest, Qmotion, 2N Telecommunications and Texecom.
US home automation innovator Control4 is building the exhibit and its technology forms the backbone around which the other technologies – which include lighting, security and cinema/audio system – are integrated.
Visitors can see how products in the Home Automation House – which you can find right at the centre of IFSEC – integrate with one another seamlessly to create a living environment optimised for security, comfort, leisure and convenience. Click here to find out more about the exhibitors with technology in the Home Automation House.
Michael Brown for TechHive: Sears continues to shed its image as a staid, old-school retailer, introducing yet another line of new products for the smart home at an event in New York City on Wednesday. Among the 12 new products: A sensor-laden refrigerator that tracks how many times its doors have opened, a clothes washer that can be started from afar using a smart phone, a garage-door opener that sends alerts when you forget to close it, and a series of tool chests with Bluetooth locks. The company also extended its Kenmore brand to televisions for the first time ever; surprisingly, however, its first generation of Kenmore HD and 4K/UHD sets won’t be connected smart TVs.
“The home is the largest investment an American family is going to make,” Sears’ president of Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard brands Tom Park. “Our philosophy around the connected home is that these brands have been trusted for generations. If we can offer connected products that provide convenience and save consumers money, that’s important.” Cont'd...
Lora Kolodny for TechCrunch: On Monday, Apple announced that it would make an app called Home available to users soon, allowing them to connect and control all of their HomeKit-enabled smart home devices from their iPads, iPhones or even Watches.
Per an earlier TechCrunch report live from the event, the Home app will let users control a Fantasia-like orchestra of smart gadgets from one place, including everything from smart doorbells and locks, to thermostats, light bulbs, humidifiers and entertainment systems.
And the app will let users engage Siri to tweak the settings on those devices, of course.
But why is Apple intent on becoming a universal remote, or a nerve center, for the smart home?
Frankly, consumers are not yet buying IoT devices and services with the fervor hoped for by consumer electronics and appliance brands. Cont'd...
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