Wink's Outage Shows Us How Frustrating Smart Homes Could Be

THIS PAST SATURDAY, one in four people who had come to rely on Wink as the brains behind their smart home set-up found their connected devices suddenly lobotomized. Devices connected to the Wink Hub couldn’t access the internet, meaning that they could no longer be controlled via app, and wouldn’t execute their pre-programmed rituals. Simply put, nothing worked.
 
In an emailed statement, Wink confirmed that the cause of the outage was a “misconfiguration” of a security measure it had implemented previously. Several Wink Hub units couldn’t be fixed remotely, and those users will either have to try to repair their own using Wink-provided instructions, or mail them in for a replacement. Around 10 percent of Wink users are still without service, and the Hub has been pulled from shelves until further notice.
 But Wink’s weekend failure reminds us that the smart home of the future won’t be immune from the testiness that plagues any technology. In fact, those common, unavoidable flailings will be even more frustrating.
Nearly a year ago, Mat Honan wrote The Nightmare on Connected Home Street, a glimpse at the inevitable dystopia caused by hooking up our households and everything within them to the internet sewage pipe. We’re not nearly at the full-fledged horror stage, but incidents like the weekend Wink stink are the foundation on which our frustrating smart home future will be built.  Cont'd..

Silvair Control wireless remote lends smart home control

Seed Labs, the IoT company empowering the world’s leading manufacturers of appliances, devices and electronics to create the truly smart home, has introduced Silvair Control. The world’s first fully configurable, gesture-driven, wireless controller that lets customers manage their everyday appliances whether that be lamps, shades, and garage doors or other household and commercial products.

Silvair Control is a Bluetooth® Smart-based device that can easily be configured with your smartphone or tablet to control. It doesn’t need any hard wiring or even a plug, its battery lasts up to 8 years and magnetic mounting allows customers to use it at any space.

The control is part of Silvair Mesh where software-defined sensors and controllers can be seamlessly connected to products appliances and adjusted to customers needs providing with an easy and unmatched management capabilities.

Parks Associates: Approximately 50% of broadband households have privacy or security concerns about smart home devices

CONNECTIONS™ to host IoT session with Alarm.com, Amdocs, PlanetEcosystems, Wink, and Zipato

PowerHouse Alliance Welcomes New Vendor Clare Controls

The PowerHouse Alliance group of distributors has added Clare Controls to its list of preferred vendors, supporting the brand's extensive line-up of solutions for residential and commercial applications.

UniKey Adds Strategic Investors in Series A Round to Drive Smart Locks in New Markets

Financing will support increased resources to expand UniKey's market lead and meet growing demand for smart lock solutions across industry verticals and global regions.

Why is the so-called Smart World still So Stupid

For the emerging smart home - Internet of Things industry to succeed, it needs to conquer a lot of issues - interoperability, user interaction, standards, etc. - but most importantly , it has to develop, integrate and roll out cloud intelligence that will transform our dumb smart devices into truly smart Smart Devices!

Multi-room Audio Headlines Groundbreaking New Features in the Crestron Pyng App

App now enables set up and control of audio distribution systems and touch screens right from iPad; dynamic learning feature makes smart homes even smarter

A First Look At Home Automation On The Apple Watch

Now, we have a first look at how PEQ will handle home automation using the Apple Watch, and it’s a sensible approach: They’re simply moving those function blocks from the iPad screen to your wrist. Instead of several tiles on the screen at once, there’s only one at a time, which the user can swipe through. short list of the most important stuff.

So why is this better than just using PEQ on that iPhone living in your pocket? One of PEQ's designers, argodesign founder Mark Rolston, contends that glancing at your wrist is a step less friction than pulling a phone from your pocket. And living in his own hyperconnected smarthome, managed by his iPad and iPhone, has taught him this.
"It’s just accessibility," Rolston explains. "A recurring scenario for me is, I walk out the back door, and I might have some lights still on, and as soon as I walk away, I pull up on my phone [to check]. We used to have this routine, asking, ‘Did you leave the light on? Run upstairs and see if you left the light on!’ We don’t do that anymore." And to Rolston, the ability to look at his wrist rather than check his phone to answer that basic question, "did you leave the lights on," is the paradigm shift at play.

Amazon's Smart-Home Hub Has Been Here All Along

Wednesday, owners of the Amazon Echo—a voice-activated Bluetooth speaker still only available for purchase by invitation—received an email detailing their little black cylinder’s newfound powers. In addition to streaming music from the cloud, telling you the weather, and tapping into Wikipedia to help settle bets, Echo now supports products from WEMO and Philips Hue. In other words, you can now bark at your speaker to dim the lights.
 
The products Echo now plays nice with include the WeMo Switch and Insight Switch, which you plug into an outlet to give you limited control over your appliances; Light Switch, which does the same for, well, lights; and a stack of smart bulbs from Philips Hue.
 
Set-up seems fairly simple. As long as your smart home products are on the same Wi-Fi network as your Echo and you’ve identified them appropriately in their respective apps, you simply need to say “Alexa, discover my appliances.” (Alexa is the name of Echo’s AI personality.) Once discovered, they’re at your literal beck and call.

HomeSeer Partners with IFTTT to Join the Connected Home with the Connected Cloud

HomeSeer, the leader in DIY home automation since 1999, partners with IFTTT to integrate your connected home with the web-connected products, apps and services you love and use everyday. With this partnership, HomeSeer users will be able to create IFTTT recipes to control HomeSeer devices or launch HomeSeer events using triggers and actions from more than 170 IFTTT channel partners including Twitter, Foursquare, ESPN, Nest, WeMo, Philips Hue and much more.

HGTV Launches Virtual Tour of HGTV Smart Home 2015

Austin home features technology to give homeowner control over climate, security and more

ABB, Robert Bosch & Cisco eyeing smart home software

ABB, Robert Bosch GmbH and Cisco Systems Inc have joined hands in an international joint venture called mozaiq operations GmbH to develop and operate an open-software platform for smart homes.
 
The platform promises to unify today's standalone solutions for home automation and offer interoperability across devices.  
 
It is claimed the platform, to be developed by mozaiq operations, would bring the Internet of things, services and people into consumers' homes, making it easy and secure for a wide range of products to communicate with each other. 
 
Consumers will be able to seamlessly and intuitively tailor their appliances and devices, regardless of brand, to deliver an unprecedented level of control, comfort and significantly improve energy efficiency, it is claimed. 

ZigBee Alliance and Thread Group Collaborate to Aid Development of Connected Home Products

The ZigBee Alliance (www.ZigBee.org) and the Thread Group (www.threadgroup.org) today announced they are collaborating to enable the ZigBee Cluster Library to run over Thread networks. By working together, ZigBee and Thread can jointly provide an interoperable solution to help streamline product development and ultimately improve the consumer's experience in the connected home. 

The ZigBee Cluster Library standardizes application level functionality for a wide variety of devices used in smart homes and other markets. Thread is a wireless networking protocol that can support multiple low-bandwidth, IP-based application protocols to provide secure and reliable networks, simple connectivity and low power in the home. Both organizations remain committed to their independence while cooperating to benefit their respective members. 
 
"Application level standardization is necessary to provide truly interoperable products to consumers," said Tobin Richardson, president and CEO of the ZigBee Alliance. "We believe this agreement will deliver value to product developers searching for another solution for connectivity in the smart home." 
 

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