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..

7 Smart Locks & Door Startups Improving your Home Security

Your door & lock is no longer that simple and its now part of the mobile, internet of things, connected movement. Here is a list of 6 smart locks & door startups improving your home security.

IP Video Intercom Kits by Comelit

Our new range of IP Video Intercom kits have been a revolutionary development for our market segment.

ISC West 2015 - Special News Report

Exhibitors and Press Agencies are welcome to publish ISC news releases here.

ISC West 2015 Tradeshow Report

ISC West is the security industry's premier launching pad for new products, solutions and technologies. 26,000 security professionals attend the show to view the 10,000+ products featured on its show floor and attend business critical education sessions on the newest technologies in security.

ISC West 2015 is underway in Las Vegas!

ISC West is the largest physical security show in North America featuring over 1,000 exhibitors in one place over a 3 day period.  ISC West is the security industry’s premier launching pad for new products, solutions and technologies.  26,000 security professionals attend the show to view the 10,000+ products featured on its show floor and attend business critical education sessions on the newest technologies in security.    As a media partner for ISC West 2015 HomeToys.com will be bringing all the industry news and exciting new products to our eMagazine to help our readers make sense of the massive event.     Check out our  Special ISC West Tradeshow Report  and our special  ISC West Newspage  for Exhibitor news and announcements.  

New Rules: With Hackers, Cybercriminals and Cyberterrorists There's no "Business as Usual"

Being aware, prepared and practicing sound computing/security processes and procedures can level the playing field, improving your odds.

Internet of Things Relay For Home Automation Using Arduino

Makers, developers and hobbyists who enjoy making projects from home automation using different Arduino microcontrollers, Raspberry Pi mini PCs or anything else that can connect to the Internet of Things.   Maybe interested in a new IoT relay that has been created by Team IoT to allow you to easily connect devices and boards to mains voltages to create the perfect home automation systems.   The IoT relay project is currently over on the Kickstarter crowd funding website looking to raise $8,750 in pledges to make the jump from concept to production and is currently priced at just $20 per relay. Watch the video below to learn more about this new relay and how it may help you expand the functionality of your projects using Arduino microcontrollers.   “Imagine the applications:  A smart fish tank.  DIY home automation. Industrial control. Wireless remote lighting.  Home theater.  Security. This is the Internet of Things. You can build almost anything imaginable with an Arduino.  But how do you hook it up?  A $60 WiFi plug?  No thanks.     Enter the IoT relay.  It’s an easy, affordable way to control the Internet of Things from your DIY circuit.   Connect to any micro or WiFi adapter. It’s simple — only two wires. The high-voltage switching is done inside the box.  Just hook it up and plug in.

ISC West and Video Mount Products

Customers like the fact that they can bring in one trusted installation team and get all of their services and product support from a single partner.

LINQ Home Launches Energy-saving Smart Vent Crowdfunding Campaign

LINQ Home, a maker of energy-saving home automation products, today announced the launch of a Kickstarter Campaign to improve Heating and Cooling through smart vents. LINQ is providing households with unprecedented control over HVAC systems. By sensing the temperature in each room and adjusting dampers on every vent, LINQ’s system enables room-by-room temperature control. The system routes air to the rooms that need it, and not to those that don’t. Air flow data processed through algorithms, opens and closes the vents and prevents strain on the furnace or AC unit. Rooms reach their set points faster, run times of HVAC equipment are reduced, and the increased efficiency translates to money savings and consistent comfort. “I couldn’t believe the temperature variances between the rooms in my home,” said Jason Griggs, founder and CTO of LINQ Home. “When I first started testing our Smart Vent system there was a 12 degree difference between rooms. The variance resulted in seemingly endless thermostat wars.” LINQ Smart Vents have all the perks of a zoning system, at less than half the price, and with none of the inconvenience of construction. The simple-to-install, retrofittable system saves users up to 50% on monthly heating and cooling costs.

Once More: Eliminate User and Security Breaches, Hacks Will Be Solved

There are things you can do every day to protect your stuff from evil doers even if you use their Cloud. Be a little paranoid combined with a big dose of common sense/diligence. That includes helping your company protect its vital and sensative information.

Solar Energy Becoming a Key Component in the Connected Home

Some of the most important innovations happening in energy today are happening far from the national media headlines. But these small changes will go a long way to making power more reliable, competitive, and local, with solar energy playing a central disruptive role that could dominate energy in the next century. One of those moves happened yesterday, when  SunPower  bought a $20 million stake in Tendril and agreed to license its Energy Services Management Platform software. Here's what the deal means over the next few years. At its core, Tendril is essentially an energy data company. It collects and analyzes data about consumers' energy usage patterns, primarily learned from partnerships with utilities. SunPower can use this data in its installations to optimize a home's renewable energy consumption, provide stored energy when it's needed, adapt to changing policies for solar, and even improve sales by finding its ideal customers. You can think of SunPower's capabilities with Tendril as a piece of the home of the future. SunPower will provide local energy production with solar panels, and with energy storage and connected devices SunPower can intelligently plan energy production and consumption based on consumers' desires. If a consumer wants to consume as little energy as possible the system can be set for that, just as it could be set to consume as much of your own energy production, or optimize for cost if there are rewards for sending energy to the grid at peak times. All of this will work in the background, similar to a car's eco mode, but it'll work to make energy more dynamic and controllable for consumers.

Home security device ditches video for audio surveillance

For Airbnb hosts who want to keep tabs on their homes, a full home security system might be overkill. They’re expensive, and live cameras and motion detectors invade guests’ privacy. So how do they make sure guests keep the volume down, aren’t smoking inside and don’t ransack their home?   A new device called Point combines microphones with environmental sensors to detect anything out of the ordinary in your home while you are away. A broken window while you’re at work, the sound of your teenagers throwing a raging party, Grandad sneaking an unauthorized after-dinner cigar.   “They want to have peace of mind and know that everything is fine, but they don’t want or need full security systems,” said Nils Mattisson, co-founder of Form Devices, the start-up that makes Point.   Small, round and plastic, Point looks like a traditional smoke alarm crossed with a speaker. Sounds are matched with data from the other sensors to figure out what might have happened — a loud crash followed by a drop in temperature might mean a window was broken. It hears when an existing smoke detector goes off and sends an alert, though it’s not certified as an official smoke detector on its own.   It has a microphone that can detect sounds outside that the human ear could pick up. Environmental sensors pick up temperature; the particle sensor can tell what’s in the air.

User Focus: Cyberworld Needs Better Personal Intelligence, Common Sense

Programmers often don't make it as easy as possible for authorized users to "do the right thing" with built-in hurdles that seem logical … to a programmer.

Home automation's next big opportunity: Controlling the water heater

Rheem, one of the leading manufacturers of water heaters in the U.S., has just launched a Wi-Fi module for electric and gas water heaters that lets you monitor the performance of the device, control its energy usage and be warned about leaks or other potentially costly malfunctions. Part of its new EcoNet Home Comfort technology that will control all Rheem HVAC and water heating devices, the Wi-Fi Module for Water Heaters is a good example of the unification of green technology and home automation industries. But, the control possible using Rheem's free EcoNet app is the best example to date of the intersection of energy savings with home automation. Responsible for up to 18% of a home's energy use, a water heater just sits there 24/7, heating and reheating water to a set temperature. With the Wi-Fi water module attached, it can now be programmed from your smartphone.   Using the Rheem app to set schedules based on your lifestyle and usage needs -- and being able to quickly change things on the fly -- the module makes it possible to save energy without inconveniencing you. So if you have it programmed to cool down during the day while you’re at work, but then unexpected get the day off, you can override your normal schedule in a snap. Heading out of town? Remotely set the water heater to vacation mode, preventing it from heating and reheating water that's not going to be used.  

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Security & Communication - Featured Product

Introducing the revolutionary Comelit Visto Smart Doorbell

Introducing the revolutionary Comelit Visto Smart Doorbell

The Visto Doorbell is a new Smart Doorbell from Comelit which combines a modern Italian design with all of the basic features you are looking for in a smart video doorbell. In fact, it is so smart that it can use the 2 wires from your existing doorbell and pass both the power and the data signals. This solves the common problem of having poor wifi coverage all the way at your front door. The Visto also has built in night vision, video recording on a SD card and in the cloud, motion detection, and multiple mounting options including an angle mount. The second thing we are introducing is the Visto Dealer referral program. Because we only sell through the Professional Distribution channel, we want to give our dealers who buy in that channel extra incentives to sell our product. For any security dealers or installers who go on our website www.vistodoorbell.com, and sign up for our program, we will offer the following: - Free referrals to customers in your area - Cashback program - 10% discount during the 1st month of the launch - Free Visto t-shirts and gear - A chance to win a trip for 2 to Venice, Italy Its that easy. Let us refer customer to you and get paid in the process. All while selling a wonderful Italian designed smart doorbell which is innovative and easy to install. So all dealers should protect the pro-channel and install products like the Visto which are made and sold only at your friendly local security and low voltage distributors.