2015 International CES Tradeshow Report

The HomeToys Team has scoured the news pages and product announcements to bring you a neatly compiled list of some of the new and interesting products we think are important to the Home Technology and AV Systems industry now being branded as the "Smart Home".

Popularity of the Newest CE Products

The data from the CivicScience InsightStore™ provides some strong research insights into consumer awareness, sentiment, and intent toward many emerging consumer products - and in this report, CivicScience highlights some of those findings to coincide with CES 2015.

CES 2015 Special News Report

The show is on and news is pouring in. Exhibitors are welcome to publish CES 2015 show news here at any time.

New Hollywood: Two Factions Are Making M&E Better, More Available

The expensive budget-busting films that folks stole from Sony are only a small part of today's video entertainment. More than 200 hours of quality (and garbage) video every minute are uploaded to sites around the web.

The Power of Smart Lighting - The Best and Brightest Wireless Bulbs

While home automation industry veterans may view some of the tricks the newest offerings in the smart lighting space can perform as just that-not-so-cheap tricks-the inescapable fact is that they are helping drive mass-consumer adoption of home automation, which is what will ultimately make all of our home automation dreams come true.

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.

It is CES week in Las Vegas.

International CES 2015; Bringing more than 3,500 exhibitors to unveil new technologies across 1.9 million net square feet to well over 160,000 visitors in Las Vegas this week. New this year is something called the Smart Home Marketplace, a 25,000 square-foot exhibitor area dedicated to smart home tech. Think stuff like customized security monitoring and home automation -- and beyond. Major exhibitors will include companies like ADT, Bosch Honeywell, Lowe's and Logitech.   The HomeToys Team we'll be busy posting news and product announcements related to the "Smart Home" from this years show which you can view on our CES 2015 Newspage .   Make sure to check out our CES 2015 Tradeshow report for more great products rolled out at this years show.

CES 2015: the year of the connected home?

The drive to create smarter and more efficient homes increases daily, and next month's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is expected to be packed with connected objects and devices that are intended to deliver energy savings or greater automation.   But will 2015 be the year of the connected home, or will these products remain consigned to a niche section of the high-income market?   Connected home devices include home automation devices (such as smart thermostats and WiFi-enabled lightbulbs), home monitoring devices (such as a connected security camera that broadcasts to a person’s device), and home security devices (such as a security camera that connects to a central monitoring station).   All of these categories have grown in the last year, but a recent survey of 6,500 consumers in the US and Germany by analysts at Gartner showed that only 16 per cent of US online households own a connected home device, while Germany has less than 10 per cent of online households with a connected home device.   Moreover, the majority of current spending on connected home devices and services comes from high-income households, and the bulk of that spending has been on devices and services relating to security – such as alarm systems – rather than more advanced connected home devices, such as remote activation of smart products.  Cont'd...  

D-Link's latest smart home hub lets you add devices with a scan

D-Link has found the sweet spot between low-priced, but low-quality smart home systems (from the likes of Archos) and pricey security systems. It's now planning on opening up its system to many more accessories, judging by the DCH-G020 connected home hub that just passed through the FCC. The system will likely bow next month at CES 2015, but the US wireless regulator has revealed quite a bit, including manuals and photos. The hub will control Z-Wave (low-power RF) as well as WiFi devices, meaning it'll work with third-party alarms, detectors and cameras on top of existing D-Link WiFi cameras and accessories. For the first time, D-Link is also set to release new Z-Wave sensors, several of which are shown in the diagram above. The hub will work with WiFi and Z-Wave devices at the same time and connect with a WiFi router. The whole thing is controlled by a smartphone, which you can use to add devices either manually or by scanning their QR codes. From there, you'll get the usual scheduling and notification options. There's no word on pricing or availability yet, of course, but it looks like an interesting option for folks torn between cheaper WiFi and mainstream Z-Wave systems. Either way, expect a parade of similar devices to appear in less than two weeks at Las Vegas.

Home Automation at CES: What to Expect

This year's Consumer Electronics Show is set to start in just a few short weeks, allowing companies to show off their newest and best products.   A big focus at CES in 2015 will be home automation, with connected devices becoming and more and more popular.   There are a number of categories set to be shown off at CES. First of all, there will be an abundance of multipurpose sensors, meaning sensors that can do more than just sense motion. These sensors will be able to detect things like noise, for example.   There will also be a number of connected devices that are made to help users sleep. These devices will be able to analyze sleep patterns, such as the Beddit, which analyzes sleep and wakes the user up when, according to their sleeping pattern, it's most healthy to wake up.   The next home automation category that will be popular at CES this year is cameras, which will be able to do more than just film. There will be a number of facial recognition products, which will be connected for things like home security. We will also see devices such as cameras, which will also be able to perform acoustical analysis, essentially meaning that they will be able to recognize specific sounds and noises.   A number of companies will be coming out with touchscreen devices that live on our walls. These will be able to control different aspects of the smart home, from heating, to even water flow.   The smart home as a service is set to be a big part of CES 2015. SHaaS services are essentially services that help make everything in the smart home work together. This is an important part of the smart home, especially with so many devices being introduced.   Cont'd...  

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.

Nortek Inc. announced that its Linear subsidiary has been renamed Nortek Security & Control

Nortek Inc. (Nasdaq: NTK) announced today that its Linear LLC subsidiary has been renamed Nortek Security & Control, LLC. Linear, 2GIG and GoControl will be the subsidiary's cornerstone brands, each targeting key markets. Strongly positioned with product portfolio synergies and the ability to cross-pollinate technology across the broader Nortek family, Nortek Security & Control provides a broad range of smart home solutions to OEMs, telecoms, major retailers, managed service providers, security dealers, custom installers and DIY consumers.  "Nortek's Linear business has been transformed during the past few years, as we have become a market leader not only in the security industry but the broader home control and automation sector, as well," said Nortek President and Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Clarke. "Linear's legacy includes 50 years as a pioneer in the wireless access control market and industry-leading capabilities in the design, engineering and manufacturing of sensors and connected devices. Our 2013 acquisition of 2GIG Technologies accentuated these strengths by bringing us more brands and capabilities, as well as complete solutions for the broader home automation space." 

Interactive Displays Are Growing

Interactive LED displays are giant circuit boards filled with super-bright LEDs that respond in a complex and subtle fashion to stimulus provided by human interaction.

Dolby Atmos vs. Auro-3D… All About Next Gen Surround Sound

Before we talk about putting these new 3D sound systems into a room, let's talk about the differences between Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D. They are significant.

Smart Thermostats from Honeywell

The Lyric thermostat is intended as a DIY product, that can work with 97% of HVAC systems in the U.S

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