Antenna, a public relations agency focused on energy and smart technology companies, today announced new survey results that found nearly half of surveyed utility executives believe the smart home will revolutionize the utility industry. This surging optimism for the smart home represents a departure from the industry's traditional skepticism of new technologies, while also putting the utility industry at odds with a more cautious view of the smart home currently held by consumers.
"Antenna's research confirms that many in the utility industry now believe in the transformative power of the smart home to remake the grid for the better," said Antenna Vice President Matt Stewart. "However, there's a clear disconnect between utility visions of roses and rainbows and their customers' more frustrating early-adopter experiences. Antenna is honored to work with dozens of innovative companies across energy and smart technology to help bridge this critical gap and move the energy market forward." Full Press Release:
Ryan Whitwam for Extreme Tech: Google has let Amazon basically own the connected home assistant market for the last year and a half with the Echo and other Alexa-enabled devices. Now, Google is leveraging its extensive natural language processing engine to launch Google Home, a connected hub that brings voice commands to your house. Google has also been working on making its system of voice commands more conversational, which it now calls Google Assistant.
Google has had voice search capabilities built into Android phones for years at this point. You can even trigger searches with the “OK Google” hotword. However, this is connected to your phone, which is a personal device with your own apps, settings, and data. A home assistant like the newly announced Google Home (and Amazon Echo) is intended to provide voice features to anyone in the family from anywhere in a room. Cont'd...
Robert S. Marshall for TechCrunch: Attendees of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year were confronted with a head-spinning volume of smart-home devices. From $5,000 refrigerators that can communicate when you’re running low on milk and eggs, to the ability to control lights, locks and thermostats from your mobile app or TV screen, these products and technologies all show very nicely — until the point when consumers are left to calculate when their smart-home investments will translate into cost savings, energy efficiency and enhanced convenience.
Really smart companies and entrepreneurs have built impressive pieces of the smart-home puzzle, but these pieces have not been connected yet in a way that has, to date, empowered a smarter consumer.
Parks Associates home energy management data released in March 2016 show 70 percent of households with smart-energy devices report saving money due to reduced energy consumption. However, the research firm noted challenges for vendors selling smart-energy devices based on cost savings, as 83 percent of U.S. broadband households do not know the price they are paying for electricity. Cont'd...
Yolanda Redrup for Financial Review: An Australian start-up that has developed an app to enable old household appliances to be upgraded for home automation systems, will expand to the US and raise $7 million after impressing executives at tech giant Microsoft.
iGloo uses Bluetooth technology to enable home heating systems, lights, blinds and other appliances to be controlled by a mobile app. Its development has been buoyed by support from Microsoft after a local executive saw co-founders Kaye Priest and David Cowie presenting it at the Melbourne Home Show two years ago.
The business is now readying to raise $7 million in capital, $5 million of it from the United States, which it intends to get under way once it has established a US office this month.
"Microsoft invited us to their headquarters in Seattle last year and facilitated a meeting between us and the largest manufacturer of gas fires in the United States," Ms Priest told The Australian Financial Review. Cont'd...
Karissa Neely for Daily Herald: In its first round of venture capital funding, Vivint Smart Home, the Provo-based leading provider of smart home technology and services, announced a $100 million equity investment co-led by tech investor Peter Thiel and investment firm Solamere Capital.
The strategic investment will help fuel Vivint’s rapid growth and product innovation as it extends its preeminent position in the growing smart home market.
A venture capitalist and entrepreneur who co-founded PayPal, Thiel is known for backing transformational technology companies, and was the first outside investor in Facebook and is one of the largest shareholders of Airbnb.
“For Peter and Solamere to place their confidence in Vivint as the smart home leader is a huge validation of what we have built and where we are headed,” said Todd Pedersen, founder and CEO of Vivint Smart Home, in a press release. “The fact that they are investing in our future demonstrates their passion for our business and their vision for this industry. We look forward to working together to redefine the home experience.” Cont'd...
Thirty Million U.S. Households Projected to Add Smart Home Technology in Next 12 Months, August Home and Xfinity Home Study Reveals
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