InfoComm 2014 Underway in Las Vegas, NV.

InfoComm 2014 is the largest professional AV show in the world, with more than 950 exhibitors and 35,000+ attendees from over 110 countries. This is your once-a-year opportunity to see the latest audiovisual technology, learn the skills that will advance your career, and grow your professional network.   As a media partner for InfoComm 2014 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. Click here for our Special InfoComm 2014 Newspage. Check out our InfoComm 2014 tradeshow report here.  

InfoComm 2014 - Tradeshow Report

For well over a decade HomeToys.com has been covering InfoComm and bringing all the industry news and exciting new products to our eMagazine to help our readers make sense of the massive event. Here we have compiled a list of some new product releases from this years show.

It's June, Therefore It's InfoComm

With over 10,000 products, you will need to plan each and every day to target the products that fall into your specialty or interest

CABA's Connected Consumer Roadmap Study

This unique roadmap research will use an "Internet of Things" perspective; taking into account a consumer focused view, from both inside and outside of the home that includes health and wellness, entertainment, mobility, transportation, and security.

Every "New" Idea Has its Foundation Somewhere in the Past

The challenge for companies today is to maintain control of the wide-ranging opportunities and siloed usage in the cloud.

Honeywell challenges Google's Nest with Lyric smart thermostat

Let the battle rage on! In this corner, the seasoned smart thermostat veteran, Google’s Nest, is ready to take on a new competitor. And seeing as this smart thermostat is coming from Honeywell, this is sure to be a good brawl. Plus, this battle goes back to 2012 when Honeywell claimed Nest infringed on several patents. Check mate. Honeywell has decided to release its own smart thermostat, the $279 Lyric, as part of its Lyric home automation device line. It will be available in August from Lowe’s. So what makes Honeywell’s Lyric smart thermostat so special? It uses geofencing technology to sense when users are home or away and will adjust the temperature. This is all via the user’s smartphone. Say you’re on your crowded, sweaty train back home from work and you’re counting down the minutes until you walk into your cool home. Thanks to the Lyric smart thermostat, your home will adjust a couple degrees when the thermostat senses you’re nearby. Talk about efficient! Nest does not possess this feature. Yet. The Lyric also costs about $50 more than the Nest, but this might be a worthy price to pay for such a feature.  

oort Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Create a True Smart Home by Connecting All Intelligent Devices

oort, the smart home solution that lets users create their own Internet of Things system to make life more comfortable, today launched a Kickstarter campaign for the first complete universal Bluetooth Smart system. In just seconds, oort can be paired with any compatible Bluetooth device, regardless of the manufacturer, and controlled from a single app on iOS or Android.    "Consumers are reluctant to create a smart home because current technology doesn't let them control a whole Internet of Things from just one app on devices they already own"  Gartner has estimated that there are more than 2.5 billion connected devices today, with more than 30 billion expected by 2020. The challenge is that there are currently several competing wireless communications protocols for the Internet of Things that are not interoperable with end user devices out-of-the-box. To create a simple and easy experience for consumers, oort's solution uses wireless communications that are based on Bluetooth low energy. As the standard is now supported by all iOS 7+ and Android 4.3+ devices, oort can be controlled by smartphones and tablets owned by the majority of consumers and will be interoperable with a wide range of beacons and sensors.  oort's technology will let users interact with any Bluetooth low energy device with a standard GATT profile, regardless of manufacturer, to enable consumers to create custom Internet of Things ecosystems. Examples of oort compatible devices include a wide range of connected devices, including beacons, wall sockets, light bulbs, power strips, lamps and smart sensors that measure air quality, temperature, soil humidity, noise and more. 

Vivint Humanizes the Smart Home with Vivint Sky

Vivint™ unveiled Vivint Sky, the next generation of Vivint's intelligent home experience. Vivint Sky introduces powerful cloud technology and smart learning capabilities that take the home to the next level of intelligence.  "Vivint Sky transforms the home automation experience by providing an unprecedented level of control over the home"    Vivint sky enables customers to control their lights, thermostat and door locks, as well as monitor high-definition video feeds and more from any smartphone, laptop or tablet. At the center of the new system is the Vivint SkyControl panel, which features proprietary cloud technology that learns from homeowners' behaviors and makes intelligent suggestions to add new levels of convenience and control over the home.    For instance, Vivint's automatic HVAC control will take cues from homeowners' daily patterns and make guided decisions to help increase the home's energy efficiency. The Vivint SkyControl panel serves as the hub of the experience, orchestrating a variety of home automation products, such as door locks, window and door sensors, motion detectors, connected power outlets and more. Using data from its sensors and communication from its powerful cloud technology, Vivint Sky is able to learn from homeowners' behaviors and make intelligent suggestions in a conversational, helpful tone. These suggestions add new levels of convenience and control over the home, helping provide improved protection and monitoring. 

AngelBlocks Could Take Home Automation to the Next Level

AngelBlocks can be customized into what seems to be nearly limitless uses. For example, they could remind you when to water the plants if moisture levels in the dirt are low, warn you if your dog gets into the trash or even automatically lock the door when you leave the house. Each use can be sorted into one of three categories — notify, monitor or control.   "This kind of technology can save you a lot of time and effort," Steve Montgomery, who created AngelBlocks, told Mashable. "Being able to have the things in your life cooperate with you instead of be a hindrance to you is important."   Each system comes with one AngelGate — the brains of the operation that plugs into an Internet connection. This component wirelessly communicates with the AngelBlocks themselves, which are attached to different household objects (lighter than a computer mouse, they can either be screwed on or affixed with adhesive strips or magnets). Users register each AngelBlock on a web application and program it with a built-in system to do specific things at specific times based on what it senses in its environment, such as movement or temperature. As an added bonus, AngelTags can monitor your location (if they're attached to a keychain, for example) and activate AngelBlocks as you move through certain areas of the house. For instance, you could turn the lights on simply by walking into a room.

Philips Demonstrates Connected Lighting Systems at LIGHTFAIR International 2014

Royal Philips announced that at LIGHTFAIR International 2014 it will highlight state-of-the art Connected Lighting systems available for the home and outdoor applications, as well as preview the company's breakthrough Connected Lighting systems for offices and retail. In a Connected Lighting system, light points merge with a building's or city's IT network, allowing the lighting system to act as an information pathway. Comprehensive lighting management software can deliver targeted, intelligent illumination, reducing cost by providing the right light at the right place at the right time, as well as enabling users to tailor the lighting system to their preferences via mobile apps. Lighting points can also transmit their location information to smart devices so that downloaded apps can provide location-based services.  Philips Connected Lighting systems allow actionable data collected from sensors in intelligent luminaires to be made available to facility or city managers, who can then use the data for informed business decisions and greater customer insight. For indoor systems, an integrated view of a building's occupancy patterns and energy usage optimizes the distribution of resources, resulting in unprecedented levels of energy and operational efficiency. Moreover, the Philips systems demonstrate the company's commitment to delivering hybrid, customer-centric solutions that encompass both Philips and non-Philips products, non-LED luminaires, a range of power and data options, including Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), wireless communications, standard and digital dimmers and lighting controls. 

Apple's new HomeKit home automation can control your appliances and more

Confirming rumors that began circulating last week, Apple unveiled the Homekit home automation project at today's Worldwide Developers Conference as a way to connect iPhones and iPads to smart home devices like light bulbs and appliances.   "We thought we could bring rationality into the home automation space," Craig Federighi said from the WWDC stage on Monday morning. He announced that Homekit will employ a "common network protocol that has secure pairing so only your iPhone can unlock your garage door."   Possibly built on the Reminders app's geofencing capabilities, Homekit will allow users to trigger any compatible device when their iPhone enters or leaves a specific location. Additionally, Siri integration will allow users to say things like "get ready for bed" to enable a suite of smarthome functions at the same time, like making sure a garage door is closed, thermostat is lowered, and lights are dimmed.   This usability was hinted at when Haier debuted the Tianzun air conditioner, the first MFi-approved home appliance, at this year's CES, but that presentation didn't mention any "made for iOS" requirements for devices. The WWDC presentation mentioned that Apple is working with "leaders in home automation to give HomeKit a consistent network protocol," and a giant screen listed names such as Haier, Honeywell, Texas Instruments, and more.

Apple's home-automation system may be pretty underwhelming

Rumors of Apple’s upcoming “Made for iHome” API in iOS 8 sent fanboys rocketing with excitement that Cupertino might be launching a makeover in the living room, but expectations are about to get dashed when Apple presents a much simpler system on Monday.   The move to home automation will be more about fighting fragmentation, reports GigaOm, than creating an entire home experience. Apple’s home efforts will just focus on easily connecting devices to Wifi and tossing in voice control over Bluetooth.   There will be no central control center. No asking Siri to turn off your Hues and lock the door. But the report does have some interesting details on what Apple will announce: “What we’re likely to see next week is a roll out of participating partners, devices and chips that support the MFi standard, all set to assure people who purchase those devices that they will work with their iPhones and iPads, with the promise of a few special features.”   If GigaOm’s report is accurate it will be an underwhelming experience compared to the dream of Apple offering a clean, robust control center that can manage everything from your thermostat to your crockpot without switching to individual apps.   Apple could eventually overlay software controls directly into iOS 8 but it’s not looking to make its full home automation just yet. For now it looks like it’s simply laying the groundwork.

Myths: On-the-Go Video Viewing is Still in Front of the TV

Mobile devices aren't about turning a blind-eye to the TV set but about getting more out of the show's you watch or multitasking by checking out something else.

InfoComm 2014 Special News Report

News and announcements from the show. Exhibitors welcome to publish new here.

CEA Announces New Working Group on Home Automation Device Interoperability

The new working group is called the Device Interoperability Working Group, also known as R7 WG17.

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