iPhone Control of your Home Systems

iRule uses the home's Wi-Fi connection to send the command from a phone or tablet to the IR converter or a network device. This happens in a fraction of a second.

Business Apps: BYOD Created Business Opportunities, Business Headaches

People bring their own devices, their own data, their own apps, their own communities; and they move personal/company information where it is most convenient, most useful for them.

AT&T DIGITAL LIFE, NEW HOME SECURITY AND AUTOMATION SERVICE LAUNCHES IN FIVE ADDITIONAL U.S. MARKETS

AT&T today announced it will launch Digital Life in more markets:  Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Portland and San Antonio.  AT&T Digital Life SM makes customers’ lives easier by simplifying the management of their home. Digital Life offers security, convenience and peace of mind, in a customizable and easy-to-use experience from smartphones, tablets or PCs. Beginning Friday, customers in these five new markets can receive a live demo and purchase AT&T Digital Life in company owned retail stores.  Including the new markets launching on Friday, AT&T’s Digital Life will be available in 27 markets, with plans to introduce the service in up to 50 markets by the end of 2013. With Digital Life, customers can use their existing home broadband provider, and any wireless phone service, and enjoy the security and convenience of a home management system with the flexibility to meet their unique needs. Actively Protected & In Control: The foundation of Digital Life is complete home security with 24/7 professional monitoring that allows you to know what is happening at home, or where an event has occurred. Through AT&T-owned and operated, U.S.-based monitoring centers, professionals will respond to emergencies and alert police and fire authorities. Seamlessly Connected: Digital Life is an all-digital, fully integrated, wireless home management system, giving customers flexibility to manage their home from their smartphone, tablet or PC. Our takeover module lets you easily extend your existing security system and investment. The Digital Life application is available on most web browsers. Apps are available for iOS, Android smartphones and Windows Phones. To ensure customers’ privacy is protected, Digital Life has a secure log in system each time the app is opened from any Internet-connected device. Amazingly Simple & Intuitive: A user-friendly application was designed to be as simple as possible, making it easier than ever to manage your home. The Digital Life application gives customers control over cameras, door locks, lights, thermostats, small appliances and more by setting alerts or programs to manage your home. It’s all integrated into one simple system. Personalized & Flexible: Digital Life provides total flexibility so you can personalize your home to adapt to everyday life – with custom notifications and scheduled tasks. Add devices and solutions anytime, as your needs grow, or your lifestyle changes. “Digital Life is committed to offering our customers an easy and convenient way to secure their homes, protect their families and simplify their lives from virtually anywhere,” said Kevin Petersen, president, Digital Life, Inc. “With the launch of these five new markets, we’re looking forward to making Digital Life available to more customers throughout the country.”

Logitech Decides To Retain Its Harmony Remote Division

Logitech took to the wires today to announce the Harmony Ultimate Hub, a device that turns an iPhone or Android device into a universal remote, is available for purchase. It’s $100. But more importantly, Logitech also announced that it decided to keep the Harmony division within the company rather than spinning it out into its own company, turning the division, once again, into a startup fighting for attention in the wild electronic forest. Once upon a time, May 5, 2004 to be exact, Logitech acquired the privately held Intrigue Technologies of Canada, maker of the famed Harmony remote controls, for $29 million in cash. Fast forward nine years. Logitech did the company right, pushing out countless quality products under the Harmony name, cementing it as a leader in the market. However, with growth slowing, Logitech was pondering spinning the division back out into the wild. As today’s press release states, the company has determined that retaining ownership is in the best interest of its shareholders. Apparently the success of the Harmony Ultimate, a universal remote that merges the touch capability found in a smartphone with the traditional remote controls, changed Logitech’s mind. The new remote “exceeded the company’s expectations for customer connections.”

Thermostat Maker Ecobee Launches Home Automation API

You may never need rise from the couch or get out of bed again. Home automation is becoming increasingly popular with apps that control ceiling fans, sprinkler systems, garage doors, kitchen appliances, you name it. Along that line of thinking, temperature control company Ecobee has just released a public API that lets third-party apps read, update and poll information about its home thermostats. The Toronto-based company develops a range of wifi-enabled thermostats for residential and commercial markets. Its API focuses on the company’s line of Smart thermostats, intended for home use. By releasing an open API, Ecobee is betting developers will use it to create a range of home solutions that bring homeowners more choice, comfort, energy savings and peace of mind. The company already offers a suite of mobile apps that control its Smart thermostats from anywhere, but Ecobee believes the RESTful API, which returns JSON, will feed a new level of innovation. “Ecobee’s API platform enables an active community of forward thinkers to build the next generation of connected home applications. Our customers will benefit from a wide range of convenient solutions that will simplify their lives,” said Stuart Lombard, the company’s president and CEO. Partners currently working on apps for the Ecobee platform include Mi Casa Verde, Smart Things, The UBI, Earth Networks, Integral Analytics, Auto Grid, Energy Sherlock, MMB Research Solutions.

iControl Networks Launches New Self-Installable Smart Home and Lifestyle Solution

 iControl Networks  announced iControl Touchstone™, a new self-installable, self-managed smart home solution for broadband service providers focused on lifestyle services. iControl Touchstone is powered by iControl's award-winning OpenHome™ software platform, and offers a connected home experience that consumers can install and manage themselves. iControl Touchstone will be initially deployed across the U.S. by Comcast as Xfinity Home Control. iControl Touchstone enables service providers to offer consumers a full range of innovative home management and monitoring services. As a self-installable solution, it opens the door for new distribution opportunities, including online and retail, which are desirable alternatives for broadband service providers seeking an initial go-to-market offering. iControl Touchstone provides innovative home monitoring, comfort, control, automation and energy management, and can be assembled and installed by the end-user, eliminating the need for a professionally trained technician. iControl Touchstone allows customers to: Stay connected to their homes  with live video feed and event-driven video capture via in-home cameras, enabling them to see what’s happening while they’re away. Remotely control and manage their homes  with the power to turn on/off lights and appliances and adjust thermostat temperature via the web or mobile applications. Customize their systems  by scheduling personalized, automated alerts, for example, to confirm when the kids arrive home from school, which generate email and text alerts with optional photo/video clip. Go green  with energy-saving thermostat, lighting and small appliance control and automation.

The latest installer products from InfoComm 2013

With over 950 exhibitors, it is impossible to cover each manufacturer. This is the "must" show of the year and I suggest you get your reservations for the 2014 show.

Notes From InfoComm 2013

There is no better venue to keep up with the latest audio visual technology than at the InfoComm 2013 Show.

InfoComm 2013 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.

Infocomm 2013 Special News Report

Here is our news report with press releases and announcements from the show.

Running Interference - Not all Projector Screens are Created Equal

The BIG screen experience from a front projector is so much more impressive and enjoyable than even the largest plasma or LCD TV at literally a fraction of the cost but not all projector screen materials are designed for peak performance consistent with current digital projection technologies.

Customer Service Has to Be Real and Responsive

For many companies, having a strong customer relationship isn't part of the deal. Fortunately a few firms get it and those are the ones you go back to again and again because they have real people who know the only person who counts in the relationship is ...YOU. The others? Talk to the ball!

Microsoft working on home automation for the Xbox 720

It is being reported that Microsoft has acquired home entertainment and automation startup R2 Studios, by the Wall Street Journal. Started in 2011, this Silicon Valley company recently launched applications that allow for users to control multiple aspects of their home from smartphones. Could this mean that Microsoft is getting closer to the Xbox being the central piece in the living room that controls all facets of the home? It sure looks like it with this news. The acquisition sees the small team joining Microsoft’s Xbox division, and Microsoft will retain rights to some of the patents that R2 Studios owns, which relate to controlling electronic devices. With home automation becoming a growing trend in the U.S. today, the next Xbox could very well have the ability to control multiple facets of the homes that they are used in, and take an even further step away from being a video game console. The Xbox 360 saw a huge swing in its userbase utilzing the console for digital downloads and streaming video options found on the Xbox Live dashboard. The only commercial application that R2 Studios has released to this point is a $99 application that lets users control lighting, thermostats, security systems, and other products via Android devices.

News from InfoComm 2013

With InfoComm 2013 wrapping up, we saw hundreds of press releases and product announcements coming out of this years show. Check out our InfoComm 2013 Newspage for some of the interesting news from this years show. Stay tuned for our InfoComm 2013 reports to see the key new products introduced at this years event.

InfoComm 2013 underway in Orlando.

Every summer, the best and brightest of the professional audiovisual communications industry gather at InfoComm to learn new skills, discover innovative solutions, network with each other and celebrate their successes. They come to Collaborate, Communicate and Connect. Attracting more than 925 exhibitors and 35,000 attendees from over 90 countries, InfoComm is the largest pro AV show in the world. This years show took place n us June 8-14, 2013 (exhibits, June 12-14), at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. 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. Make  sure to check out our special  InfoComm 2013 Newspage  for Exhibitor news.

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IntraSonic Technology - I2000 Music Distribution and Intercom System

IntraSonic Technology - I2000 Music Distribution and Intercom System

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