From John Patrick Pullen of Time.com: Companies selling smart home products are quick to say how easy it is to connect their devices to the Internet. And while most of the time they’re correct, they are sidestepping a big, thorny pitfall: namely, your home’s wireless network. Over the past year and a half, I’ve been working on turning my house into smart home, and have learned that nothing is more important — and infuriating — than my house’s Wi-Fi. Here are four lessons I’ve learned so far: 1. Be smart about where you put your Wi-Fi router. 2. There are no great ways to extend the range of your home’s Wi-Fi. 3. Hard-wiring your home is easier than you may think. 4. Power is a problem. Full Article:
If considering a digital signage network for your business, I offer the same advice that I give to my kids: Do your homework.
Here are a bunch of press releases from exhibitors at the show --- be sure to add yours.
These test results find that that higher contrast and color accuracy can produce an image that is preferred by those surveyed.
A true home automation is not about offering a singular solution for access control or temperature control; it is about an integrated platform that unifies devices, mobile applications, cloud services and data analytics, with an overlay of a consistent, easy-to-use interface.
CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is like fine dining. It is best to be tasted, eaten, consumed slowly but unfortunately that's impossible because it is like a limited time giant buffet.
NYC real estate company hires ESSENTIALCOM and Peerless-AV® to create a transparent lobby in hopes to bring the outside views, in.
From ZDNet: Intel acquired Lantiq, which makes broadband and networking gear, in a move that broadens its connected home efforts. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Lantiq is based in Munich, Germany and primarily serves broadband providers. With the move, Intel becomes the latest tech giant to hop on the connected home bandwagon. Samsung has said its appliances will be connected to the Internet and tied together. Google owns Nest and everyone from Apple to Microsoft has some kind of connected home play. Intel is looking to combine its cable gateway unit with Lantiq to tie together multiple devices---that will presumably run on its processors. Intel also has a strong Internet of things unit. Lantiq fills out the portfolio. Lantiq would fit into the gateway portion of Intel's IoT platform.
Crestron control intelligence is embedded into popular AV equipment such as projectors, flat panel TVs, audio/video receivers, and a variety of other wired and wireless devices.
Read Full review by Shawn Knight of TechSpot: Amenities like being able to remotely adjust the temperature inside your home or receiving a text when the laundry is done certainly sound appealing, but are they really all they’re cracked up to be? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just try these features out for a week or two before committing to shelling out hundreds or thousands on a standalone IoT-enabled device? With littleBits’ new Smart Home Kit, you can do just that. For the uninitiated among us, littleBits is an ever-growing open source library of small electronic modules that easily connect together. Created by Ayah Bdeir, it started as a tool to help designers incorporate electronics into the prototyping process. Today, it’s much more than that. Think of them as Lego bricks for the iPad generation. The Smart Home Kit we’ll be looking at today is tailor-made for home automation projects. It includes 14 modules and 11 accessories, enabling a vast array of creations that can add smart functionality to all sorts of appliances and gadgets you already own, or create entirely new ones.
From AppAdvice.com: While the crowdfunding craze has helped to create a number of successful iOS accessory companies, there have also been more than a few spectacular failures. But Lockitron falls somewhere in between. The company arrived on the scene all the way back in 2012 with its unique (at the time) smart and app-enabled deadbolt that cost $179. Flooded by a more-than-expected number of preorders, the company was unable to keep up with demand as the original Lockitron was plagued with hardware and software issues. But the company has just introduced a new lock version named Bolt. There are some major differences compared to the original model. Most importantly, the new version is retailing for just $99, which is significantly less than other competitors like the Kwikset Kevo and August Smart Lock. Purchasing the optional $77 bridge will allow users to control the lock from anywhere. And instead of a fitting on top of your current deadbolt, the Bolt replaces it completely.
From Jared Newman, MacWorld: Your Apple-powered smart home of the future needn't be limited to the HomeKit ecosystem, but venturing outside will bring some restrictions. HomeKit is Apple's upcoming framework for smart home devices such as lightbulbs, door locks, garage door openers, and thermostats. Many of these devices will connect directly to users' iPhones via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi—no separate hub device required—for unified voice control through Siri. They'll also be able to connect with an Apple TV, allowing for Siri voice controls when users are away from home. Apple will also let users connect devices that aren't approved under the the Made for iPhone (MFi) program, using a separate bridge device that hooks them into HomeKit. This will allow companies like Insteon to make their existing range of smart home devices compatible with Apple's framework, even if they use alternative networking protocols such as ZigBee or Z-Wave. But according to 9to5Mac's sources, these non-MFi devices won't have the same capabilities as products built with HomeKit in mind. Cont'd...
From Residential Systems: URC made a surprising announcement today in response to dealer and distributor requests and discussions. The Harrison, NY, manufacturer is combining its two control systems lines, Total Control and ccGEN2, converging the software in the next two weeks. The move is intended to “make things easier on products, purchasing, training, programming, and marketing,” according to Cat Toomey, URC director of marketing. “On our recent fall tour of a few thousand dealers, we realized clearly we are making things harder than they need to be and we should course correct some things,” Toomey stated. “It’s a significant change but one that is a good one for the business and the dealers to get, sell, and program URC product, better, faster, and easier.” Regarding the ccGEN2 and Total Control announcement, Toomey explained that because ccGEN2 and Total Control have had different programming software, new drivers get added at different times and ccGEN2 dealers lose access to URC music and amp sources.
From Michael Wolf for Forbes.com: Today, Forbes and others reported on a massive new funding round for a Lowe’s-backed startup Porch.com to the tune of $65 million. While Porch.com founder says he still controls the company, there is no doubt Lowe’s sees Porch.com as an important weapon in its expansion into the local installer services economy. But the most interesting part about the Porch.com deal for me was thinking about how this nationwide network of local installers could help another Lowe’s strategic initiative – Lowe’s Iris – get traction. Iris is the company’s smart home platform, which is the centerpiece of Lowe’s effort to put itself in control of a growing market that we at NextMarket forecast to be worth $7.8 billion in the US alone by 2019. Smart home savvy readers are probably asking, “isn’t Lowe’s Iris a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) product?” It’s intended to be, but let’s be honest: DIY is the smart home industry’s big lie, since getting mass-market adoption will likely require a light-service channel to help Grandpa, Mom or even me install that new intelligent wall switch or smart water valve without electrocuting myself or flooding the house. Cont'd...
Xiaomi Corp. unveiled a new product called the Smart Home Suite with a group of four components that offer security features as it broadens its range of devices that can be controlled by mobile phone. The suite includes a human motion sensor, and a pair of door and window sensors that can be used for home security, Xiaomi President Bin Lin said today at the GeekPark Innovation Festival in Beijing. The company will start a consumer test of the product Jan. 26, he said. “In the past, motion sensors were very complicated and large in size, so that if you wanted a system you needed professional installation,” Lin told the conference. “For this suite, there is not a single nail or wire. These components are all very simple.” Xiaomi in less than five years has grown to become the world’s third-largest smartphone vendor and, at $45 billion, the most-valuable technology startup. Now, Chief Executive Officer Lei Jun is pushing into Web-enabled devices for the home even as it challenges Samsung Electronics Corp. and Apple Inc. (AAPL) at the higher end of the mobile-device market.
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As flat panels themselves become increasingly slimmer, customers are looking for even more ways to get these mounted TVs and monitors as flush with the wall as possible. The Video Mount Products IWB-1B is an in wall box that allows up to a 32-inch flat panel to fully collapse into a wall. It installs easily between two 16-inch on center wooden studs, has integrated cable and electrical knockouts, and a high load capacity. The IWB-1B works with the LCD-1B and LCD-2537B mounts. The IWB-1 is yet another option for discerning installers and customers who demand both aesthetic appeal as well as the famed VMP reliability. Whether in the office, commercial install, home, or any other application where a low-profile wall mounted flat panel option is desired, the VMP IWB-1B is the answer.