Your Smart Home Devices Might be Smart, but Are They Secure?

By Maria Sciullo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:  Products often rely on mobile apps to connect to cloud-based servers in order for you to “talk” to your security cameras. If you can control smart devices via the Internet, chances are good that some even smarter stranger with hacking skills might stand a chance of doing so. “Consumers should think hard about the benefits they will gain from an IoT device, and weigh those against a ’worst-case’ risk,” said Mark Stanislav, a Rapid7 senior security consultant and member of BuildItSecure.ly, a pro-bono industry initiative that helps vendors create more secure products. Rapid7 helps companies manage security services. “For instance, is the Internet-connected Web camera you want to put into your home worth the potential risk that someone on the Internet may be able to snoop on it if a flaw is found? It’s worth thinking about the placement of a device like that and how much privacy would be lost in that sort of scenario.   “This simple ‘risk-versus reward’ is a great test for consumers to make any time they are about to purchase an IoT device,” Mr. Stanislav said.   Cont'd...

How to Ride the Smart Home Wave

From Adam Gettings for Techonomy: There's a sizeable "smart home" wave building. The smart home and building technology market was $4.8 billion in 2012 and a report by Allied Market Research predicts it will grow to $35.3 billion by 2020.   Not surprisingly, many startups, retailers, and established tech companies hope to ride the wave. Surfing is hard to do. Not everyone will get the timing right. But some strategies will make it a lot less likely that companies will wipe out.   Open Up Your Platform:  Everyone's racing to make their own smart home platform, but few of them are open. Now I don't mean open source, like the Android Open Source Project or Apache Hadoop-those projects are incredible for the technology industry, but open source isn't right or always possible for every company. Rather, I mean these smart home platforms need to be open by offering APIs and other developer toolkits to allow easy interoperability with other products within the ecosystem (or even allowing other brands to license their technology to create totally new products). Developers understandably want to maintain control over their products, but too tight of control can also limit a product's potential.   Cont'd...

Listnr is a Home Automation Device With Ears

Jennifer Allen for Paste Magazine:  Automating your home is already possible through a variety of different remotes and devices, but how about something that relies upon sound? That’s the thinking behind Listnr, the latest device that aims to make life seem a little more futuristic, as well as convenient.   At its simplest, it allows you to connect a smart light-bulb to it, thereby allowing you to turn the lights on or off by snapping your fingers. You can program Listnr to react to any kind of sound, such as a clap, snap, or a stomp of your feet—the latter being useful when your hands are full. Besides simply turning on or off, you can set up the gadget to change to specific colors if you so wish, setting the mood perfectly. It goes one step further, too.   It’ll also understand emotion from sounds, such as when your baby is communicating. Via a notification system, Listnr can tell if your baby is crying, laughing, screaming, or simply gurgling, soon sending you a heads up to your smart phone.

Wireless Communication Standards for the Internet of Things

What does the future hold? Is this going to be a real industry battle or is there going to be reconciliation?

Siri, Meet Hue: How to Use Apple's Siri to Activate Your Philips Hue Lights

While there are automated solutions available that will turn your Wi-Fi enabled lights on and off at pre-set times or based on other actions occurring, sometimes you just want to say, "Lights, turn off " and have it happen.

Smart Home Interview - D-Link Systems

A majority of our Connected Home products are Wi-Fi based so they work with any Wi-Fi home network.

Smart Home Interview - SmartenIt

One distinguishing feature of our company's offering is that there is no subscription fee, service fee, or system installation requirement for using the hardware or connection capability.

Smart Home Interview - Fantem Oomi

For set-up we use NFC technology. This makes setting-up and expanding an Oomi system incredibly easy, as a user simply has to tap the controller against the accessory to connect it to the system.

Smart Home Interview - OKIDOKEYS

OKIDOKEYS devices allow you to lock and unlock home doors, garage doors or gates with any smartphones, cell phones and secure smart keys.

Smart Home Interview - Wink

The Wink Hub consolidates existing protocols into one so that whether or not the smart thermostat you have your eye on runs on Zigbee or Bluetooth LE doesn't matter.

Smart Home Interview - Blackloud

Once connected the app then uses our cloud system to connect you to your home from anywhere in the world.

Xiaomi Launches New Series of Smart Home Products

Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) - a worldwide leader in providing complete silicon solutions from mobile communications to storage, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud infrastructure, digital entertainment and in-home content delivery and Kinoma software enabling the "Smart Life and Smart Lifestyle," - today announced that Xiaomi has launched a smart module built on the Marvell IoT chipset; the module also has been integrated into Xiaomi's smart air purifier and smart hub, part of its portfolio of smart home product offerings. The new design wins build on the previously announced Xiaomi's smart-plug and extends the partnership between two leading companies in the Smart Home industry. Powered by the Marvell IoT chipset, the Xiaomi smart module integrates Wi-Fi connection and complete communication protocol with Xiaomi Cloud, which enables third-party manufacturers to upgrade to smart devices from traditional devices. This module supports multiple functions, including power on device detect, firmware upgrades, network reliability and consistency maintenance of the connection status indication.  "I am very pleased with our collaboration with Xiaomi in launching a new series of Smart Home devices for the vast consumer base in China. Smart Home is an integral part of the fast-growing Internet of Things market," said Weili Dai, President and Co-Founder of Marvell. "I am very proud that Marvell is leading the industry with the broadest technology portfolio and end-to-end silicon and software solutions. With our continued collaboration with top global ecosystem partners such as Xiaomi, we are committed to bringing the benefit of IoT technologies to billions of consumers around the world."   

Neurio Launches to Make the Whole Home "Smart" With Only One Sensor

Neurio is an intelligent, open platform that with only one sensor brings smart home capabilities to the entire home, with future versions providing intelligence for all existing appliances. As the "brain of the home," Neurio connects both older appliances and newer "smart" devices to allow users to easily track, monitor and better understand how their home is operating, such as letting the user know when their kids come home, or if they forgot to turn something off before leaving for the day.    Neurio makes it simple, affordable and practical to bring smart home technology, and its benefits, to the masses.    A Single Sensor Monitoring Energy Use Habits Means Saving Money    Successfully funded via Kickstarter, Neurio is now shipping to backers and is currently available for pre-order at www.neur.io. The Neurio Sensor costs $249 and users have the potential to save money quickly by recognizing energy use patterns and habits. The Neurio platform, which features a single sensor attached to a home's circuit box, allows for home intelligence and monitoring right out of the box. 

CSR will give Bluetooth gear in the smart home super powers

From Stacy Higgenbotham for GigaOM:  This year is going to be a big one for Bluetooth technologies in the smart home. Thanks to some updates in the Bluetooth standard from a year ago, we’re seeing products such as light bulbs, outlets and more using the radio technology to connect devices. But it’s not just the standards update that’s helped; a few firms have also introduced software that have allowed companies to turn their Bluetooth radios into a mesh network that offers more resiliency and range for the technology. One of the more popular is CSRmesh, the software designed by CSR, the company that helped invent Bluetooth and is now in the process of being acquired by Qualcomm. Now a year old, and primarily used in lighting products like those out from Samsung or Avi-On, the CSRmesh tech lets you group up to 64,000 bulbs or devices together.   But it can do so much more. And soon it will. I took some time to discuss the technology with Rick Walker, who is in marketing with CSR to discover what’s next for the technology and whether we may see it integrated into the official Bluetooth standard anytime soon.  

Reliant Launches Integrated Home Security, Automation Solutions

The smart home is more accessible than ever with the launch of Reliant’s new suite of home security packages and automation tools. These solutions help customers connect anywhere, anytime, to what is often their largest investment – their home. Retail electricity customers can now sign up for a customizable security package from Reliant, or enroll in a new electricity plan that offers a home automation package. These new advances provide a broad customer-focused platform for integrating emerging and future home technology innovations. “We are passionate about powering people at home and on the go and with these new security and home automation solutions, we can make life easier and more comfortable for consumers,” said Elizabeth Killinger, president of NRG Retail and Reliant. “Customers can conveniently and remotely control devices in their home through a new app – all from the comfort of their couch or from thousands of miles away.” The security solution offers 24/7 professional, live security monitoring services, expert installation and remote access via mobile devices and computers. Customers on the go can use the app to: Arm/disarm their security system; Open/close their garage door and know when it’s open or closed; Turn on/off their lights even when away from home; Unlock/lock their doors remotely to let family, friends, contractors or others into their home; and Keep an eye on their home with video cameras that record based on specific actions, such as when the alarm is triggered. In addition to the new security offering, customers who want home automation can sign up for a select Reliant Free WeekendsSM 24 plan that includes an easy to install package with a smart thermostat, smart plug and gateway device. 

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