CES 2014 - HomeToys has all the news from this years show

The best and brightest of the Home Technology and Integration industry journey to Las Vegas each January to search through the mass of people and products displayed at CES. Attracting more than 3000 exhibitors and 150,000 attendees from nearly every country, CES is the top Electronics show in the world. This years show took place as usual from January 7th - 10th in Las Vegas, Nevada. For well over a decade HomeToys.com has been covering CES and sifting through all the news pages and product announcements to bring you a special CES Newspage devoted to the key trends and most important announcements to the Home Technology and AV Systems industry. Make sure to check out our special  CES 2014 Newspage  for Exhibitor news and announcements.

Samsung Shape wireless audio platform expands with cheaper M5 speaker

From  CNet - The Samsung Shape wireless audio system was clearly designed to take on Sonos, but when it launched back in October, there was only a single-speaker option -- the Shape M7. Now the company is expanding the Shape lineup, with the newly-announced M5 speaker. The M5 will cost less than the $400 M7 but offers similar functionality, using the same Wi-Fi based standard to stream music throughout your home. The M5 will also support the same set of streaming music services, which includes Amazon Cloud Player, Pandora, Rhapsody, and TuneIn, in addition to music stored on your PC and smartphone. For multiroom setups, you'll need one Samsung Hub  ($50) on your home network, which connects to your router and coordinates your wireless audio signals. The Samsung Shape lineup will also be adding the Connect Box: a small set-top box that allows you to integrate Samsung Shape streaming audio to an existing home audio system, much like the similarly named Sonos Connect. No other details about the M5 or Connect Box have been announced yet, but both products will be showcased at CES 2014, where I'll be able to get a hands-on look at the new devices.  

8 Trends to Look for at CES 2014

Today the products are the star attraction at what's now the most important consumer electronics show in the world. Although a lot of us complain about having to go to Vegas to cover this event, the geek inside us wants the chance to play with the coolest tech gadgets on the market and be among the first to see products that will be out in the new year. I also follow this show carefully as I often get to see trends in the works or developing and this helps give insight to what type of technology we will see in the marketplace in the relatively near future. Keep in mind that CES is specifically timed to show retailers the products that vendors plan to have in the market by the end of the second quarter, in time for the next year holiday season. With this in mind, here are the eight trends I see emerging during CES for 2014. 1. The car becomes a node in the Internet of things.  2. 4K TVs and monitors will be cheaper. 3. Digital health moves to the forefront. 4. 2-in-1s take off.  5. Curved televisions pull people in. 6. 3D printers revolutionize manufacturing. 7. Smart home and smart light bulbs come home. 8. Wearables continue trending.   Full Article:

It's that time of the year for CES

I can only touch on a few of the amazing products that will be featured at CES. There will be over 20,000 new products unveiled at the show. If you plan on attending, you had better have a pair of roller skates.

Connected Health: A Growing Market

Connected Health Opportunities for Service Providers

The Year Ahead - Beautiful Content Everywhere, Feeling the Love

More than anything 2014 is going to be a year of beauty, acceptance, and becoming more comfortable with the fact that we're not alone. even in our own thoughts.

LG Smart Appliances head to CES 2014 with LINE chat capability

Over the last few years at CES in January, LG has been showing off its ever improving smart appliances. At CES 2013, LG showed off smart appliances that were able to interact with the user via WiFi networks. At CES 2014 next month LG will be rolling out new and improved smart appliances.   These new appliance have Natural Language Processing capability to allow owners to communicate, control, and monitor the appliances via mobile messenger application LINE and the LG HomeChat service. LG says that LINE already has 310 million users around the world and using that messenger means that many people will have no learning curve.   LINE is available for Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Nokia Asha devices. It will also run on PC and Mac computers. The ability for the smart appliances to understand natural language means that the owner can message the appliances with "I'm going on vacation" and have the smart appliances respond with their own message.   The appliances will ask the owner "Should I convert to vacation mode?" If the owner says yes, all LG smart appliances in the home will convert to power saving modes and run vacation schedules for usage. The tech will also allow the user to receive real time status updates from their refrigerator no matter where they are using LINE. Multiple LG smart appliances will be on display at CES 2014 next month.

The business of home automation is enabling the internet of things

If we think about the homes that have a broadband connection today as the total addressable market for home automation, the home automation market size turns out to be around $8.8 billion at $100 spent per home or $880 billion at $10,000 for example in the U.S. If we are a little more conservative and say that only those broadband subscribers who use smartphones are targets, the range turns out to be about $5.63 – $563 billion. In order to capture this opportunity a number of business models have come into play. While these are not new business models, it is interesting to see how this opportunity is being captured. 1. The Free approach 2. Building block sales 3. Piecemeal 4. Integration 5. Subscriptions 6. DIY   The promise of double digit sales growth is attracting a number of players, big and small, to the home automation market. As competition heats up and prices decline, business models will evolve. But we will continue to see a wide spectrum of models in use as different players target different segments of the market. In fact players may adopt more than one business model to capture bigger pieces of the pie.  Read Full Article here: GigaOM

Google EnergySense leaks, points to home automation

It looks like the Android@Home project has shifted to thermostat control during the silence, the first evidence of which has revealed itself in the form of a screenshot of the Google Play Store. Based solely on this screenshot, EnergySense appears to be a smart thermostat control app that allows the user to control the temperature of their home no matter where they are. Profiles are available for home and away, and a great deal of the UI seems to be gesture based.   According to a report from The Information, Google is not building their own hardware for the pilot program. The program itself consists of both Google employees and trusted testers who are testing its viability. There’s currently no word on whether or not the project will ever make it to a consumer release stage, but it does seem like Google has put quite a bit of effort into the project already. Last year Google didn’t mention Android@Home on stage at all during their keynote. If nothing gets announced before Google IO this year it is entirely possible that Android@Home will either be a focal point for the presentation, or this could be the result of Larry Page putting more wood behind fewer arrows and focusing on a single aspect of home automation first.  

These smartplugs detect your presence for seamless home automation

Currently attempting to hit a $150,000 funding goal on Kickstarter, a group of engineers have developed a new type of smartplug that attempts to simplify the process of automating your home. Called the Zuli Smartplug, the device utilizes low-power Bluetooth in order to interact with your smartphone. Very similar to how the Kivo Kwikset front door lock will unlock based of the proximity of the homeowner’ssmartphone, the Zuli Smartplugs will activate and deactivate based on the proximity of a smartphone owner moving within a home. By simply adding the smartplug to lights within each room, a homeowner won’t have to fumble to find a light switch in a dark room.  This is accomplished by purchasing a minimum of three Zuli Smartplugs and setting them up within multiple rooms of a home. The smartplugs start communicating and form a “Bluetooth mesh network” in order to detect someone’s presence. Of course, increasing the total number of plugs used in a home will improve the accuracy of the detection algorithm. Users can set up specific preferences for each room, ideal for personalizing the activation process. Interestingly, the iOS mobile app also switches automatically based on the room you are currently located in, thus providing a quick way to tweak settings for that room.

Get your control freak on with stick-anywhere home sensors

Like many other products for an Interne t of Things  at home, Mother and its Motion Cookies are controlled with various app functions, but they present data in an illustrated storybook format on your tab let  screen. What else would you expect from a mom? The Cookies can be attached to toothbrushes, cups, doors, pill bottles, fridge doors, and nearly everything else. They can detect motion and temperature, and continuously ping the Mother unit, so you know if they are in or out of your home. They have batteries that last about a year, and a range comparable to home Wi-Fi. They can report on the temperature of a child's room, whether you're walking enough every day, or when someone tampers with your stuff. It all depends where and how you deploy the sensors, which use a 915-MHz radio link in North America. It's up to you to decide if you need a sensor on your toothbrush.

Using PoE to Simplify Home Automation, AV and Security Installations

Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) supported devices are becoming more common in nearly every facet of home and business networking.

36 Million Homes In Europe And North America Will Be Smart By 2017

Traditional whole-home solution vendors such as Crestron, Control4, Gira and Jung are facing new competition as telecom operators, security service providers, energy companies and other vendors are entering the industry.

iMCA Server™ Solutions

The architecture of this system allows for a virtually unlimited number of automation or sensing devices and controllers from different vendors to be natively integrated with each other.

Home Automation: The Newest Way To Improve Homes

As smartphones started to become more and more prevalent, it was inevitable that people would seek new ways to incorporate them into their lives, including their homes.

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Automation & Control - Featured Product

GreenPeak’s GP565 – ZigBee for smart Remote Controls

GreenPeak's GP565 - ZigBee for smart Remote Controls

The GP565 Smart Home RF chip for remote controls supports voice control, motion sensing and the new ZRC 2.0 protocol. The GP565 is optimized for advanced & low cost ZigBee RF4CE remote controls. • 120k or 248k Flash (8k or 16k RAM) memory • 40-pin footprint to support a keyboard scanner interface or other IO interfaces required for remote controls. • Reduced current consumption and improved receiver sensitivity and output power • Patented Antenna Diversity technology enables superior range and WiFi/Bluetooth interference rejection