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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Smart-home upgrades

You may be fascinated by thermostats that seem to intuit your favorite temperature or front doors that automatically lock and unlock themselves but hesitated to buy them because you fear the potential cost.

But smart-home technology doesn’t have to break the bank. There are several home upgrades that you can make yourself. Here are a few:

Thermostats: Smart-home technologies were largely inspired by new-age thermostats, which promised to go above and beyond the traditional “set and hold” options found in most homes today.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/where-we-live/wp/2015/11/24/smart-home-upgrades-that-you-can-install-yourself/

Gifts for Smart Homes

Smart home technology has yet to rise to the level of sophistication depicted in the Jetsons, but it’s getting closer every day. And the hardware needed to reach that goal is becoming more affordable every day, too. We’ve selected a broad range of solutions for this gift guide that will make life at home easier, more secure, and—most importantly—more fun.

The Harmony Elite, $350, is truly the one remote to rule them all. It can control every device in your entertainment center and also manage an unlimited number of connected-home devices.

Read more: http://www.techhive.com/article/3006876/holiday/5-awesome-gifts-for-smart-home-enthusiasts.html

Security System Monitors Home Without Cameras

When it comes to home security systems, installing cameras around the house is pretty much the standard. However if you have seen movies involving spies and heists, you know that the first thing they do is take out the cameras which will pretty much render your home security system useless.

This is where Xandem comes in. This is a security system for your home that does not rely on cameras, thus making your security system inconspicuous so that people don’t even know that it is there.

Read more: http://www.ubergizmo.com/2015/11/xandem-security-system-indiegogo/

SimpliSafe Home Security

Like many new homeowners, I like the idea of securing my family and my house, but I don't like the idea of locking myself into a multi-year service contract during which I have to pay a high monthly monitoring fee. Also, drilling into my newly painted walls to install a complicated wired system isn't terribly appealing. As its name implies, SimpliSafe is a wireless security system that's truly simple to set up and use, and keeps your home safe from intruders and environmental threats like fires and floods. It's a seamless DIY system that succeeds quite well at what it sets out to do—secure your home easily and flexibly, letting you monitor everything remotely with an affordable monthly monitoring plan. But its focus is limited to just that. If you want to integrate a surveillance camera or other home automation devices with your security system, you'll need to look elsewhere.

Read more: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2495173,00.asp

Smarter Bulb For Home Security

You may already be stocking up on timers and lights for the holiday season, if not for decorations, for home security. After decades of wall socket timers and manually figuring out when the lights should be on, aren’t we all ready for the intelligent house of the future to be here already? The tech industry is abuzz with the Internet of Things (IoT) vision of how devices, appliances and electronics might better communicate with to better improve power efficiency, improve security or simply make our lives easier. I wrote about some of the possibilities of IoT and smart technologies in There is More Value in the IoT Economy than Big Data Analytics. But how about starting with something simple as the light bulb? BeON Home’s new smart bulb might just put a shine on it.

While light bulbs have evolved with better halogen, fluorescent and LED bulbs, they focused on improving energy efficiency one bulb at a time. They are still slaves to the light switch.

Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rawnshah/2015/11/23/a-smarter-light-bulb-for-home-security/

Nest Camera- “Smart Home” security

Ah yes…the smart home. It’s something I’ve been wanting to dive into for a while. So when Verizon sent me a Nest Camera…heck yeah man.

First of all, what is a Nest Camera? Well…it’s a surveillance camera that connects to the wi-fi in your home or business and lets you watch the feed from your cell phone or tablet. Nest cam in box

This camera is going to set you back $199. So, is this worth the price?

Read more: http://wthitv.com/2015/11/25/nest-camera-smart-home-security/

Sonos 5: Best Wireless Speaker I’ve Ever Heard

For years, home audio companies have been trying to design speakers that are physically smaller, while somehow making their sound almost magically bigger. Can it be done? Sure. Can it be done well? Probably not to the liking of a finely-tuned ear.

But wireless audio company Sonos is trying to reverse the trend of ever-shrinking speakers with its Play:5, a new, bigger piece of equipment. And the difference it makes isn’t just big — it’s huge.

Read more: http://time.com/4127858/sonos-play5-review-wireless-speaker-bluetooth/

Construction drops amid restrictions on home building

Cities and towns, frequently citing added school costs, continue to either oppose new housing or accept it only reluctantly, allowing just enough to meet state affordable housing mandates and imposing restrictions that limit the types of homes that can be built.

Perhaps more troubling, the lagging construction is part of a long-term trend that has seen housing production diminish through each economic cycle. During the tech boom of the 1980s, the state was adding an average of about 30,000 units a year, according to the US Census; through the tech boom of this decade, the state has built an average of just 10,000 homes a year.

Read more: https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2015/11/20/with-restrictions-types-units-affecting-projects-housing-construction-plunges/oJFoASH17KgVo9iD3QLyQK/story.html

Home Security with BeOn, SimpliSafe, and Canary

I haven’t found a security system yet that gives me everything I want: automated lighting when I’m away, a video camera to see what’s happening at my house, and just good ol’ monitored alarms. But I think I’ve finally found a combo that works.

The newest product in my security trifecta is the BeON Home Protection System. It consists of three smart LED bulbs with built-in rechargeable “smart modules.” These network the bulbs together via Bluetooth through an app on your phone.

Read more: http://geekdad.com/2015/11/home-security-with-beon/

Smartphones, smart cars and now smart homes

Many people grew up with the idea that one day we would all be living in homes like the Jetsons, the 1960s cartoon family living in the future, with a closet that showers and dresses you and a robot that makes your breakfast. While homes aren’t yet quite there, smart home technology has advanced in recent years, becoming more popular than ever.

Technology has changed the way we live in and interact with our homes. Smart homes can be programmed to react to their owner and tailored to fit with a person’s lifestyle.

Read more: http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/homes/2015/11/25/smartphones-smart-cars-and-now-smart-homes/76384990/

Angee Home Security System

Described as the world’s first truly autonomous home security system, Angee is an advanced security and communication system that moves with you, talks to you, and best of all, adapts to your daily routine. Think of it as a security TiVo of sorts, with the capacity to “learn” its environment and the people it’s meant to protect.

To use Angee, simply download the app, pair it with the sleek, black console, and then place security tags at entry points or at points around your home you’d like Angee to look after. Arming and disarming the device is fully automated through a two-step authentication process of phone and voice recognition.

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/home/angee-home-security-system/

Telus Shows Home of the Future

Imagine a completely automated home that anticipated your every move -- that’s what Telus is presenting in their Future Home located at Aberdeen Mall.

The miniature home showcases an automated security system, intelligent software that will tell you when your plants are thirsty, a meal planner and digital cookbook that will simultaneously update your digital grocery list, an indoor greenhouse, and a digital stove that practically cooks for you.

Read more: http://www.kamloopsbcnow.com/watercooler/news/news/Kamloops/15/11/24/Telus_Shows_Off_the_Home_of_the_Future/

KEAS – Beautiful Sound for Your Home

We all know that electronics are a fantastic and a necessary part of our lives. But in the age of technology there are endless amounts of electronics filling our homes. The solution is to make electronics blend. KEAS is leading the way and creating an entirely new market called Ceramictronics.

KEAsBy creating electronics that are specifically tailored to fit the home environment as an art piece, meaning long-lasting and complimentary to the room, we solve the problem of “too many electronics.

Read more: http://newswatchtv.com/2015/11/23/keas-beautiful-sound-for-your-home-newswatch-review

JmGo G1: home cinema projector with awesome sound

'Gorgeous' and 'projector' don't often sit well together in a sentence, but that's exactly what you get with the JmGO G1 Smart Home Theater. We've never seen a home projector oozing with so much style - this is something you want to keep on show, not mount out of the way.

But this isn't just any home projector. Capable of projecting a full-HD picture (upscaled from 720p), the JmGO G1 also supports Active 3D (glasses are not supplied). It's an Android TV and a Bluetooth speaker, with HDMI, USB and AV inputs that could potentially accommodate a digital TV tuner, a games console, a portable hard drive and more. And it's entirely silent in use, making it the perfect fit for any bedroom or living room.

Read more: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/review/projectors/jmgo-g1-home-cinema-projector-review-3629451/

ZTE Releases Spro 2 Portable Wi-Fi Smart Projector w/ Sling TV Support

ZTE has detailed the latest addition to its portable projector lineup. The new Spro 2 is a Wi-Fi only Android mobile projector. The device now joins the previously released Spro 2 with LTE and Wi-Fi.

Read more: http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/show/zte/spro-2/Projectors/mobile/portable-projectors/Android/sling-tv/Google/Wi-Fi/zte-releases-spro-2-portable-wifi-smart-projector-with-sling-tv-support/27431

Yamaha CIS system routes audio at multipurpose gaming

The National Videogame Arcade (NVA) has upgraded its technical infrastructure with a solution utilising a range of Yamaha Commercial Installation Solutions (CIS) products to route audio to any of the rooms within the facility.

The NVA is an educational and entertainment resource designed to encourage young people into programming and game design.

Read more: http://www.installation-international.com/yamaha-cis-system-routes-audio-at-multipurpose-gaming-resource-centre/

Lumoid Listen letx you rent audio equipment

Like style, sound can be subjective. A pair of headphones won’t appeal to everyone, and that home theater system in your home may not work at a friend’s house. that’s why Lumoid’s new audio rental program, Listen, is kind of genius.

With Listen, you can try out home audio equipment, portable speakers or headphones.

Portable audio speakers are packaged in bundles of three, with a rental fee of $30 per package. If you like what you hear, $25 of that rental fee can be applied towards the final purchase price of the speakers.

Read more: http://thenextweb.com/insider/2015/11/17/lumoid-listen-will-let-you-rent-audio-equipment-and-keep-what-sounds-best/

Creatinb Entertainment Space In Your Apartment

Visuals are a significant element of constructing a home theater entertainment space. How do you want your home theater/entertainment center to look?
If you have more than just a portion of a room to outfit in entertainment and for example you want to mount a TV to the wall, you may want to think about what you’ll post on the wall around it. You want to be able to focus on the screen in order to maximize your relaxation (i.e. your entertainment space may not feel totally relaxing if you’ve got a bunch of molecular geometry posters hanging around in sight, or if you’ve taped five different to-do lists around on the edges of your TV screen).

Read more: http://www.uloop.com/news/view.php/179994/How-To-Create-An-Entertainment-Space-In-Your-Apartment

Ideal Smart Home?

Big names like Apple, Google, and Amazon are making moves to push the smart home into the mainstream, and a steady march of would-be startups hope to deliver the next big breakthrough device. With gadgets like the Nest Cam and Amazon Echo getting pitched as must-have holiday tech gifts, it's about as tempting a time to buy in to the connected home as we've seen.

But where should you start? After all, the smart home has never been broader, covering categories ranging from DIY security and smart lighting to intelligent energy-monitoring and cloud-connected cooking.

Read more: http://www.cnet.com/news/ask-the-cnet-smart-home-editors-what-smart-home-tech-would-you-want-in-your-own-home/

Mobile phones as authentication hubs for smart homes

Together, the companies are working to help users to log in to the IoT management console installed in their apartments without a password. Tozny is providing cryptographic authentication that is based on mobile phones.

“This is actually a really good idea because people who have tried to deploy authentication devices for smart homes have had a lot of trouble getting them to work, and they’re kind of expensive,” said Isaac Potoczny-Jones, computer security research lead at Galois.“Since a mobile phone can do cryptography, and because we can build beautiful and easy-to-use interfaces on mobile phones, we decided that that would be a much better way to log into a lot of systems -- and it’s easier to use than passwords,” Potoczny-Jones said.

Read more: https://gcn.com/articles/2015/11/24/nstic-identity-infrastructure-galois.aspx

Switches and sockets for a smart home

The good: The WeMo Switch + Motion’s relatively low price, lack of a subscription fee, and plug-and-play simplicity will appeal to many budding home automators.
The bad: IFTTT automations weren’t quite as reliable as we’d like, and it was a challenge to find ones that we’d actually use regularly.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/technology/cnet/article/Switches-and-sockets-fit-for-a-smart-home-6649543.php

Home Automation Technologies to turn your Smart Home Green

Thanks to these companies, home automation has just become a whole lot easier

Home automation has always been a hot topic among the tech savvy people, but for the past few years, it has also gained interest among the mainstream homeowners. There are also many Hobbyists and Tinkerers who are working to automate things on their own using microcontrollers.

However, when we think about home automation, we can never be contented, no matter how much advancements it has made. The main reason for it is because we’re lazy when it comes to household chores or maybe it’s because we grew up watching The Jetsons and Star Trek.

Read more: http://www.mytechbits.com/latest-home-automation-technologies-will-make-smart-home-green

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Impact Of Smart Video Surveillance On Home Automation Systems

Home automation is not as new as most people would imagine. It has been around for several decades in luxury homes, but the industry as a whole took some time before gaining popularity. A ‘connected home’ system was seen as hard-to-use, high maintenance and expensive, and the need for professional installation didn’t help with its image. But times have changed. Now the home automation industry is estimated to surpass $21 billion by 2020. With leading companies and retailers getting interested in the opportunity it presents, home automation has captured everyone’s attention. But in all the chatter about its potential, the impact of smart video surveillance solutions for the connected home has been largely ignored.

Read more: http://us.sourcesecurity.com/news/articles/impact-smart-video-surveillance-technology-analytics-co-9619-ga.19029.html

Home Access System Allows Users to Control Door Locks Remotely

Smartlock is a device that is integrated with Apple’s Siri, allowing voice control to lock, unlock, and check the status of the door at anytime you would like. Smart Keypad works by generating unique door-entry codes for one-time guests, as well as repeating codes for friends and relatives; guests enter the codes into a slim device located next to the doorway. The Doorbell Cam allows customers to both see and speak with visitors standing in front of the doorway.

Read more: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/august-smart-home-access-system

RevoluSun Smart Home Introduces Solar Energy Storage

RevoluSun, Hawaii's premier solar company, is now offering high-capacity battery storage as one of its Smart Home products, allowing rooftop solar customers to get the maximum value of their investment in renewable energy. The Sunverge Solar Integration System (SIS) is an intelligent, distributed energy storage system that captures solar power and automatically delivers it when homeowners need it the most.

Read more: http://www.altenergymag.com/news/2015/11/16/revolusun-smart-home-introduces-solar-energy-storage/22032/

Technology and Smart Homes expansion puts lawyers on alert

About 67 percent of consumers who learn about the concept of everyday devices being smarter and interconnected like the idea, said panel moderator Christin McMeley, partner at Davis Wright Tremaine.

Today, about 4.9 billon devices have this connected capability, she said.

“Advances in technologies, battery life, the availability of more Internet addresses are all driving this growth,” she said.

Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/originals/ct-lawyers-conference-technology-bsi-20151116-story.html

California researchers use robots and smart homes for the aging

Other technologies developed to help people age in place show promise, said Stephen Johnston, co-founder of Aging 2.0, a global network that brings start-ups and innovations to senior care.
For example, home sensors placed in "smart homes" are currently used to monitor eating habits, sleep and wake times. Often, they relay information back to a hub, and notices can be sent to loved ones by smartphone applications.
"For me, the smart home has the advantage that you don't have to be wearing things, especially for older people with delicate skin or who are forgetful," Johnston said.

Read more: http://www.ihealthbeat.org/insight/2015/california-researchers-eye-robots-to-help-people-age-at-home

Builders add Home Security and Automation System to New Homes

Just like car companies update their models every year with new standard features that were once an upgrade option, builders are being forced to do the same to engage prospective buyers beyond just offering them a beautiful home.

In Opelika, Ala., Stone Martin Builders is staying ahead of the curve by making the competition’s upgrades standard features. Its most recent addition is a new home security and automation system.

Read more: http://www.builderonline.com/products/home-technology/stone-martin-builders-ups-the-ante-with-home-security-and-automation-system_o

New home construction slumps

Home construction has climbed 10 percent year-to-date as solid levels of hiring have improved consumer confidence and encouraged more people to buy houses or move to new apartment complexes.

Yet the market's upward trajectory now shows some signs of possibly stalling as rising prices, tight inventories and the economic uncertainty reflected in the stock market have sidelined many would-be buyers and renters.

Read more: http://www.news-gazette.com/news/business/2015-11-18/home-construction-slumps-october.html

Smart Home Technology to Make International Impact

The areas of smart home technology applications that have the greatest appeal are ‘security and control’ (55%) and ‘energy or lighting’ (53%). ‘Entertainment and connectivity’ was third at 48%, while ‘health’ and ‘smart appliances’ tied for fourth at 43% each.

National variations exist in answers to the study, with ‘security and control’ receiving only 38% in the UK but 54% in the U.S. and South Korea.

Read more: http://www.securitysales.com/article/smart_home_technology_to_make_international_impact_according_to_study

Smart projector brings the big screen home wirelessly

There's nothing better than a projector in your living room for movie fans. But for many people, setting one up isn't exactly easy (though it's doable if you put in the effort). There's complicated wiring to deal with, and they're also pretty bulky. French startup AV Concept Products is hoping to solve these issues with the All in One HC (AIO), its new Android-powered smart projector. It's fairly slim, it can spit out a decent 720p image (yes, a 1080p version is in the works) with 1,000 lumens in a brightly lit event space, and it supports AirHDMI, which lets you transmit video from any device with an HDMI port.

Read more: http://www.engadget.com/2015/11/10/all-in-one-hc-projector/

Big trend in Home Theater

Home theater systems have increased in popularity over the past couple decades. From surround sound to flat screen TVs, home theater seating and everything in between, consumer’s love for all things bigger, better, and louder isn’t going away anytime soon.
So what is the new trend in home theater systems? In a study done by research firm GfK in the first half of 2015, the one trend that stood out is that TVs are getting bigger and cheaper. The home theater market in general is still booming, with the ultra high definition TV sector growing the most rapidly.

Read more: http://www.inquisitr.com/2565925/the-next-big-trend-in-home-theater-systems-is-here

Home Theater Mistakes to Avoid

Even the best home theaters can have problems. We asked custom electronics (CE) pros about the blunders they encounter when DIYers or inexperienced pros can’t get their systems to work.

Looking to create one of the best home theaters? Here are some of the rookie mistakes you should avoid:

Buying the least expensive gear and finding out it doesn’t have the features you need, like discrete control codes (on and off, for example) or enough inputs and outputs.

Read more: http://www.electronichouse.com/daily/home-theater/14-classic-rookie-home-theater-mistakes-to-avoid/

Interest in Hi-Res Audio Is Growing

The Consumer Technology Association's most recent audio-oriented study, called Consumers Journey to Purchase: Audio--which explores audio purchasing trends by consumers who are shopping for either need or desire--found that more than 53 percent of consumers who purchased an audio product online or in-store in the past year were interested in high-resolution audio.

Read more: http://hometheaterreview.com/interest-in-hi-res-audio-is-growing-cta-study-finds/

Best smart home gadgets

This year has seen an explosion of 'smart home' technology that enables us to control aspects of our home from a smartphone or tablet, using the so-called "internet of things".
According to a recent report by Econsultancy, there are 40m devices currently connected via the "internet of things" in the UK alone, and this is forecast to grow more than eight fold by 2022, reaching mass adoption even faster than the smartphone.

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/technology-video/12003876/best-connected-home-gadgets-of-2015.html

The future of smart homes

Shortly after Hawkinson's realisation, SmartThings — a platform that allows hundreds of smart devices (ranging from lighting, to door locks, to cameras, entertainment systems and everything in between) to be connected through one hub and easily controlled by just one smartphone app — was born.

In the ensuing years, Samsung SmartThings has made innumerable innovations in smart home living — producing benefits that range from peace of mind to home security to convenience and entertainment.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2015/11/18/smart-home-living-brandspeak

The best streaming speakers

Sonos is the biggie in wireless sound streaming, owning 85 percent of the market. Sonos, which just passed its first decade, was out early with smart, integrated receiver-speakers, also early to make deals with subscription services, and then to shift control of smart speakers from remotes to a free touchscreen app on smartphones and tablets.

A new upgrade, Trueplay, lets you fine-tune the performance of most Sonos speakers. Trueplay uses the mike on a smartphone or tablet to measure sound in your room and then EQs - equalizer adjusts - its output.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20151115_Gizmo_Guy__The_best_in_streaming_speakers.html

Realtors Want to Sell Smart Home

Connected homes tend to end up as improved homes.

The National Association of Realtors is eyeing the smart home.

Technologists inside the Chicago-based trade organization are establishing a lab to test out gear to help homeowners make the quality of their living environments healthier and more energy efficient. Chad Curry, managing director at the Center for Realtor Technology, explained that the organization is concerned with the quality of housing stock on the market and is considering how to help improve and modernize existing homes.

Read more: http://fortune.com/2015/11/13/realtors-smart-home/

How to smarten up your home

Last time I talked about my experience with a Vivint home automation system, including an advanced doorbell and control from a tablet or smartphone. This time I’ll continue with my experience and share some insight into these type of systems.

In addition to providing home security and a carbon monoxide and smoke detector, this home automation system also provides remote access to door locks, a garage door opener, a lamp module and, of course, temperature control.

I never thought that being able to open my garage door remotely would be of any real use but, as with many things, the sum of the equation is much bigger than the individual parts.

Read more: http://www.torontosun.com/2015/11/18/a-deeper-look-at-vivints-home-automation-system

Home Automation Market to Top $100 Billion

Consumer spending on smart home services, including entertainment, health, energy and home automation will reach $100 billion by 2020, well over twice the estimated spending for this year, at $43 billion, according to a Juniper Research report.
The report noted the market will continue to be characterized by high prices and a low value in connectivity, and consequently, while Samsung expects 100 percent of its portfolio to be connectable by 2020, consumers actually using these features are forecast to remain relatively low.

Read more: http://www.eweek.com/small-business/home-automation-market-to-top-100-billion-by-2020.html

Lowe’s redesigned smart-home system

There’s a redesigned app that displays photos of the appliances, thermostats or other components that it controls. That app uses Microsoft Azure Internet of Things technology, Koster says.

“It looks and feels like the customers’ homes,” he says. “We focused on make it more simple and initiative.”
The Iris products were launched in 2012. The line has components for home security and control systems along with an interface with products that are compatible. Those products, which aren’t manufactured by Iris or Lowe’s, include water heaters, heating and cooling systems, and water softeners.

Read more: http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/outside_the_loop/2015/11/lowe-s-rolls-out-redesigned-smart-home-system.html

Boost Security with Home Automation

This is a great time of year to be thinking of home automation. As the holidays approach, people start plugging in more devices, from Christmas lights to electric blankets.

Like my space heater, these should generally be turned off before you leave home, but it's also the season when harried families rush off to visit relatives in distant cities. That leaves lots of opportunities for appliances to remain on and unattended longer than they should. And it makes home automation gear a worthy investment for yourself, or a smart gift for both homeowners and renters.

One thing to remember: Like other connected devices, all of these home automation products send data across the Internet. Here's where you can learn more about the potential privacy and security concerns.

Read more: http://www.consumerreports.org/electronics-computers/how-to-boost-holiday-safety-with-home-automation

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Vizio Smart TV

When you watch your Smart TV, it could also be watching you.

A new report from Julia Angwin at ProPublica reveals that Vizio, a top television maker, automatically tracks the viewing habits of Smart TV owners and shares that information with advertisers in a way that could connect those preferences to what those customers do on their phones or other mobile devices.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2015/11/10/this-smart-tv-takes-tracking-to-a-new-level/

Samsung SmartThings

When we reviewed the original SmartThings Hub last year, we were impressed by its ability to work with multiple wireless protocols, as well as its support for user-created Smart Apps and If This Then That (IFTTT) recipes. We griped about its lack of camera support, but that didn't prevent it from earning our Editors' Choice award for home automation hubs. Samsung acquired SmartThings last year, and the new Samsung SmartThings Hub ($99) offers several improvements over the original model, including a more powerful processor with video camera support, a battery backup, and USB and Bluetooth connectivity.

Read more: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2494589,00.asp

Newest smart home cameras with IFTTT

There are two new smart security cameras that have recently debuted on Kickstarter PBC, and both are getting a lot of attention for very different reasons. One is touted as a truly autonomous smart home security system while the other one looks like a cute little critter, both offering formidable security measures.

Read more: http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/10/27/cute-names-serious-security-newest-smart-home-cameras-with-ifttt/

Adding an IP camera to your home security system

I’ll have to admit, we’re big fans of IP (Internet protocol) digital video cameras, which are used for surveillance and home security.

Ever since I started spending most of my time in my basement office, we’ve had cameras on the outside and the inside of the house.

We started with two — one on the front of the house and one in the kitchen.

Read more: http://www.dailyrecord.com/story/life/good-life/homes/2015/10/22/tips-adding-ip-camera-home-security-system/74401538/

Home Construction Rebounds

U.S. home building rebounded in September after two straight months of declines, largely because of a sharp increase in construction of apartments and other multifamily housing.

Housing starts rose 6.5% from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.21 million in September, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. An 18.3% surge in multifamily units, which include apartments and condominiums, led the increase.

Read more: http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-housing-starts-up-on-multifamily-construction-1445344391

Smart Home Trends

When it comes to smart home products, there are always lots of bells and whistles, but streamlined devices that consumers can look at on a shelf and have no idea what they do are hurting the connected home market —particularly when it comes to DIY solutions.

According to a Juniper Research whitepaper: “In a physical retail store, merely placing Smart Home products on the shelves — even in their own aisle — presents a problem for consumers (and therefore retailers): What does the product do? How does it work? What is a Smart Home?”

Read more: http://www.securityinfowatch.com/article/12131861/smart-home-trends

Veteran gets new smart home

The foundation has built more than three dozen smart homes for injured war veterans such as Tejeda. "Smart homes are just designed to make their life a lot easier," said Schaeperkoetter. "From widened doorways to fit wheelchairs through to advanced electronics that can be controlled through smart phones or iPads. Smart homes give injured veterans some of their freedom back."

Read more: http://www.ksat.com/news/injured-marine-veteran-gets-new-smart-home

Greener, smarter homes continue growth

Ultra-high-net-worth individuals are buying second and third homes in markets outside of traditional global cities, according to a new report by Wealth-X and Sotheby’s.

In addition to looking in cities beyond London, New York, Hong Kong and other longtime market leaders, multi-home consumers are also concentrating on homes that fit specific lifestyle needs. Although UHNWs tend to be older, the younger members are making lasting impacts on the real estate market.

Read more: http://www.luxurydaily.com/153996/

Today's smart homes

New products allow homeowners to monitor their homes from a distance—even internationally.

Owners can lock doors and windows from their portable computers, or access security camera recordings from a mobile device. “It’s not just about keeping the property safe, it’s about keeping you and your family safe, too,” said Moore. “Fire, carbon monoxide and gas leak alarms that connect to your smartphone can give you peace of mind that everything is all right in your home even when you aren’t physically there.”

Read more: http://thecabin.net/news/2015-11-06/house-house-todays-smart-homes

Smart Homes need to get Security

Smart homes are not so smart when the wrong people use the devices for access. This happens, and it's become a show-stopper issue, particularly for production home builders who're trying to establish home tech offering as a value-add.

Read more: http://www.builderonline.com/newsletter/builders-must-know-smart-homes-need-to-get-security-above-all_c

US consumers believe smart home technology will have a major impact on their lives

The study, which covered seven countries, asked consumers to choose which of 11 leading-edge technologies – from 3D printing to augmented/virtual reality to Internet of Things -- would be important to their lives. (Respondents could choose as many technologies as they wished.)

In the US, 51 percent of consumers picked smart home, versus 50% for mobile payments – a statistical tie; these compare to global levels of 54% for mobile payments and 51% for smart home.

Read more: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151111005771/en/Smart-Home-Technology-Greater-Impact-Wearables-Cloud

Smart home technology could make your house more valuable

More than a quarter of property buyers would find a home more appealing if it was equipped with the latest “smart home” technology, a new report claims.

Research by Barclays Mortgages found that 28% of buyers would be willing to pay more – on average over £3,000 extra – if the property in question was equipped with the latest in digital home technology; from smart thermostats that can be controlled via a smartphone, to fibre optic broadband and solar panels.

Read more: http://home.bt.com/tech-gadgets/tech-news/adding-smart-home-technology-could-make-your-house-more-valuable-11364016149119

Smart home technology may increase property value

Smart technology including smart alarms, thermostats and doors and windows with sensors could make properties more attractive for buyers, according to a survey.
Smart-home technology placed after solar panels and fibre optic broadband connections in a survey by Barclays Mortgages, which questioned participants on how much more they would be willing to pay for a house equipped with such technological systems.

Read more: http://eandt.theiet.org/news/2015/nov/smart-home-property-value.cfm

Affordable ways to turn your home into a smart home

Owning a smart home is no longer just a luxury for the wealthy.

Anyone can have one by using a smart phone and any of the growing number of gadgets available at area stores.

Wireless motion-censored cameras connect to an app on smart phones and alerts users whenever movement is detected. They can be installed inside or outside the home.

Read more: http://www.kctv5.com/story/30473758/affordable-ways-to-turn-your-house-into-a-smart-home

Smart home technology will have mind of its own

Smart home technology is still relatively new, but it’s already changing pretty quickly, with big developments that could benefit both the environment and your bank account.

Experts say in the future smart home technology will blend into the background, doing things without homeowners even thinking about it.

Read more: http://www.kctv5.com/story/30495891/experts-future-smart-home-technology-will-have-mind-of-its-own

Audible Differences in Home Theater

If I’ve discovered one thing in my quest for Perfect Sound, it’s that there are way too many variables; some we can control, and others we cannot. There is no Silver Bullet or Holy Grail. There is no single Magic Component Thing you can add to a system that will make it The Bestest in the World. All we can do is be honest with ourselves, be as well-informed and open-minded as possible, and be secure enough that we can admit when we’re wrong. Pardon the protracted preamble (and subsequent alliteration.)

Read more: http://www.audioholics.com/editorials/biggest-audible-differences-in-home-theater

4K Ultra HD Blu-rays for home theater

"Coming soon" - it should be the motto of 4K Ultra HD. Just three months after the Blu-ray Disc Association forecast a December launch of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, Sony has officially declared that the format won't be home for the holidays.

It's unfortunate given that this will be the Black Friday that 4K TVs finally see an affordable price tag, but the situation does have some silver lining.

Read more: http://www.techradar.com/news/television/4k-ultra-hd-blu-rays-are-coming-soon-to-a-home-theater-near-you-1308648

Wake up with Lutron automated shades

Blackout blinds come with a conundrum: While the pitch dark may let you sleep like a baby, it can make rolling out of bed come daybreak much harder. The reason: Light suppresses the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Without those morning rays, it’s simply harder to get up.

One solution is to invest in programmable shades, like the Lutron Serena shades, which can be scheduled to open automatically at the waking hour of your choosing.

Read more: http://www.myajc.com/news/lifestyles/health/youre-waking-up-wrong/npKc8/

Meeting management system

But the conference room is already crowded with similar solutions. EventBoard’s competition includes established companies such as Crestron and Steelcase, both of which sell similar, but proprietary products. What makes EventBoard’s approach unique is its ability to offer insights that are centralized in a cloud service, so they can be seen by managers across the entire company not just one location.

Read more: http://fortune.com/2015/11/11/eventboard-meeting-management/

Third Party Control Systems

The proliferation of AV technology in commercial and domestic environments brought with it an increase in the number of individual remote control handsets needed to access and control devices – leading to coffee-table and desktop clutter and user confusion. Independent companies such as AMX, Crestron and Control4 evolved by developing third-party control systems that were able to integrate devices from different vendors and provide a single, coherent and largely intuitive user interface for each complete system. These companies grew and were successful in providing a simple solution to a widespread problem.

Read more: http://www.installation-international.com/control-systems-third-party-solutions/

Control4 is a CES 2016 Innovation Awards Honoree

Control4 Corporation, a leading global provider of smart home solutions, today announced that it has been named a CES 2016 Innovation Awards Honoree for its 10 source, 10 zone 4K UHD Video Distribution Switch featuring HDCP 2.2 compliance. Products entered in this prestigious program are judged by a preeminent panel of independent industrial designers, independent engineers and members of the trade media to honor outstanding design and engineering in cutting edge consumer electronics products across 27 product categories. Entries are evaluated on their engineering, aesthetic and design qualities, intended use/function, user value, and comparison to other products in the marketplace.

Read more: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151111005455/en/Control4-Named-CES-2016-Innovation-Awards-Honoree

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sentri Home Security And Automation

Quick, how many connected devices do you have in your house? Do you have a smart thermostat or LED bulbs? How do you control them, via various different apps on your phone? What about when you’re gone and your phone is with you? What do you do then?

Sentri is a new company on the scene that has an answer to all of these questions. Coming off a successful Kickstarter campaign, they are offering a home-automation hub and security camera to help everyone in your household control your smart devices and keep them safe.

Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonykarcz/2015/11/03/sentri/

Savant Remote: $499 DIY Home Automation Controller

Savant, maker of higher-end home automation systems dropped a bomb on the eve of CEDIA Expo 2015: The company was launching Savant Remote, a single-room DIY solution that would be sold through BestBuy.com, as well as specialty A/V retailers and integrators.
Predictably, many dealers initially panned Savant’s decision to sell direct to consumers.

Read more: http://www.cepro.com/article/savant_remote_why_499_diy_home_automation_controller_works_for_cedia_pros/

Smart homes to monitor aging adults

The smart homes coming out of Washington State University have a higher IQ than your average cyber-enhanced abode. Their homes can learn.

WSU’s Center for Advanced Studies in Adaptive Systems (CASAS) is developing smart home technology that harnesses machine learning in an effort to help older people live with greater independence and remain in their homes longer.

Read more: http://www.geekwire.com/2015/these-researchers-are-building-extra-brainy-smart-homes-to-monitor-aging-adults/

Smart Homes: 74% Want Devices to Be Simpler

The smart home may be just around the corner but consumers are somewhat leery of what they’ll have to do to make it work.

While most (68%) consumers think smart homes will be common as smartphones within 10 years, they don’t necessarily want to personally do the work to make them possible, based on a new study.

Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/261806/smart-homes-74-want-devices-to-be-as-simple-to-s.html

Smart Homes Skew Young

Younger households adopt smart-home devices at a higher rate than older households, but older households with smart-home devices own more devices on average, Parks Associates found in a survey.
Smart-home adoption also increases with house size, Parks said.
Among U.S. broadband households with a head of household ages 25 to 34, the adoption rate of smart-home products is almost 30 percent, the highest of any age group.

Read more: http://www.twice.com/news/home-automation/smart-homes-skew-young-older-households-buy-more-devices/59288

Smart TVs: Add Voice to Your Remote Control

In this age of the Internet of Things (IoT), connected devices are getting smarter. We have smart phones, smart homes, smart cars, smart appliances, and even smart TVs. But this last example begs the question: If my TV is so smart, why is my remote control so dumb?

Anyone who has tried to use a remote control with a smart TV for more than simply watching their favorite program has probably been frustrated with the experience. Even setting up an Internet connection can be daunting. And forget about trying to enter a URL in the browser. Some TVs allow you to use a keyboard or even a smartphone, but none of these connections are simple or convenient.

Read more: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=278972

Smart Home Obstacles

Though they probably aren’t aware of it quite yet, consumers are certainly beginning to embrace smart home technology, according to a recent Harris Poll study. These smart devices, which can range from automated vacuum cleaners to wireless speaker systems to home security devices, aim to make life simpler. But the poll did find that the industry faces two major hurdles as it looks for an even wider and faster rate of adoption: consumer awareness and cost.

Read more: http://www.dealerscope.com/article/biggest-smart-home-obstacles-awareness-cost-study-finds/

Inside luxurious smart homes

A Control4 audio-video distribution system was installed, with remote controls at every TV and touch panels at high-traffic areas in the kitchen and main bedroom for control at a single location.

Approximately 70 blinds were integrated into the home automation system, with custom programming to suit each individual member of the family’s needs.

“The project incorporated numerous subsystems and was completed in phases that were not planned with no impact on the client’s home, no visible cables, and in an economical time frame,” said BNC.

Read more: http://mybroadband.co.za/news/general/143979-inside-the-luxurious-smart-homes-of-south-africas-millionaires.html

Intel wants you to feel secure in your 'smart' home

In decades to come, homes will get considerably "smarter," with control of more of today's common functions being outsourced to the Internet and often managed remotely — the promise of the so-called Internet of Things.

But, like almost everything in today's hyperconnected world, there will be trade-offs — the biggest one the potential threat from hackers and other malicious actors.

Read more: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/11/04/intel-wants-you-to-feel-safe-in-your-smart-home.html

Smart Homes Soon to be Commonplace

A survey commissioned by Intel Corporation and conducted by TNS reveals we are headed for a smart home explosion. Nearly 7 in 10 Americans (68 percent) are confident smart homes will be as commonplace as smartphones within 10 years. Industry source BI Intelligence echoes consumer sentiment, predicting connected-home device shipments will grow at a compound annual rate of 67 percent over the next five years, which is faster than smartphone growth. But is the industry poised to deliver on this promise?

Read more: http://realtybiznews.com/intel-survey-smart-homes-to-be-commonplace-by-2025/98730580

Automated smart home in California

"This is how millenials are starting to live. This is how we're all starting to live. Cities are getting more populated and so people are choosing tiny over big," Schuneman said. "We have an office, we have a bedroom, we have a living room, we have a kitchen, all in this tiny little space."

But there's one thing it doesn't have, a doorbell. With facial and voice recognition, everything in the home is automated through a tiny central computer.

Read more: http://abc7news.com/realestate/intel-showcases-automated-tiny-home-in-sf/1065363/

Architecting smart homes' future

Intel Corp. released the results of its Architecting the Future of the Smart Home 2025 survey and it revealed that 78 percent of Americans believe that smart homes will be as commonplace as smartphones within 10 years. But for smart homes to become a reality, the industry needs to focus on future-proofing the infrastructure supporting the smart home ecosystem, simplifying connectivity, moving towards a consensus on industry standards, and realizing that the leap from a connected home to a smart home requires data insights from multiple devices to deliver value to the homeowner. According to the report, security is still the top concern for providers and consumers alike.

Read more: http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/11/03/intels-tiny-home-packs-a-huge-brain-architecting-smart-homes-future/

Grove is a smart indoor garden

Technology is increasingly becoming a major part of agriculture. LED bulbs are now being used to grow food on a larger scale and could revolutionize urban farming. Farmers around the world are installing smart irrigation systems that can be controlled with smartphones. Technology has also popped up in our home gardens with plenty of smartphone-based systems that tell you when to water your plants and more. Throughout the years, we've seen a lot of smart gardening products, some useful and some not so much.

Read more: http://www.treehugger.com/gadgets/grove-smart-indoor-garden-lets-you-grow-lettuce-year-round.html

SimpliSafe Home Security System Review

The DIY and home security market is one which is booming of late. Right now, there a ton of options to choose, from a variety of manufacturers. Not to mention, most of them seem to come with various customization options as well. So not only can you choose the type of hardware you want, but you can choose the level of coverage too. While these systems all come ‘connected’ the other surge of activity we are seeing, is their compatibility with Android smartphones and mobile devices. By offering the ability to connect to an Android device, your smartphone or tablet can essentially become the brains of your home security system.

Read more: http://www.androidheadlines.com/2015/10/featured-review-simplisafe-home-security-system.html

BenQ Makes the Home Theater Projector Affordable

BenQ just introduced a trio of home theater projectors that can put a big picture into almost any space. Perfect for the living room, the media room, or the home theater, the HT2050, HT3050, and HT4050 are flexible and affordable. The new home theater projector lineup is shipping now.

As part of BenQ’s Colorific collection, these projectors were designed to meet the Rec. 709 HDTV Standard (the HT3050 and HT4050 only).

Read more: http://www.electronichouse.com/daily/home-theater/benq-makes-the-home-theater-projector-affordable-and-colorific/

Intel Builds a Smart Home

For now, the Tiny Home doesn’t stray too far from the familiar. Intel showcased their True Key technology, which uses facial recognition to automatically unlock doors, along with smart home basics like smart lighting, a smart thermostat, and connected appliances. The kicker, and something we hope to see more of, is that all of the home’s functions can be controlled from a single tablet app. The door can be unlocked (even remotely) for visitors, while with a few taps, homeowners can change the color of their lights, turn them on or off, or dim them. Same goes for thermostat controls, appliance controls, and the like — everything in one place, on a proper smart home dashboard.

Read more: http://www.chipchick.com/2015/11/intel-builds-tiny-210-square-foot-smart-home.html

Buying smart-home devices with no regrets

Having a home that's connected to the Internet can make life a lot easier. You can connect practically anything in your home -- your front door, garage, kitchen, lights, and more -- and control it from just about anywhere in the world. But there are some things to consider before diving in and creating your own smart home.

When you start connecting appliances and other products to the internet and adding new features to them, basic functions can become more complicated.

Read more: http://www.cnet.com/how-to/rules-for-buying-smart-home-devices-with-no-regrets/

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Crestron Focuses On High-End Market

Crestron will keep its foot firmly planted in the luxury high end of the custom-install market even though competitors are moving into the mass market and launching products for over-the-counter sales, marketing director Jeff Singer said during the CEDIA Expo.

To underscore the point, the company launched multiple new products for the luxury market, and it stressed that new setup tools such as Pyng, launched last year, and the Home Elements tool kit, due in about a month, speed the set-up time of luxury installs and make jobs more profitable.

Read more: http://www.twice.com/crestron-focuses-high-end-market/59128

Lutron’s new motorized rollup shades available in large sizes

If you’re fortunate enough to have very large windows in your home, Lutron’s new line of motorized roller shades can cover them. Sivoia QS Triathlon WIDR roller shades are available in sizes as large as 12 feet wide by 12 feet tall.

Integrate them into a connected-home system, such as Lutron’s Caseta DIY product or its dealer-installed RadioRA 2 or HomeWorks QS lighting systems.

Read more: http://www.techhive.com/article/2994435/lighting/lutron-s-new-motorized-rollup-shades-available-in-sizes-as-big-as-12-feet-wide-by-12-feet-tall.html

Savant’s Host Hub Aims at Offering the Most Promising Smart-Home Solution

Home automation is touted as the next big thing and the fact that companies are coming out with a slew of interconnected and smart devices is helping to foster the ecosystem. Not very long from now, we would be seeing entire house controlled by a single device tagged along with an app that could let you do virtually control the home, remotely.

Read more: http://techpp.com/2015/10/16/savant-host-hub-smart-home/

Q&A with Savant

We caught up with CEO William Lynch to shed some more light on the new line extension and answer the question: Why a remote?

PSFK: Savant is known for creating automated products for the 1%—why the transition from castles and yachts to a more “affordable and accessible” smart home product?

We feel like there’s an opportunity to bring the incredible Savant Home experience to more and more people.

Read more: http://www.psfk.com/2015/10/savant-remote-control-smart-home-sonos-apple-tv-roku.html

Nest's latest home automation products offer pricey protection

The Google-owned company recently updated all three of the products in its lineup: its thermostat, connected security camera and smart smoke detector. I've been using just the latter two, because the ventilation system in my house is so ancient it would be ridiculous to connect it to the thermostat.

I've been impressed with both devices, although I'm much more sold on the Protect smoke detector than the camera.

Read more: http://www.readingeagle.com/home-and-real-estate/article/tech-review-nests-latest-home-automation-products-offer-pricey-protection

Lutron Adds New Keypads, Remote Access To Custom Lighting Systems

Lutron is adding new features and new dimmer and keypad options to its RadioRA 2 and HomeWorks QS series of custom-installed lighting-control systems, including remote access from a smartphone or tablet.
The company is also expanding the functionality of its iOS and Android control apps.

Read more: http://www.twice.com/news/home-automation/lutron-adds-new-keypads-remote-access-custom-lighting-systems/59145

Smart Locks Could Be Key To Service Economy

What’s August Access? Basically it’s a new functionality built into August smart locks that enables third party home service providers – whether that’s a Sears repairman, a dog walker or house cleaner - to enter your home with a temporary digital key. August has struck deals with a variety of home service providers for the launch of August Access, including Postmates (delivery), Wag! (dogwalking), HelloAlfred (personal assistant), BloomNation (flower delivery), Sears Home Services (Sears…duh.) and seven more.

Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelwolf/2015/10/14/with-august-access-smart-locks-could-be-key-to-service-economy/

The high-tech smart locks of the future

A handful of high-tech smart locks have hit the market in recent years, aiming to eliminate clunky key rings while making homes safer. The latest, called the Linus Lock, is the product of a partnership between Yale Locks & Hardware and Google-owned Nest, the makers of a variety of connected appliances like the smart thermostat and smart smoke detector.

Read more: http://theweek.com/articles/581483/hightech-smart-locks-future

Is "Home Automation As A Service" The Future?

As I prepare to head to CEDIA this week to visit with companies such as Comcast, Control4 Corporation, Core Brands Nortek, Honeywell International, Insteon, and Napco Security Technologies, I’ll be excited to see what’s new in the Home Automation space. Tradeshows are a fountain of information, and as I try to determine who (and what) consumers are going to buy, I keep coming back to the same question: Will Home Automation as a Service (HAaaS) dominate the market?

Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/moorinsights/2015/10/14/is-home-automation-as-a-service-the-future/

Smart home pride: Vivint renames stadium with automation, security

The Utah Jazz will no longer call the EnergySolutions Arena as their home court, not because they have changed courts, but because the sports complex is now named the Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Yes, the home automation, security and monitoring company Vivint, Inc., has struck a partnership with Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment (LHMSE) for the naming rights of the arena for the next 10 years, with the option to extend another five years.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Read more: http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/10/27/smart-home-pride-in-utah-vivint-renames-jazz-stadium-with-automation-security-updates-to-come/

Put your home on autopilot to save money, time and energy

Every homeowner can remember a time when they wondered, "Did I lock the front door this morning?" Or, "Did I leave a light on?" Others can attest to that feeling of dread knowing their air conditioner is running full blast while they're away on a weekend trip. There's nothing worse than worrying about the security of your home — or your rising electric bill — while you're away.

Fortunately, recent advancements in home technology offer peace of mind when it comes to energy efficiency, security and time savings.

Read more: http://www.reviewjournal.com/sponsored-content/put-your-home-autopilot-save-money-time-and-energy

Axis Gear promises to make your dumb window shades smart

A New York-based startup named Axis on Monday launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund the initial production run of Axis Gear, an app-controlled device that motorizes and automates window treatments. The company says the “smart” add-on—essentially a motor with a Bluetooth radio and some sensors—should work with any new or existing window shade that has a chain-drive system, regardless of which beaded chain or cord loop it uses.

Read more: http://www.techhive.com/article/2997875/home-automation/axis-gear-promises-to-make-your-dumb-window-shades-smart.html

Motorized Shades and Blinds Save Energy

Much of our daily lives revolves around light. We follow it, work under it, and then put it behind us when we’re done for the day. Motorized shades can be a tremendous aid to maximizing how you harvest, conserve and utilize light, especially when those shades or blinds are integrated into a smart home automation system.

Read more: http://www.electronichouse.com/daily/home-lighting/3-ways-motorized-shades-and-blinds-save-energy/

Why Sonos thinks you're ready for a $500 speaker in your home

Sonos faces a unique challenge on the eve of launching the most important products it has developed in years. The company's mission statement is simple to sum up: It wants to make it easy to listen to high-quality music anywhere in your home. And it believes its new products, the flagship Play:5 speaker and new software called Trueplay, move that goal forward. But there's one part of that mission -- "in the home" -- that speaks to perhaps the toughest problem facing the company: How do you convince people who've grown up listening to music with their iconic iPod headphones to spend hundreds of dollars on an expensive home audio setup?

Read more: http://www.engadget.com/2015/09/29/sonos-play5-trueplay-making-of/

Projectors let you go bigger at home without the price, shortcomings of large OLED TVs

Maybe that large, pricey OLED TV isn't the only option for quality big-screen entertainment after all. Maybe you can build your dream home theater another way.

Very quietly, the projector has closed the gap on the big-screen TV in 2015, emerging as a powerful — and surprisingly convenient — home theater option. The same cumbersome machine that you once watched your college professor fumble to use for some yawner of a PowerPoint presentation is now user-friendly, versatile and largely hassle-free, capable of handling movies, video games and sports events.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/projectors-bigger-oled-tvs-home-article-1.2395918

The smart home's problem

The smart home has a problem. While people are interested in the technology, they also aren’t ready to buy it. And I don’t blame them. A lack of standards, a disregard for usability, and an incoherent story about what a smart home can do for people all mean that anyone interested in buying a connected product quickly encounters a cautionary tale that makes them think twice about spending $200 on a connected door lock.

Read more: http://fortune.com/2015/10/16/smart-home-problems/

Someone just bought your smart home. Did they get your data, too?

It's move-in day, and you finally have the papers and the keys for your new home. But do you have the passwords?

That's one of the questions homebuyers and renters should be asking themselves now that connected devices like locks, lights and thermostats are growing more common, according to the Online Trust Alliance.

Read more: http://www.cio.com/article/2996829/internet-of-things/someone-just-bought-your-smart-home-did-they-get-your-data-too.html

Google’s smart home campaign lets the houses do the talking


If it wasn’t enough for Google to control your work life, the tech company now wants to rule your home life as well.

And in case you needed convincing, a clever new campaign lets the houses do the talking.

Nest, a home automation company bought by Google for $US3.2 billion ($4.5 billion) in 2014, has created several tongue-in-cheek videos to educate the public about its smart home technology.

Read more: http://www.domain.com.au/news/googles-smart-home-campaign-lets-the-houses-do-the-talking-8211-literally-20151028-gkkj8h/

Builders see rising profits with smart home features

Economists project that single-family home starts will reach 1.7 million by 2017, and more and more of those homes will come smart home-enabled.

In fact, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), in its latest annual building survey, determined that nine out of 10 new homes come pre-equipped with a broadband connection, supporting the theory that Americans are living more of their work lives out of their homes and demanding more from their Internet connection in the course of their day. In the same study, approximately 30% of builders said they felt prewiring homes for home theater and monitored security would boost their profit potential.

Read more: http://www.constructiondive.com/news/get-smart-can-builders-see-rising-profits-with-smart-home-features/407998/

Friday, October 23, 2015

Savant Showcases New Remote and Home Tech Products

The Savant Remote is part of Savant’s new family of wireless devices, which also includes the Savant Host, Blaster, and Lamp Controller—all designed in collaboration with award-winning design studio Ammunition, led by industrial designer Robert Brunner. Utilizing the same cutting-edge technology found in Savant’s Pro line of luxury products, these affordable new devices make premium home automation available to everyone for the first time.

Read more: http://hiddenwires.co.uk/2015/savant-showcases-new-remote-and-home-tech-products-at-cedia-expo/

Control4 Uses the Cloud to Automate Your Smart Home

In addition to providing security features for your home, Control4 also allows consumers to control their entertainment devices. With the new entertainment features of OS 2.8 baked into the platform, friends and family can now enjoy music streamed from cloud services such as Pandora directly into the entertainment systems found in thier homes.

Read more: http://www.cloudwedge.com/control4-uses-the-cloud-to-automate-the-things-in-your-smart-home-8942/

Bose aims at Sonos with SoundTouch 10 speaker

Bose has announced a new update to its SoundTouch speaker range and others that will offer multi-room listening and more. It has also unveiled a new, entry-level SoundTouch 10 speaker.
The new generation system allows for streaming via single speakers or multiple devices. That means the same music across different rooms or different content for each speaker.

Read more: http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/135657-bose-aims-at-sonos-with-soundtouch-10-speaker-adds-bluetooth-and-wi-fi-to-next-gen-multi-room-speakers

Upgrading your living room

The living room is where you do most of your actual living, when you're not sleeping or eating, so make sure it's fitted out with the tech it deserves - from binge watching movies to entertaining guests, there's a lot of seriously impressive hardware out there to choose from.

After several false starts, the biggest names in technology are now producing gadgets that you'd actually want to use in your living room, pulling in all kinds of audio and video content to enjoy on your big TV screen - so your options are as good as they've ever been.

Read more: http://www.t3.com/news/the-best-kit-for-upgrading-your-living-room

Smart home training center opens

American Modern Insurance Group held a ribbon cutting and open house on Oct. 9 to celebrate the completion of the company’s LivingWise smart home.

The 1,471 square foot, two-story house was built in AMIG’s 50,000 square foot claims training center, located in Amelia.

The house, which features smart technology, sustainable building materials and increased security measures, will be used as part of the company’s hands-on claims training curriculum.

Read more: http://clermontsun.com/2015/10/22/smart-home-training-center-opens/

3 Benefits of Turning Your Ordinary Home into a Smart Home

With all the gizmos and hi-tech gadgets around, you might have heard the words smartphones and smart watches. They are indeed the latest craze in today's generation. But aside from a phone and a watch, a simple home could likewise be transformed into a smart home.

You heard it correctly; ordinary homes could now become a smart home. For a start, a smart home is a fancy name which is given to a home that is essentially governed by one or two computers in order to control some functions and home features.

Read more: http://www.realtytoday.com/articles/44733/20151021/3-practical-benefit-turning-ordinary-home-smart.htm

The smart home is too clever for its own good

After two years of tinkering with complicated, ugly, frustrating and often pointless gadgets, I have experienced a connected-home system that actually works.

Pairing Philips Hue’s new hub with Apple’s Homekit software means I can turn off all my lights by simply speaking into my iPhone: “Hey Siri, turn off everything.” Off they all go, as if I had flipped a switch. This may seem a trivial feat but, believe me, this is huge progress. No fiddling around with poorly-designed apps, no anxious waiting to see if the lights do turn off, no forgotten passwords locking me out of my own network.

Read more: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f9a260f4-743a-11e5-a129-3fcc4f641d98.html

Sonos To Simplify Integration With Smart Home Systems

Wireless multiroom-audio pioneer Sonos will open up its API to make it easier for home-automation suppliers to integrate with Sonos speakers and soundbars without having to reverse-engineer Sonos software.
But Sonos isn’t saying when.

Read more: http://www.twice.com/news/home-automation/sonos-open-api-simplify-integration-smart-home-systems/59066

2015 Smart-Home Survey Results

The second greatest determiner is ease of use, which earned 19% of the votes, up from 13% last year. Energy efficiency features—such as home temperature control and automated lighting—are the next most commonly cited factors.

In all, 66% of Americans reported they plan to purchase smart home products someday, while 17% plan to do so within the next year. Consumers rated stores like Lowe's and the Home Depot as the their top destination for purchasing smart-home products, citing reliability, knowledgeable staff, and an abundance of available products.

Read more: http://www.builderonline.com/design/technology/lowes-reveals-2015-smart-home-survey-results_o

Technology is Changing Home Security

Technology has radically changed the way we protect our homes. What was previously only possible in Sci-Fi movies is now gradually becoming reality. The digital revolution has made its way into our homes.

1. Remote Monitoring: Remote monitoring is a great way to keep an eye on the home when you are at school or work, or on your second home. Even if you are vacationing on a beach miles away, you can still receive real time videos and photos of what is going on at home.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/janet-miller/7-ways-technology-is-changing-home-security_b_8324548.html

Sony’s Ultimate 4K Projector

It seems like only yesterday, we were wondering when the 4K projector would be available for home theater use. (Okay, technically it was 2013.) Now, we’re starting to see options trickle in, but Sony’s VPL-W5000ES 4K projector definitely isn’t something that’s for everyone.

Of course, you need to have the room for this 4K projector—as well as the bankroll to bring it home.

Read more: http://www.electronichouse.com/daily/home-theater/sonys-ultimate-4k-projector-will-set-you-back-60k/

Benefits of soundbars for home sound systems

Around two decades ago, I bought my first Dolby Digital 5.1 channel surround sound home theater sound system. The 5.1 number includes both left and right front speakers, a center channel, two rear surround speakers, and a subwoofer. Nowadays there is an option for 7.1 surround that adds two more side speakers, and options exist beyond 7.1, so be sure to research it.

With the 5.1 system, I loved demonstrating to my friends how sound could travel around you in a circle like the sound of a helicopter. Especially for movies, the sound can immerse you within the setting and truly make you feel like you are part of the action.

Read more: http://www.southwestjournal.com/voices/news/the-benefits-of-soundbars-for-home-sound-systems

The Pitfalls of the D.I.Y. Connected Home

The idea is that all the gadgets and devices in our home — including light bulbs, security cameras, door locks, smoke alarms and thermostats — will be connected online and can be controlled wherever there is the Internet, such as on our smartphones.

Did the babysitter lock herself out of the house? Did you leave the lights on? Forgot to lower the thermostat? No worries. The solution is a few screen taps away.

So to join the future, I picked up dozens of so-called smart products with the mission to install them myself.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/15/fashion/the-pitfalls-of-the-diy-connected-home.html

Control4 Delivers Enhanced Smart Home Security and Entertainment

Control4 Corporation released OS 2.8, the latest version of its smart home operating system. With OS 2.8, Control4 rolls out a reimagined smart home security experience that easily integrates with today’s leading security systems, smart locks and cameras; offers native streaming of music services from Pandora, Deezer, and TIDAL; and updates other capabilities to make it easy for Control4 homeowners to search, browse, listen and watch their favorite media.

Additionally, OS 2.8 delivers a number of enhanced dealer tools, most notably the ability to back up Control4 projects to the cloud and all-new “experience” drivers that simplify the creation of personalized smart home experiences.

Read more: http://utahpulse.com/index.php/features/technology/2880-control4-delivers-enhanced-smart-home-security-and-entertainment-experiences

Savant rolls out affordable home technology products

Smart home technology manufacturer Savant debuted a new line of smart home products that it said will let homeowners start enjoying their entertainment in minutes, while also being among the most affordable available at present.

The new line of products is headlined by the Savant Remote, which the company said combines the convenience of a universal remote with the power of home automation. The device lets users control a multitude of devices (more than 380,000, according to Savant) including Sonos, Apple TV, cable boxes, and Roku, as well as their lights, from a single device.

Read more: http://www.dealerscope.com/article/savant-rolls-line-affordable-home-technology-products/

Home Automation Company Savant Launches A Remote For Controlling Everything In Your Home

For the past decade, Savant Systems has built a business selling home automation systems for the super rich. The late Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, even used Savant to automate his super yacht, the Venus. Now the Hyannis, Mass.-based company wants to make something a bit more accessible for the hoi polloi with its new product, the Savant Remote.

“For the 1% of the 1%, we are the home automation company of choice,” said William Lynch, Savant’s new CEO, who joined the company last year after serving as Barnes & Noble’s CEO. “It’s only been available for the uber wealthy. Now we want to make the Savant experience available to everyone.”

Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/aarontilley/2015/10/13/luxury-home-automation-company-savant-launches-a-remote-for-controlling-everything-in-your-home/

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Home Automation System Reviews

Have you ever left home for work and wished you had turned the temperature down to save money and energy? Or leaving for vacation and wanted to set up a lighting schedule to mimic your normal light usage so it appears you are in the house? Well, now you can. Technology around the home is changing at a rapid pace, homeowners are now able to control everything from their thermostat to the bathroom lights without actually being there. There are many home automation products on the market, ranging in costs and features that will leave anyone’s head spinning.
We reviewed some of the most popular systems and are pleased to bring you our findings. With home security, lighting and HVAC controls, as well as home entertainment all at your fingertips, upgrading your home to a state of the art “Smart Home” is a great way to control all aspects of your domestic life from home or anywhere in the world.

Read more: http://www.asecurelife.com/best-home-automation-system/

CNET Buys House to Test Smart-Home Gadgets of the Future

The popular product-review site bought a four-bedroom, four-bathroom house with a swimming pool and a three-car garage for the endeavor. There, CNET's staff can tinker with the various gadgets home owners are expected to buy over the next three to five years, like smart kitchen and laundry appliances that could help reduce water and energy consumption.

As part of the project, it launched a hub for all of its smart-home reviews.

"Today people have a piece or two of smart technology," said Eric Johnson, evp and general manager for CNET Media Group, CBS Interactive.

Read more: http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/cnet-bought-house-kentucky-test-smart-home-gadgets-future-166968

Get Ready for Explosive 'Smart' Home Growth

About 100 million households will be “smart” worldwide by the end of the year, and the number will grow to 300 million over the next 10 years, according to a new report released by Deutsche Telekom, a German telecommunications company.

More consumers are embracing “smart” home technology for its promises of home efficiency, convenience, and savings. In the next five years alone, the smart home industry could be worth hundreds of billions of dollars and Deutsche Telekom predicts that it will be one of the next major markets to take off globally.

Entrepreneurs and start-ups are taking note. They’re focusing on niches like home automation, insurance services, ambient assisted living, and data analytics.

Read more: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2015/10/05/get-ready-for-explosive-smart-home-growth

Your Smart Home Knows Way Too Much About You

How much does your smart home know about you? That was the question that Charles Givre, a data scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton, set out to answer in a recent experiment. Givre has an account on Wink, a platform designed to control, from a single screen, his Internet-connected home devices, such as door locks, window shades and LED lights. He wanted to learn what could be learned from his usage behavior. It turned out it was a little too much.

Last week, at a big data conference in New York, Givre presented his results. By accessing his Wink account, he (or anyone with his login information) could identify his social media accounts, the names of his devices (like “Charles’s iPad) and his network information.

Read more: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/your_smart_home_knows_way_too_much_about_you_20151012

Savant's $500 Smart-Home Hub Reinvents the Remote

There are plenty of easy-to-install smart-home systems available, things like WeMo and SmartThings and the Wink Hub. But long before any of those products could be found for a couple hundred bucks at Home Depot, and long before the “Internet of Things” was a buzzword, such integrated systems could only be obtained via a pricey home installation specialist. A leader in this field is Savant, a decade-old company that sells professional (and super expensive) custom installations to control thermostats, lights, blinds, music, and security systems in mansions, castles, and yachts the world over.

Read more: http://www.wired.com/2015/10/savant-smart-home-hub/

Smart home technology offers buyers an increasingly popular incentive

Features include smart security, thermostats and lighting that can be remotely controlled, fire and freeze protection, geo-services meaning your home can anticipate and optimize for your arrival, and text and e-mail updates, including alerts to let you know when the kids are home from school.

It also replaced its incumbent sustainability features incentive with a free six-month subscription to smart home services. It’s a sweetener the builder feels holds more appeal with millennials; a generation starting in the early eighties who are currently graduating into the single family home market.

Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/real-estate/smart-home-technology-offers-buyers-an-increasingly-popular-incentive/article26747599/

Bluetooth Smart Connectivity to HVAC

CSR plc has announced the latest version of its Bluetooth® Smart solution for the smart home, CSRmesh® Home Automation. The new software release adds sensor and actuator models to build on the original protocol that was designed for lighting control. This makes it possible for developers to deliver a wider range of home automation solutions including control of HVAC, door locks, and window sensors.

The new flood mesh solution combines a configuration and control protocol based on CSR’s Bluetooth Smart devices, including the CSR101x™ family, which the company said allows for an almost unlimited number of devices to be networked together and directly controlled from a smartphone, tablet PC, or wearable device.

Read more: http://www.achrnews.com/articles/130619-csr-now-brings-bluetooth-smart-connectivity-to-hvac

Apple is running into problems with its big smart home plans

You're going to have to wait a little longer before an Apple-powered smart home becomes a reality.

That's because home automation devices that are compatible with HomeKit, which is the system that enables smart gadgets to be easily controlled using one app or via Siri voice command, are in short supply.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-there-arent-many-apple-homekit-devices-available-2015-7

Make your business thrive with Internet of Things

According to McKinsey Global Institute, the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to create an economic impact of $2.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion annually by 2025. In this context, the market is ready for a very large-scale disruption in terms of transaction and economic models. This will open up the possibility for small and nimble businesses to carve out novel opportunities to create new value through innovative offerings predicated on highly connected and data driven future.

The IoT is not a futuristic technology trend. According to a Microsoft report, IoT was actually coined nearly 20 years ago by professors at MIT to describe a world where ‘things’, which can be devices or sensors, are both smart and connected with the ability to collect and share data without human intervention.

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/250908

Sears Buys WallyHome Water-Leak Sensor Technology

Sears Holdings has acquired the technology behind WallyHome, a smart device that senses changes in moisture, temperature and humidity, and can alert homeowners to possible leaks via a powerline network.
Sears purchased the technology, and will license related know-how, from Seattle startup SNUPI Technologies (Sensor Network Utilizing Powerline Infrastructure), which will also provide consulting services for the development of future Sears Connected Solutions products.

Read more: http://www.twice.com/news/home-automation/sears-buys-wallyhome-water-leak-sensor-technology/58877

Venture capital fund aims to spur Central Coast tech

A new Central Coast tech venture capital fund will give entrepreneurs in the Highway 101 corridor another avenue for funding.
Santa Barbara Technology Ventures seeks to invest primarily in tech startups by having a close affiliation with companies coming out of UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, according to a Sept. 1 fund summary obtained by the Business Times.
Managers of the fund said in the document that the region is underserved and that no venture capital funds exist in the region specifically to fund early-stage tech companies.
“While the Santa Barbara region has a wealth of engineering and technology (and) innovation resources, experienced early-stage company leadership has historically been scarce,” the document said.
Read more: http://www.pacbiztimes.com/2015/09/18/new-venture-capital-fund-aims-to-spur-central-coast-tech/

Sonos Introduces Trueplay Tuning Software and New Flagship PLAY:5 Smart Speaker

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Sept. 29, 2015 -- Sonos, the leader in smart sound for the home, today ushers in the next great era of home audio innovation with the introduction of new speaker-tuning software called Trueplaytm and an all-new flagship SONOS PLAY:5 smart speaker. With Trueplay, millions of listeners can easily tune their existing Sonos speakers to optimize the sound no matter where the speaker is placed. The new SONOS PLAY:5, elegantly designed from the inside out, delivers the purest, deepest, most vibrant sound yet from Sonos. Both Trueplay and the new SONOS PLAY:5 will be available later this year.

Read more: http://www.hometoys.com/content.php?post=32286

Security Devices for Connected Home Markets is Forecast to Grow

Next generation home security devices achieve a complete replacement of existing security systems, 3D video cameras, automated connected thermostats, access sensors, and intrusion detection devices can al alert a person on the smart phone. Devices are wireless, are more energy efficient, last longer and have a significantly lower cost of operation. The study has 366 pages and 116 table and figures.

With successful strategies for increased market presence, product leadership and cost-efficiency, apps are well positioned for continued long-term profitable growth driven by the major economic trends: urbanization, rapid technological development and increased security requirements.

Read more: http://netdugout.com/2015/10/security-devices-for-connected-home-markets-is-forecast-to-reach-7-7-billion-globally-by-2021/

MyFox Smart Home Security Review

The Myfox Home Security System comes with four circles and a rectangle: a Wi-Fi hub that plugs into the wall, a 110-decibel siren, a key fob for arming and disarming the system, a 720p HD camera, and one “IntelliTag” sensor for your door or window — the rectangle.

Everything is white and silver, and while the hub and camera are small enough, the siren is a big, honking thing that looks sort of like a fat Frisbee. I’ve also seen smaller door/window tags, but most of those are contact sensors. The Myfox IntelliTag actually senses vibrations to tell the difference between someone knocking on the door and someone trying to pry it open.

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/connected-home-reviews/myfox-smart-home-security-system-review