Subscribe to our blog:

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Compelling New Home Automation Products

As products like Echo make it easier for homeowners to use automation, new products are being introduced to feed a growing market. This includes combining moisture detectors with timed watering systems for plants.

In addition, the aforementioned home security systems will eventually be good enough to pose a real threat to companies like ADT, who make their revenue from expensive annual subscriptions. Products like Notion allow consumers to pick from a broad range of potential monitoring applications with a single product at an approachable price.

Read more: http://www.wallstreetdaily.com/2016/06/15/smart-home-automation-adoption/

Smart-home technology is multi-billion-dollar business in Europe

Zonoff has uniquely positioned itself as the Switzerland of home automation management - with software able to merge the operations of thermostats, lights, door locks, cameras, security monitoring and sound systems that operate on a mix of signaling platforms (ZigBee, Z-Wave, WiFi, Bluetooth) often in conflict.

Still, the landscape and competition its game plan has faced in the U.S. has been challenging.

Two weeks ago, home office retailer Staples threw in the towel on the Staples Connect home automation gear, which used "white label" (unbranded) Zonoff software to steer the system hub.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/business/technology/20160622_Malvern-based_home_automation_firm_bets_big_on_Europe.html

Home theater screening rooms are about to get super-sized

When Greg Foster is having a bad day, he retreats to a room deep in the bowels of Imax Corp.’s Los Angeles offices. There, the executive who heads Imax's entertainment division, can reconnect with what makes him love his job: watching movies.
In a large, nondescript building in an industrial area known as Silicon Beach, Imax has built a screening room with all the aspects that a viewer would want from a big screen experience. The 60-foot-wide, 45-foot-high, curved screen tilts to an auditorium of 95 stadium-style seats.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-28/imax-private-theatre-brings-the-1-million-screening-room-home

Best Buy's pilot program tests in-home service

Electronic retailer is testing in a handful of markets a new in-home consulting service. Armed with a tablet, the adviser helps customers troubleshoot issues such as improving their wireless speed for faster streaming and can also recommend a whole host of products for the kitchen or throughout the home.

They could, for example, help people figure out how to stream music throughout the rooms of their house by using wireless speakers and a mobile device or set up a system of connected devices that can be controlled from a smartphone or tablet.

Read more: http://www.startribune.com/best-buy-tests-in-home-service-to-help-customers-figure-out-their-tech-needs/384335571/

Latest in home theater trends

Along with 4K, there are other buzzwords to familiarize yourself with: TVs with “high dynamic range” (“HDR”) reproduce a wider range of brightness levels than conventional video, bringing greater color and contrast to the 4K screen. Not all 4K TVs offer HDR, but it’s a worthwhile feature to look for. Another term you may hear about is “quantum dot,” which refers to some new TVs with a wider color palette and better brightness, thanks to teeny “nano” crystals — microscopic dots as small as one billionth of a meter (seriously) — that are laid out in sheets front of the television’s backlight source.

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/saltzman/2016/06/25/5-hot-home-theater-trends/86354638/

Lack of New Home Construction Could be a Bad Omen for New Buyers

Trouble in paradise? By most standards, the national real estate market is booming. But not for everybody: Aspiring buyers frustrated by the lack of available properties and soaring price of homeownership shouldn’t expect to catch a break anytime soon.

With the pace of new home construction lagging well behind the surging demand for these residences, it looks like the housing shortage is only going to get worse.

Just 81,100 new homes were completed in May—down 3.3% from 83,900 in the same month a year earlier

Read more: http://www.realtor.com/news/real-estate-news/new-home-construction-may-2016/

New home construction down last month

Construction of new homes nudged down slightly in May, with builders pulling back in the Northeast and Midwest.

Housing starts ticked down 0.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million units, the Commerce Department said Friday. The government's residential construction report can be volatile on a monthly basis, which might explain the slight decrease.

Home construction has improved much of this year, with single-family houses accounting for much of the gains unlike recent years when developers focused more on apartments.

Read more: http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_30027562/u-s-home-construction-down-slightly-may

Deal shows pains in connected homes tech

Comcast and Alarm.com have announced their acquisition of Icontrol, developer of smart home technologies, in a deal designed to bolster security offerings and bring technology development in-house, Greentech Media reports.

Comcast will acquire Icontrol’s "Converge" software platform, which powers the Xfinity Home touch-screen panel and back-end servers, while Alarm.com will acquire the company's Connect and Piper businesses.

Read more: http://www.utilitydive.com/news/comcast-icontrol-deal-highlights-pains-in-connected-home-technology/421669/

Control4 Automation System Caters to Las Vegas Homeowner

Home automation systems often blend into their surroundings, and that’s a good thing. But sometimes, as was the case with the owner of this 13,000-square-foot Las Vegas abode, technology deserves to be shown off. And the best place for design and integration team from Lifetronic Systems, of Westport, Conn., to showcase the brawn, brains, and beauty of the Control4 system that manages the sights, sounds, lighting, shades, fountains, security, and other elements, was in a custom-designed racing simulator room.

Read more: http://www.electronichouse.com/daily/control4-automation-system-caters-to-tech-savvy-homeowner/

Control4: Security Installers Getting into Smart Homes

Control4 is a leading provider of home automation systems , offering personalised control of lighting, music, video, comfort, security, communications, and more into a unified smart home system that enhances the daily lives of its consumers.

Control4 recently expanded its offerings to include an industry-leading suite of advanced networking and power management solutions that include cloud-based network management and monitoring for the connected home and business. Today, every home and business needs automation horsepower and a high-performance network to manage the increasing number of connected devices.

Read more: http://www.ifsecglobal.com/control4-why-security-installers-home-automation/

Movie Is Making Home Automation & Security More Mainstream

What do pets do when their owners aren't around? While it's a neat idea for Universal's new animated film The Secret Life of Pets, it's also a possible selling point for Comcast to talk about Xfinity Home.

Comcast will launch a integrated marketing campaign around the Pets characters including a TV spot that mirror's the plot of the film, smart home tours and screenings in 12 markets before the movie officially opens on July 8. The tours will take customers through a fully set up smart home...

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

Wounded vet gets new 'smart' home

The veteran won't have to worry about keys or reaching a thermostat — he can do that from his smartphone. His sink, microwave and stove are at wheelchair height. Valyou can pull down shelves in his kitchen cabinets manually. His fireplace is controlled by remote. Working his shower? There’s an app for that.

It’s good news for the veteran who has full use of his arms and lives independently.

The organization is currently working on 50 "smart homes" in the U.S. that are in various stages of development.

Read more: http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/2016/06/23/wounded-vet-gets-new-smart-home-millerton/86289024/

Why existing smart-home gadgets may not work with Apple's Home app

Buried in the deluge of news from last week's Apple WWDC mega-event was that the forthcoming iOS 10 operating system for the iPhone will include a nifty-looking "Home" app to control your smart home gadgets from one place.

But if you've been an early adopter of smart-home gadgetry, like the Nest smart thermostat, Ring video doorbell, or personal favorite Canary camera, chances are pretty good they won't work with Apple Home. At all.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-home-smart-home-iphone-2016-6

Smart home technology growing according to Survey

A recent survey of U.S. adults by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC and CNET found that Americans are embracing smart home technology, with 28 percent owning at least one smart home product and almost half of millennials adopting the technology.

Of those surveyed currently using smart home technology, 81 percent said they would be more likely to buy a home if smart technology was already installed,

Read more: http://www.businessrecord.com/Content/Real-Estate-Development/Real-Estate-Development/Article/Survey-Smart-home-technology-catching-on/173/835/73721

Apple can save the smart home dream

Smart home tech has become more hassle than it’s worth.

Rather than making life unequivocally simpler, you can often spend more time repeating voice commands, dealing with connectivity issues, fiddling with different apps and working too hard to overcome incompatibility issues.

It was supposed to bring us closer to a sci-fi-like utopia, where light switches look as out of place as Donald Trump in a presidential election. Instead, it’s complicated, it’s convoluted and, with so many competing standards, a minefield for every day consumers...

Read more: http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/apple-will-save-the-smart-home-dream-from-itself-1

Will Apple rival Amazon Echo and Google Home?

Amazon has already stolen a march on the smart home assistant with the Echo (only sold in the US at this point in time) and Google has answered Amazon with its own Google Home gadget.
Apple demonstrated the new Home app roughly a month after Google unveiled its box, both announcements happening at each company’s developer conference.
One reason Apple may have chosen to do this is because it has finally opened up Siri to developers.

Read more: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/new-product/gadget/apple-home-release-date-rumours-3642522/

Only 30% Know Where To Get Smart Home tech

Some serious marketing dollars may have to be spent just to get consumers aware of smart home products and how to go about getting one.

Most consumers don’t know where to turn to buy smart home products or services, that is, if they even know about them.

The reality is that smart home devices are relatively new and not likely to be on the average person’s radar until they need or want a particular new or replacement device for their home.

Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/278996/smart-home-products-only-30-of-consumers-even-kn.html

Home security made simple

Security is the obvious area in which smart home tech will undoubtably be successful. For years people have been paying big money to have grainy CCTV systems installed around their properties, while at the same time paying subscription fees to companies to fix alarms and monitor unauthorised entries.

Nowadays, it's super simple to get a connected smart security camera up and running and within minutes people can have HD live streaming, and motion alerts, available on a plethora of mobile devices.

Read more: https://www.wareable.com/smart-home/week-16-pauls-smart-home-diary-2891

Friday, June 24, 2016

Bright future expected for Smart Homes

The smart home market remains largely up for grabs given the fact there is no realistic market leader. The industry is still in its infancy, and has recently attracted question marks over whether or not it would meet earlier predictions on growth. In fact, there are those who believe that Apple’s latest announcement with regard to its plans on the market may yet prove to be nothing more than a “Hail Mary” play.

However, given the ongoing technological advances, the smart home market could yet prove to be one of the best industries to invest in now. Currently, homemakers and owners are utilizing various smart devices to improve the value of their investments.

Read more: http://www.inquisitr.com/3229507/the-smart-home-apple-sees-a-bright-future-do-you/

New Smart Home Gear for Food and Sleep

Doorbells with wireless (Wi-Fi) cameras, thermostats that are controlled remotely, and ovens that can cook a meal perfectly: All are attributes of smart home technology that aims to make life safer, efficient and easier.

As the market for such tech booms, nearly half of Americans own smart home technology, or at least plan to invest in it this year according to real estate firm Coldwell Banker.

Read more: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/18/easy-prep-meals-and-better-sleep-brought-to-you-by-smart-home-gear.html

Elgato Smart home product

Last week I told you about HomeKit, which is Apple's framework for securely controlling multiple smart-home products - such as smart lights, door locks and shades - with your iPhone or other iOS device. I described how HomeKit uses "scenes" to control multiple smart devices at once, so a scene could lower the thermostat, turn off the lights, lower the window shades and lock the doors.

I concluded last week's column by saying that while both of the smart lighting products I'm using have their own iOS apps, I found another app I like better.

Read more: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/drmac/article/Apps-for-controlling-smart-devices-8314011.php

Digital connectivity in smart homes and big data in smart cities

Ideally, smart homes and smart cities are designed around the people who live in them, and exploit big data and other advances in technology to reduce stress and waste while increasing choice and comfort. They should, in the words of urban design guru Carlo Ratti, have a "liberating effect".

In the future city that Singapore experts envision, big data is not a disruptive force but a process of incremental, technology-enabled change that smooths the average citizen's day. Those who live in a smart city might find the temperature at home just right thanks to smart air-conditioning. As they head off to work, smartphone apps keep them updated on traffic conditions. 

Read more: http://www.straitstimes.com/tech/smart-cities-smoother-lives

Investing in Home Automation for better living

There is nowadays so much that the consumer can control. Control4 has become a leading brand and upon installing their technology, you can control the lighting, heating and even the shade and ambience of a room all from the touch of an Ipad and furthermore, this can be done when you may not even be at home. You can even be in the other side of the world and take control as to how you would like your room ahead of being at home.

Read more: https://www.thesequitur.com/investing-in-home-automation-for-an-enhance-living-experience-2790831/

Global Smart Buildings Summit Shows Smarter Tech

Thursday's events revolved around a Smart Buildings Best Practice Showcase -- dubbed a "supersession" -- with representatives on hand from 47 "of the world's most progressive and successful implementations of smart buildings, portfolios and campuses," as the conference program puts it.

These projects -- including a hospital in Cleveland, a sports stadium in Texas, a skyscraper in Shanghai, a casino in Melbourne, Australia, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Campus-Wide Platform for Automated Analytics...

Read more: http://www.govtech.com/fs/Global-Smart-Buildings-Summit-Shows-Infrastructures-Upcoming-Revolution.html

Smart Homes Market Estimated to Grow

According to recently released TechSci Research report, "Global Smart Homes Market By Application, By Technology, By Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global market of smart homes is projected to cross $ 60 billion by 2021, on account of increasing energy concerns, surging demand for real time home security and growing technological advancements. Moreover, increasing demand for energy efficient systems and solutions, coupled with growing adoption of smart devices are anticipated to boost the global smart homes market during 2016 - 2021.

Read more: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/smart-homes-market-to-cross-60-billion-by-2021-techsci-research-report-2016-06-21-102033127

Home security basics

Schools are closed. Families are on vacation. Now’s the time you should take some precautions to protect your homes, cars, and other property.

Do the basics first. Take a few minutes this week to survey your level of home security and see if you need improvement. I met with a homeowner last week who had installed an alarm system in their home to detect a burglar, but had not taken any steps to make it more difficult for the burglar to get in the home in the first place.

Read more: http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/courier/living/berry-with-summer-here-it-s-a-good-time-to/article_0c0dd871-6147-5cf0-a1f9-31277eeb48df.html

Home Buyers Plan ‘Home Automation’ Upgrades

Home automation is the third-most-likely home “system” to be upgraded by both those who are buying a home and those who plan to sell their homes. One-third (33 percent) of people who bought a home in 2015 intend to upgrade or add home automation to their new home. Meanwhile, 16 percent of those who plan to sell in 2016 intend to upgrade or add home automation to make their home more attractive for purchase. Home automation trailed only plumbing (41 percent of buyers/24 percent of sellers) and electrical (42 percent of buyers/18 percent of sellers) and the most common home system planned for upgrade.

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

HomeKit Gains on the Home Automation Market

HomeKit, Apple's home automation protocol, really is beginning to establish itself as a great option for folks looking to enhance their home with smart appliances. It might be a couple of years since Apple first introduced HomeKit, but the platform is finally coming into its own.

Read more: http://appadvice.com/post/apples-homekit-is-closing-in-on-the-home-automation-market/716943

Investing in Smart Home Automation

Functionality is covered with simple switches, dimmers, cameras, monitors, and the like. These pieces of a Smart Home system are made with off-the-shelf technology, and so, a lot of the companies that seek to gain from the advancement of this technology already exist.

Systems communication, on the other hand, will be developed through established Wi-Fi networks. This is where investors will want to be. By watching the market and finding the source of the “brains” of the system – the parts that are difficult to develop, and can be protected by patents, copyrights, or other means – you can also find the opportunity to profit.

Read more: http://www.wallstreetdaily.com/2016/06/22/invest-smart-home-technology/

Telstra showcases its smart home devices

The product effectively works as a hub to control Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the home, controlled through an app across smartphones and tablets.

Telstra showcased a smart lightbulb, a window sensor, a door sensor, wide-beam motion sensors, a smart power plug, the Lockwood smart door lock, a smart thermostat, an outdoor Wi-Fi camera, an indoor Wi-Fi camera, and the Smart Home hub itself.

Read more: http://www.zdnet.com/article/telstra-unveils-its-smart-home-hub/

DIY Home Automation hobbled by poor apps

In Argus Insights’ newest “Smart Home 360” report, it’s clear there’s a strong distinction between consumer perception of the apps associated with the most popular Smart Home Service Providers and MSOs (Multiple System Operators) and the apps coming with Do It Yourself (DIY) devices.

Argus Insights found that — from over 56,000 app and device reviews — ADT and Suddenlink are the least liked of MSOs and service providers and their associated apps saw a drop in both the tone and volume of feedback over the last month, an indication that frustrated users could be moving to other providers.

Read more: http://readwrite.com/2016/06/23/smart-home-diy-is-hindered-by-poor-app-functionality-vt4/

iRobot may make robots to communicate with smart home devices

Speaking on the latest episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask, iRobot vice president of technology Chris Jones said he’s thinking about robots that act as mobile sensors, traversing the home and measuring things like temperature and humidity. Speaking with Kara Swisher and special guest host Dan Frommer, Jones said that potential route would build on iRobot’s advancements in understanding a home’s geography.

Read more: http://www.recode.net/2016/6/24/12016088/roomba-maker-irobot-may-make-robots-that-talk-to-your-smart-home-devices

Smart Home Updates to Revamp Your Home

Have you ever left the house without locking the door? Have you ever gone back to check and realized you actually did lock the door? Smart locks can help give you peace of mind when you leave your house and alerts when there are intruders. They are a relatively inexpensive and convenient update to make to your home as long as your current locking system is compatible with smart lock technology. A smart home is not a smart home without smart locks.

Read more: http://tech.co/quick-smart-home-updates-2016-06

New smart home detector from Roost

The California-based startup's previous product, the Roost Smart Battery, fits inside your smoke detector and sends you an alert when the alarm sounds. The company also has a standalone smoke detector on the way.

With the Smart Water and Freeze Detector, Roost wants to help your smart home be ready for any potential disaster. With three years of battery life and a humidity sensor built-in with the temperature and water sensor.

Read more: http://www.cnet.com/products/roost-smart-water-and-freeze-detector/

French start-up Sevenhugs expands smart home business to California

Sevenhugs, a French startup that designs and markets smart home technology products and services who introduced the world’s first contextual remote control at CES 2016, Computer Electronic Show, in Las Vegas last January announced today it is expanding to partners and a new office in San Francisco to grow its business. It has completed a $14.6 million Series A funding round that will focus on building the team and in product development.

This announcement arrives the day after Samsung announced Tuesday its investment plans for $1.2 billion in the U.S. over the upcoming four year period to add computer power to everyday devices.

Read more: http://www.examiner.com/article/sevenhugs-expands-smart-home-business-to-california

Head of smart-home firm Nest steps down

Nest, which makes digital thermostats, smoke detectors and video cameras, was supposed to be a foundation for Google’s push in to smart-home technology when it bought the company for $3.2 billion in 2014.

Instead, Nest has failed to deliver any new hardware and was widely criticized for shutting down services for its smart-home hubs designed by Revolv, a start-up Nest acquired in 2014.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-tony-fadell-nest-20160603-snap-story.html

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Smart Home Technologies That Your Home Needs

One of the first technologies to consider is a smart thermostat. These devices have been on the market for a number of years, but are finally cost-effective and intuitive enough for anyone to use.

The value of smart thermostats is found in their versatility. “Not only do they allow for increased comfort and customization, but they provide tremendous cost-savings over the life of the device,” says Green Residential, a property management company that’s seeing smart thermostat adoption rates increase from month to month.

Read more: http://heavy.com/tech/2016/05/the-top-5-smart-home-technologies-every-home-needs/

PowerSeries with Control4

Tyco Security Products is announcing the addition of Control4 to the home automation partner integration portfolio available for DSC’s PowerSeries Neo intrusion platform.

DSC’s PowerSeries Neo hybrid security platform offers exceptionally secure communications through PowerG leading technology

Read more: http://www.securityinfowatch.com/product/12210064/dsc-tyco-fire-security-dscs-powerseries-neo-with-control4-home-automation

Smart tech part of California’s energy-saving future

The house relies heavily on sensors and automated systems to trim energy use. When direct sunlight strikes the windows, shades lower automatically, although the resident can choose to raise them again.

A smart thermostat from Lennox learns the resident’s habits and, when synced with a smartphone, automatically turns down the air conditioning when the resident leaves the house. The thermostat can also tell when the resident, and his phone, is approaching the home at the end of the day and turn up the AC accordingly.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/New-Bay-Area-homes-are-part-of-California-s-8258069.php

Home Automation for Senior Citizens

The current slate of home automation devices in stores today offer practical solutions for keeping a helpful eye on seniors without feeling like an intrusion on their privacy. And since the gadgets available are so user-friendly, the high barrier to entry that once existed with products like Wi-Fi-enabled video cameras and smart home hubs no longer exists.

Today’s technological solutions are designed to be used right out of the box, meaning little installation is required. The days of dozens of cords and a novel-sized product manual are behind us. The seven home automation gadgets we’ve highlighted here not only provide ease of use, but peace of mind for seniors and their loved ones.

Read more: http://www.seniorhomes.com/w/aging-in-place-safely-home-automation-for-seniors/

Smart homes on the rise as more automate

Home automation can control heating, ventilation and airconditioning systems; lighting, entertainment, security and access, and other systems.

These can potentially be operated remotely through a wireless device, allowing users to control their home from anywhere in the world via the internet.

Read more: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/realestate/news/adelaide-sa/smart-homes-on-the-rise-in-australia-as-we-automate-our-living/news-story/4fef67b4fd0771989a1514d278303fe6

Home-automation firm Silvan

Bengaluru-based home-automation solutions firm Silvan Innovation Labs said it has raised ₹6 crore from early-stage, clean-tech focussed capital fund Infuse Ventures. Silvan also announced its foray into the consumer market with the launch of four wireless home-automation solutions aimed at home owners.

Read more: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/homeautomation-solutions-firm-silvan-raises-6-crore/article8737614.ece

Friday, June 17, 2016

Control4 Home Automation: Installer Q&A

This case study of a Control4 home automation project comprises an interview with the installer who made it happen and a video demonstrating the impressive results.

You can also check out the results in a video below. Watch as the homeowner controls his lights, audio-visual system and CCTV using kit from Control4, the US-based smart-home innovator.

IFSEC Global: What smart-home system did this installation include?

Read more: http://www.ifsecglobal.com/home-automation-video-a-control4-case-study/

Denon, Sonos rival and new AV Receiver

This week we got to see the latest HEOS multi-room audio products. HEOS is Denon’s entry in the fiercely competitive multiroom speaker range, which is dominated by Sonos. Not only do the names sound similar to say, Denon's take uses odd numbers 1-3-5-7 to differentiate its models too.

Launched in 2014 as something of an off-shoot brand, Denon is now bringing it back into its core range. That means the company's new high-end AV Receivers will be ‘powered by HEOS’ and released under the Denon brand, where previous speakers brandished a HEOS logo with less emphasis on its parent brand.

Read more: http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/tvs-entertainment/speakers/1404793/denon-heos-hs2-review-hands-on-with-sonos-rivals-and-stylish-new

Sonos Best speakers reviewed

Want to listen to music as if your favourite band is playing in your living room? Then there are few better options than a Sonos wireless speaker.

The American audio manufacturer's products always look great, work effortlessy with your smartphone and, most importantly, boom out your tunes with dazzling finesse. Trouble is, Sonos makes a fair few speakers these days. From the compact Play:1 to the luxurious Playbar that'll boost your TV's sound quality, you may well be wondering which Sonos is right for you.

Read more at http://www.stuff.tv/features/best-sonos-speakers-reviewed

How to Use Savant And Sonos Together

Now you can control your Sonos Speakers with a Savant Remote. What more could we ask for!

The interface of the Savant Remote Control is beautiful and extremely easy to use. Gone are the jumble of buttons that are traditionally found on universal remotes and the difficult programming to get your devices to work.

Read more: http://www.playandgourmet.com/how-to-use-a-savant-remote-to-control-sonos/

50 Percent of Smart Home Devices Are Self-Installed

Recent study confirmed the growing popularity of smart devices in the U.S. home security market. The study found that the sale of wireless home security products is on the rise, and about half of U.S. homeowners with a home security system use smart, wireless sensors as part of the system. The study also found that almost 50 percent of these smart-home devices were installed by the owner or the owner's friends/family members.

Read more: http://hometheaterreview.com/almost-50-percent-of-smart-home-devices-are-self-installed-report-finds/

Home technology is changing the way consumers interact with their homes

Demand for home technology is increasing as Americans seek out ways to make their life at home personalized, entertaining, comfortable, luxurious, and safe.

Home tech professionals are well versed in creating solutions that cater to homeowners’ needs and enhance their lifestyles. They work hand-in-hand with builders to ensure that a home is wired and ready for the technology that the homeowner may want today or wants to plan for in the future.

Read more: http://www.builderonline.com/products/home-technology/smart-home-tips-from-a-pro_o

The energy cost of smart home

Like the industrial revolution of the home, which raised cleanliness expectations and resulted in more energy and water consumption overall, devices like smart thermostats might also raise expectations for comfort, particularly if air-conditioned heating and cooling is used more often and in more rooms.

For example, home automation company Lutron promotes the creation of “pleasance” - a seductive concept promising the perfect combination of luxury, relaxation, pleasure and comfort - all enabled by smart tech.

Read more: http://theconversation.com/the-hidden-energy-cost-of-smart-homes-60306

Smart home expert explains why the fully connected home hasn't taken off

"What we ask is: How do we give someone the smallest entry point?" says Jon Troutman, co-founder and chief creative officer of home security startup Canary. "It's about baby steps. If you give people technology that's too complex too soon, then they get disillusioned by the idea of the smart home, and they step back from wanting to adopt new products." Canary, a New York-based startup that has raised over $40 million in venture capital, makes a home security device that captures video and audio and sends alerts to its owner via an app.

Read more: http://www.inc.com/kevin-j-ryan/what-it-will-really-take-for-consumers-to-adopt-the-connected-home.html

What's your home IQ? A look at some smart homes

Although the term “smart home” is believed to have been coined by the American Association of Home Builders as early as 1984, there’s not a general consensus on what makes one. Is it enough to have an app that controls the thermostat, or are more features needed?

In May, Coldwell Banker announced — along with CNET — qualifications for what makes a smart home. Under the company’s definition, a home must have a smart security or smart temperature feature, as well as two additional features such as smart appliances, smart HVAC system, smart TVs or smart water systems.

Read more: http://www.clarionledger.com/story/magnolia/2016/06/10/whats-your-home-iq-look-mississippi-smart-homes/85459186/

Why smart homes continue to be dumb

The smart home market is certainly still promising -- but that, by definition, means it’s an area with its fullest potential ahead of it. Amazon’s Echo, the forthcoming Google Home, and the rumored “Siri-in-a-box” are all appealing because of what they could do down the line -- act as the personal concierge that can follow you from your home to your car to your workplace.

But right now, these home hubs feel like a novelty rather than an essential part of our lives. And without firms such as Nest pushing those developments, hubs lose a great deal of appeal. Even the greatest hub needs spokes.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/06/06/why-smart-homes-are-still-so-dumb/

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Home Automation Tips that could Save Money

When you automate your home, you have the ability to control your appliances and systems while you’re away or on the go. Whether you are a few miles away at the office or across the country, all you need is a smartphone or desktop that is able to connect to the internet to make changes to the temperature in your home or the timing of your lights.

There are plenty of different reasons why homeowners decide to turn their homes into smart homes. Some want to make their life more convenient, and others are concerned about increasing the safety of their home. One of the most popular reasons, though, is finding creative and convenient ways to save money on housing costs.

Read more: http://newswatchtv.com/2016/06/08/consumer-news-discovery-channel-home-automation-tips/

Building Energy-Smart Home

Creating a greener, more sustainable and more cost-effective household is a concern shared by a growing number of homeowners. Last year saw record levels of spending on home improvement and renovation projects. There are numerous home upgrades and installation options that can reduce energy consumption, allow property owners to lower the cost of their utility bills and reduce the environmental impact that homes and their occupants may be having on the natural environment. From upgrading older-model appliances to the installation of home solar-panels and environmentally-sustainable building materials, homeowners have plenty of opportunities to go green.

Read more: http://www.philly2philly.com/phillybuzz/10950/how_build_energy_smart_home

Smart Home devices that work with Nest

Google’s Nest thermostat has become a poster child for what a smart device should look like. It’s sleek, easy to use, and comes with enough learning algorithms and smartphone integration to help us tailor the user experience to our own liking. Google has also acquired the Nest team and tech alongside the thermostat and has expanded the platform to include a smoke and carbon monoxide detector (Nest Protect) and a smart cam (Nest Cam).

The result is a growing series of smart devices that developers are lining up to work with. Keeping everything on one basic platform — including Nest devices...

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/everything-works-nest-164637407.html

Control 4 is most common home automation system of professional installers, edging out Crestron and Savant

Anyone considering having an automation system installed into their home is faced with a huge decision: Which brand of system to buy? The good news is there is really no wrong system. What it boils down to more than the capabilities of a home automation system is the design and installation expertise of the company you have hired to outfit your home. A knowledgeable home systems integrator can make just about any brand of home automation system work wonders in your home.

Read more: http://www.electronichouse.com/daily/top-home-automation-systems/

Google debuts new Smart Home

Getting into the smart home hardware business, today Google debuted Google Home, a voice-activated home automation system, at the firm’s annual developer’s conference, Google I/O 2016.

We’ve had a few teasers over the last few months and Recode previously reported that Google has been working on a portable speaker containing a built-in voice-activated assistant for the whole family in a prototype called “Chirp.”

Read more: http://readwrite.com/2016/05/18/google-home-automation-vt4/

Home automation is a must-have in a growing number of homes

Homeowners are joining the home automation movement, starting with appliances that connect to your mobile phone via the internet through to complete integrated systems such as C-Bus.

And real estate agents say buyers are now expecting certain innovations such as internet points throughout the home.

The take up of smart home technology is modest, mainly due to cost, but new national figures show it is on the rise.

The number of home automation-related jobs rose 37 per cent in January to April compared with the same period last year, according to figures from home improvement website Hipages.com.au.

Read more: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/realestate/news/melbourne-vic/homeowners-are-making-a-smart-choice-with-automation-a-musthave-in-a-growing-number-of-homes/news-story/2a1a921d07fdb52221f23ca97d243338

Lutron Lighting System Makes Home Control Simple

It’s no secret that setting up a simple-to-manage smart lighting control system requires an ample amount of engineering knowledge, expertise, and creativity from the company that installs it. The owners of this award-winning home were fortunate to find a firm that could deliver on these qualities … and that could suggest a system to finally bring order recently to an unruly lighting system that had been a thorn in their sides for years. For these reasons the home systems integrators at EVS, Calgary, earned them Lutron’s Excellence Award for “Best Integrated Home”for this renovation project.

Read more: http://www.electronichouse.com/daily/home-lighting/lutron-lighting-system-rescues-home-from-control-complexities/

Home automation makes 'Jetsons' closer to reality

Home automation today gives homeowners the ability to control items and systems around the house with the touch of a button. To simplify the process, all compatible devices connect through a home network to allow control by panels mounted around the house, and may permit remote access from the internet. Owners can then monitor their home using an interface on their computer, tablet or even smartphone. Ultimate control is achieved through the ability to automate and schedule your home based on personal preferences.

Different components can be part of a home automation system, and owners can pick and choose based on their needs and lifestyle. Essentially there are three categories:

Read more: http://www.tennessean.com/story/life/entertainment/12th/2016/06/08/home-automation-makes-jetsons-world-reality/85492652/

Home security camera streams to mobile phone

There are dozens of great home security systems out there these days but they can often cost you an arm and a leg. What if you just want something simple that’s easy to install and can stream live HD video to your iPhone or Android phone? Check out the HD Wireless WiFi IP Camera Home Security Surveillance Camera,

Read more: http://bgr.com/2016/05/29/cheap-home-security-camera-iphone-android/

Home Security Camera Reveals More Than Homeowner Expected

A Louisiana family that installed a home security system did so to catch potential burglars. They never knew they would catch a moment of pure affection between a mystery boy and the family dog.

A section of video shared online shows a young boy dashing into the garage to give a huge hug to the dog sitting inside. He then sprints to his bike and furiously pedals away.

Read more: http://www.westernjournalism.com/security-camera-reveals-more-than-homeowner-ever-expected/

Atari enters smart home market

While it may sound strange to hear that Atari, the classic video game company, is now making smart home products, it's not quite as weird as it sounds. That's because Atari isn't necessarily going to be all that involved in the development of these new devices. Instead, Atari is going to be the brand name under which Sigfox will create and sell its own IoT products, offering it better name recognition with consumers.

Read more: http://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2016/5/31/11821064/atari-sigfox-partner-on-iot-connected-devices

Voice Control expected to be future of Smart Homes

Smart-home products are far from ubiquitous at this point and can still pose problems, whether they’re tricky to set up, unreliable, or difficult to integrate into an existing ecosystem. “Before I recommend a service, I do a gut check to see if they can stick out the issues,” Robert Parker of SmartThings said during a keynote at Connections. That’s pretty telling when the Senior Vice President of Engineering at Samsung’s smart-home business admits that systems that are supposed to make your life easier actually require a lot of patience and troubleshooting.

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/home/voice-control-smart-home/

The Smart Home,Yachting and Energy

Luxury and premium products have an incredibly important role to play in our rapidly changing world. A startling amount of innovation occurs when price is no object and there is total independence to dream big.

Today, the technical approaches proven by boat builders in the marine industry are finding their way into how our homes are wired, how we control our infrastructure, and how the next evolution of the energy grid should be deployed. As has always been true, boat builders are navigating us into the future.

Read more: https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/the-smart-home-of-the-future-has-been-built-into-boats-for-50-years

Smart Home Elderly Monitoring Is Set to Grow

A recent study by Strategy Analytics concludes that the market for elderly monitoring products and services in the Smart Home remains small in 2016 despite favorable market conditions and high levels of consumer interest. However, the new report, titled Smart Home Application Focus: Elderly Monitoring, predicts steady growth over a five year period as market forces and improved product offerings help to spur adoption.

Read more: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/strategy-analytics-smart-home-elderly-monitoring-opportunity-is-set-to-grow-more-than-600-by-2020-300281301.html

What features will make your home "smart"

The term "smart home" can get really confusing, especially for buyers and sellers: How many features does it take to be considered smart? Who decides?

"We've been hearing the term 'smart home' for about the last two years, maybe a little less," said David Siroty, vice president for North American communications at Coldwell Banker. "Technology is intersecting with the home more than at any other time in history."

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/media/8-features-that-will-make-your-home-smart/

Smart Home Community opens in Orlando

Lennar has opened a new smart home community in Orlando that promises to "allow families to do more, feel better and use less by living smarter."

Dubbed Innovation at Storey Park, the gated community of 144 homes features Cottage, Manor and Estate models and offers standard amenities such as home automation and high-speed data outlets and a state-of-the-art rooftop solar-energy system that produces up to 60% of the home’s electricity.

Read more: http://www.builderonline.com/design/technology/lennar-opens-smart-home-community-in-orlando_o

Security researchers look into smart home

Researchers took a good look at the security features of the various platforms, asking the question, "In what ways are emerging, programmable, smart homes vulnerable to attacks, and what do these attacks entail?"

To answer the question, the researchers decided to focus on one particular smart home system. They mention the system is one of the more mature ones on the market, with over 500 applications, and support for over 130 IoT smart home devices.

In addition, the smart home controller has a number of conceptual similarities to other, newer systems that make their findings relevant.

Read more: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/security-researchers-smart-home-platform-findings-may-keep-you-up-at-night/

Is "smart home" dead? No, just changing

Fadell founded Nest, the maker of the iconic connected thermostat, to tackle "unloved" devices in the home. His vision evolved from making smart devices to building a world where connectivity added so much intelligence to everyday objects that they would feed you information based on what you needed to know right then to help you make decisions.

Fadell called it the "conscious home." Nest and Fadell sold this idea so well that in 2014, Google purchased the four-year-old startup for $3.2 billion.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-the-smart-home-dead-no-just-changing/

Top Home Theater Projectors Money Can Buy

Ah, the mighty yet often underutilized home theater projector. Yes, even the best projectors of 2016 do need a certain amount of space, a clear line of sight, and a screen to project on – but you may be surprised by just how many problems they solve, especially when compared to traditional HDTVs.

If you’ve been hemming and hawing over the right setup for your entertainment system, and you definitely know that you want a bigger screen, we suggest you start with the best home theater projectors of 2016. Some of their benefits may surprise you – especially if you’ve been dreaming of a movie-theater experience in the comfort of your own home.

Read more: http://www.ohgizmo.com/2016/05/17/the-top-3-best-home-theater-projectors-money-can-buy/

Streaming Video/Audio Introduced for Smart Homes

IoT Solutions provider GainSpan Corporation in collaboration with GEO Semiconductor and ON Semiconductor introduces a low-power, battery-operated video doorbell reference design capable of streaming high definition (HD) video and two-way, telephony quality audio over Wi-Fi networks. Developed in response to the rapidly growing IoT market for video/audio streaming products in the home, the reference design platform speeds time to market and reduces product development cost and cycle times for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

Read more: http://www.ecnmag.com/product-release/2016/05/hd-streaming-video-audio-platform-introduced-smart-homes

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Smart Home Camera Can Recognize Faces

Many homes now have security cameras that tell owners if someone has entered. But the cameras do not know if the person is a family member, friend, delivery person or a criminal.

But a new camera made by a company named Netatmo has facial recognition software that can tell parents at work that their children have returned from school, or that a package has been delivered to their home. It can also tell them if a stranger has entered their home.

Read more: http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/smart-home-camera-recognizes-faces/3318497.html

Home security camera with no strings attached

We’d all sleep better knowing our homes were covered by video cameras. A video camera would also be handy so you could know whether your dog is sleeping on the couch when you’re training her to stay off the furniture.

There are plenty of live cam and webcam options for your home or office, but almost all of them require wires.

But recent additions to the home security camera market can be placed almost anywhere in your home or yard that’s covered by your Wi-Fi network.

I’ve been reviewing the Blink Wireless Home Security and HD video monitoring system.

Read more: http://www.dallasnews.com/business/technology/headlines/20160526-this-security-camera-comes-with-no-strings-attached.ece

Smart home security camera recognises intruders

Netatmo Welcome is one of a growing number of smart home security cameras competing for its share of the market.

Developed by a French company, it uses smart face recognition technology to identify family members and friends and alerts home owners of unwanted visitors.

Owners can build up to 16 individual profiles. Only people recognized by the device can enter the home, and users are informed in real time of a human presence inside the house thanks to a dedicated smartphone app.

The company says the device is far more efficient than systems based on movement sensors.

Read more: http://www.africanews.com/2016/05/04/super-smart-home-security-camera-recognises-intruders/

Smart Locks Provide Easier Access to Offices

Basic security is crucial for any small business. Yet, as non-traditional work patterns become more and more commonplace, the inconvenience of cumbersome and old-fashioned security methods is turning out to be a major hindrance for more forward-thinking business owners.
A solution to that problem seems to have emerged with the launch of the second-generation August Smart Lock.
New And Improved Smart Locks

Read more: http://smallbiztrends.com/2016/05/smart-locks.html

Is Home Automation the end of House Sitting?

One way that burglars give themselves confidence before breaking into a home is to ring the doorbell. If they don’t get any response, they assume the house is empty and will proceed to break in and steal all your favorite things. With today’s cool technology though, you never have to be “gone” from your home, even when you’re away. Using things like the BeOn Lighting System or the Ring Video Doorbell, you can send burglars running. The BeON Lighting System will respond to the sound of your doorbell, and mimic a pattern of lights switching on that simulate the homeowner is home. The Ring Video Doorbell will give you a live video feed of your porch, and allow you to use the built-in speaker to communicate with the visitor, making them think you are on site.

Read more: http://house-o-matic.com/news/home-automation-making-house-sitting-obsolete/

Engineers hack past a smart home’s front door

Cybersecurity researchers hacked into the leading “smart home” automation system and essentially got the PIN code to a home’s front door.

Their “lock-pick malware app” was one of four attacks that the cybersecurity researchers leveled at an experimental set-up of Samsung’s SmartThings, a top-selling Internet of Things platform for consumers. The work is believed to be the first platform-wide study of a real-world connected home system. The researchers didn’t like what they saw.

Read more: http://www.futurity.org/smart-home-smartthings-hacking-1156122-2/

Savant Pro Remote as Universal Remote

Savant, a leading home automation and multiroom A/V manufacturer, recently released its first new handheld remote control in a very long time -- the Savant Pro Remote. The wand-style device with a touchscreen and hard buttons works with Savant's $1,499* Smart Host. And while the Host (the home automation hub in IoT parlance) is built for whole-home control, the Pro Remote is billed as a single-room controller.

Jason Griffing, an integrator and host of the weekly HomeTech.fm podcast, has tried the new remote in his showroom and provides CE Pro with some first impressions of the product.

The Pro Remote should not be confused with the new Savant Remote ($499 including "Host" control hub), a DIY product that begins shipping this week.

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

How using a smartphone can protect your home

Among the devices that can monitor a home when residents are away on vacation or at work are:

Video doorbells, allowing users to see who is at the door when they are away and respond.
Smart lock and keyless entry, which use voice commands or personal codes to open doors and can be set to unlock, for example, when a child is arriving home, and lock after the child is in the house.
Indoor and outdoor security cameras that detect motion or sound and enable users to stream live video to a smart device and archive recorded footage. Some cameras include a loud alarm that sounds when someone unwanted is in the house.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/consumers/2016/05/28/how-use-smartphone-protect-your-home/83253498/

Comcast Pursues Bigger Share of Smart Home Market

Comcast is pushing ahead on a plan to take Xfinity Home, its home security and automation platform, to the next level in part by broadening a curated mix of devices that work with the platform while also adding elements that drive more value into the service and reduce service friction.

“First and foremost, we have over the past year and a half focused heavily on disrupting the home security market,”

Read more: http://www.multichannel.com/news/cable-operators/comcast-pursues-bigger-piece-smart-home-market/405240

Control4 Controllers Review

With Control4 launching a plethora of new kit at ISE 2016 we thought it was time to test drive their latest products. Control4 has refined its range over the last couple of years, delivering quicker, slicker and more reliable systems, so expectations were high.

We took delivery of its new EA-5 five zone home controller and one room EA-1, along with a 10-inch table top touchscreen, the C4-TT10-BL, and put them all through their paces.

Read more: http://www.insideci.co.uk/reviews/control4-ea-5-and-ea-1-controllers-review.aspx

How To Use Smart Blinds To Keep Your House Safe

Automated blinds can give you privacy and security when you’re at home — automatically shifting to suit the time of day, temperature and nosey neighbours. One minute your blinds can be down, the next it can be up, all pre-programmed or at the push of a button on your mobile or remote.

It’s when you aren’t at home that the smart blinds really come in to their own. Automatically shifting to give a tangible, physical sense of a home that is lived in

Read more: http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/06/how-to-use-smart-blinds-to-keep-your-house-safe-even-when-youre-not-there/

Simple, Reliable, Smart Home

Lutron’s Smart Home is a simple home automation system that allows you to control and schedule your window coverings, lighting and thermostat all through a touch of a button. You can control it with a remote or wall control, or through the Smart Home application on your smart device. If you have an iPhone, you can control the system with voice commands.

Read more: http://sanangelolive.com/news/san-angelo/2016-05-16/introducing-simple-reliable-smart-home

Smart Home of the Year: Gold Winner

The builder of our award-winning smart home, Voigt Brothers, makes sure to outfit every residence he builds with Lutron motorized shading. Lighting control from Lutron is also a standard feature to provide an eye-pleasing aesthetic, as is the handiwork of a reputable home systems integrator to tailor the technologies to the unique needs of the owners of each residence.

Read more: http://www.electronichouse.com/daily/smart-home-of-the-year-gold-winner/

Savant new home automation releases

The Savant 8.0 software includes an enhanced user interface for the Savant app. Amongst other changes, Savant has ‘flattened’ out the interface so users can “see everything in the house from the home screen,” explained Tim McInerney, director of product marketing for Savant. This has made the app even more intuitive, resulting in a simplified user experience.

Savant feels it is important to integrate with other high quality manufacturers in order to create the most flexible system possible. Sonos is the latest manufacturer to be named as a Savant elite partner. Elite partners collaborate together with Savant to ensure that the products become mutually beneficial to installer and end users.

Read more: http://www.insideci.co.uk/news/savant-new-home-automation-releases.aspx

Do you really want to DIY home automation?

Smart Home Survey revealed more than 96 percent of respondents report they are very satisfied or satisfied with their systems. Beyond satisfaction, those with professionally-installed solutions feel the cost is justified – approximately 96 percent said they would purchase their systems again and 98 percent would still opt for professional installation today.

The research surveyed 552 respondents across seven branded smart home solutions – including solutions powered by Icontrol Networks as well as other technology providers. Admittedly it’s a relatively small subject sample, but the results are unusually positive suggesting a high degree of satisfaction in smart home products.

Read more: http://readwrite.com/2016/05/24/professionally-installed-home-automation-diy-pt1/

Reusing Old Smartphones for Home Automation

At the recent Embedded Linux Conference and OpenIoT Summit, Mozilla Technical Evangelist Dietrich Ayala proposed a simple and affordable solution to home automation: A discarded smartphone can handle some of the most useful home automation tasks without requiring expensive hubs and sensors -- or risking data security in the cloud.

“With a smartphone you can detect motion, sound, presence, and the absence of radio services,” said Ayala in his presentation, “Turning Sensors into Signals: Humanizing IoT with Old Smartphones and the Web.”

“Many phones have proximity or ambient light sensors, orientation, and battery,” continued Ayala. “

Read more: https://www.linux.com/news/repurposing-old-smartphones-home-automation

Smart home mania or madness?

With the proliferation of new smart home products hitting the market these days, one of the things I look forward to each day is checking my Google Alerts to see what new surprises this wild west of home automation and connectivity is bringing us now.

Read more: http://www.securitysystemsnews.com/blog/smart-home-mania-or-madness

Buying a smart home? Know the technology

In a world of smartphones with quick and easy buttons that provide immediate actions, the luxury housing market is now demanding homes that offer the latest technology. Buyers are looking for homes that have total home integration systems controlling the home’s temperature, lights, security, audio and visual experiences and even folding nano doors operated by one-touch electronic control panels.

From scheduling your lights to controlling your A/C from your smartphone, full home automation is both convenient and easy to use. Whether you’re sitting on your couch or thousands of miles away, with today’s app technology, you have constant access.

Read more: http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2016/05/31/buying-a-smart-home-get-to-know-the-technology.html

Smart Home Gadgets That Will Save You Money

Smart home products should make life easier and save you money. Here are a few that accomplish both.​

The best smart home products can learn from your habits and preferences and deliver energy-saving performance with minimal effort from you. These automated devices have infiltrated electrical systems throughout our home and often provide instant feedback on energy saved. When you're ready to lower your utility bill, give these products a look

Read more: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/g2637/smart-home-gadgets-that-save-you-money/