Showing posts from 2016

Logitech bounces back with speakers, universal remote for Smart Home

While best-known for keyboards and mice, Logitech has bounced back by investing in video game equipment, earphones, speakers, smart car accessories and home security cameras. “We try to carve off areas where we feel we can be a leader, maybe not in the whole category, but in our slice of the category, and then we try to gain market share through innovation,” CEO Darrell said. Analyst Kirk Adams of Rosenblatt Securities credited Darrell with turning around the company by revamping engineering, manufacturing and marketing. Logitech also shed an unprofitable video-conferencing services unit and a low-profit business based on building keyboards for PC makers. Read more:

Smart Vents Give Temperature Control

While Nest smart thermostats are great, one of their main issues is that they are often simply mounted in the hallway and don't measure temperatures in various rooms.That's an issue that startup called Flair is trying to fix, having released a smart vent system that is designed to control temperatures across all rooms, rather than relying on settings from one thermostat. "It can figure out the differential, and if you want this room when you're in it to be more comfortable"... Read more:

Installing Smart Home Can Make Life Easier

Today, just about anyone can turn their home into a high-tech automated hub that not only keeps your family safe and secure, it also lets you monitor and control a slew of functions from anywhere using your phone, tablet or computer. For example, Cox Homelife, professionally monitored and remote home management system, provides advanced features in addition to what you get in a traditional alarm system with time-saving, cost-saving and worry-saving features to help customers protect, monitor and control their home and ensure their family’s safety. Here are seven ways a smart home can make your life more awesome than ever. Read more:

Winner of Smart Home announced

A mother of five won the HGTV Smart Home 2016 sweepstakes, a prize including a fully furnished three-story home with “smart” technology, a 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC and $100,000. The winner had entered HGTV contests before, said she virtually toured the house online and fell in love with the home's master bedroom and bathroom, the open kitchen and the screened-in porch. She entered the sweepstakes, and her name was selected. Smith said she was impressed with the home's tech components, including the lights and sound system that can be controlled with an electronic tablet. Read more:

Marantz's latest AV Receiver

Marantz has announced an addition to its 2016 AV receiver line. The SR6011 builds upon the previously announced SR5011 by adding two extra channels of amplification. The nine-channel SR6011 can support a 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos speaker setup; it also features 11.2-channel processing to add more Atmos channels with the use of an external amplifier. More features are listed in the press release below. Read more:

Smart Home use of Switchers

At Crestron we see IoT as a holistic solution to make technology work to seamlessly enhance the family home lifestyle, and video is a big part of that. Maybe Dad likes to watch news after work but sport updates in the morning. When a child turns on the family TV we want to make sure they can only access cartoons, and not the more grown-up content that their parents watch after their bedtime. Maybe Mum is watching TV in the living room at night, but wants to duck into the kitchen to grab a snack and wants to keep watching her show on the TV in there. The system should automatically adjust to fit the current situation in every room. Switchers and extenders are the piece of the puzzle that allows the integrator to centrally manage all video content and distribution. Read more:

Smart Home Education for Home Builders

Property developers and home builders have realised they must invest in smart technology to ensure new properties keep pace with digital living demands, particularly for homes at the top-end of the residential sector aimed at millennials and energy-conscious buyers. Keeping abreast of fast paced technological developments is proving a challenge for many housebuilders. In a bid to assist, a unique training facility has been opened to provide independent product advice, technical expertise, professional training and an opportunity for hands-on testing. Packed with the latest smart kit for efficient heating, ventilation, lighting, CCTV, air conditioning, home entertainment and AV systems, the suite also features a robust home automation system from Legrand, which is expected to appeal to a wide range of developers. Read more:

Installing Home Security System

DIY security systems either start with a focus on security itself, or start as home automation product with an add on security functionality. Each company tends to have a unique pitch, so scrolling through their product listing will help give you a sense of which one will be best for you. SimpliSafe has a broad line up of sensors and security features, but no cameras. Being able to “look in” via a camera when a sensor is triggered is incredibly useful, as otherwise if you are traveling, it is hard to know how panicked to be about an alert. I also like that SimpliSafe uses Lithium Ion batteries for its sensors, giving them an estimated five-year lifespan. Read more:

Lighting, heating, entertainment systems and more in Smart Home

You walk from your office to your car. The door automatically unlocks. Meanwhile at your home, the thermostat checks to make sure there is enough hot water for a shower. As you approach the front door, a camera automatically scans your face, and opens the door. Simultaneously, the lights come on, your favorite music kicks in. This is technology which is available today as companies like Apple, Google, Samsung and Amazon want to make everything “smart”. The smart home revolution is only just beginning, and technology companies are still working out how it is all going to work together — but if you want to, you can make your home “smart” today. Read more:

Home buyers want smart home tech installed

According to the survey of U.S. adults, 71 percent want a move-in ready home. Of the respondents who opted for a move-in ready home, 44 percent said that smart-home technology should already be installed. Another 57 percent would consider an older home if it had smart-home technology. “We have entered a realm where home buyers are demanding smart homes. This is a shift from the previous thinking about what constitutes a move-in ready home. It’s a defining moment for real estate,” said Sean Blankenship, chief marketing officer for Coldwell Banker. “At the beginning of my real estate career, home buyers were willing to purchase fixer-uppers that needed tender love and care. But over the years, there has been a clear shift toward move-in ready homes that don’t require any updates or renovations. Read more:

Homes more automated than ever

Can you imagine installing smart home technology and manage home security from your phone? Maybe some of you can because you have a new, high tech house with all of the home automation systems built in. Retrofitting an existing home with a home automation system can be difficult so you may want to consider some alternate options. I had no idea the technology existed until I signed up for a course on Udemy. The course focused on one of many brands, the Samsung SmartThings Home Monitoring system. According to the website, the kit is $249 USD and includes a SmartThings Hub which connects sensors, lights, locks, cameras and more. It also includes two sensors that can be installed to monitor doors and windows... Read more:

Commercial Automation Leader SOMFY Joins ZigBee

The ZigBee Alliance, a non-profit maintaining and delivering open, global standards for the low-power wireless Internet of Things (IoT), announced that SOMFY has joined the ZigBee Alliance. A world leader in the home and commercial automation market, SOMFY develops, manufactures and distributes products in 58 countries across five continents. From motorized window treatments for residential and commercial buildings to automated outdoor extensions, gates and garage doors, SOMFY provides a complete range of the latest motorized solutions, automatic systems and alarms designed to make daily life easier, safer and more pleasant. Read more:

Best Universal Remotes you can buy

A good universal remote can change the living room experience. Instead of juggling several remotes for your TV, cable box, game console, streaming box, a universal remote can clean up your end table and let you go from watching nothing to watching something with a single press of a button. A good remote controls anything and is easy to program, it can turn on multiple devices in the right sequence. It can control devices that have traditional IR systems, but also can control newer ones that rely on Bluetooth. There have been many universal remotes over the years, but lately, Logitech’s Harmony line has come to dominate the market. Read more:

The best Outdoor Entertainment Spaces

Each year the staff at Electronic House reviews hundreds of submissions to its Home of the Year contest. Below arethe picks for the best outdoor entertainment space. 1. Best Outdoor Space GOLD Winner 20 speakers and 220-inch disappearing screen set the stage for big-time backyard entertainment. ampi. The owner turned an unruly, unusable hillside into an honest-to-goodness amphitheater, complete with big, beefy, professional-grade speakers, a stealthy, motorized 220-inch screen .... Read more:

Home Surveillance Cameras History

These days, more and more people who think that surveillance has gone too far. It doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re doing, there is a very high probability that we’re being recorded. Of course, surveillance cameras have helped to make countless cities safer by catching various crimes on video—from theft to vandalism to assault—thus allowing the police to apprehend the criminals committing them faster and easier. Still, many can’t help but feel uncomfortable with the fact that almost all of their actions are being monitored, especially those who would not think of committing crimes. Read more:

Automation from Harman and AMX

Harman has introduced an IoT system with integrated AMX automation. The system integrates IoT technology from Harman Connected Services and automation technology from AMX with Harman’s technology. This will allow buildings to react intelligently and offers the ability to passively track traffic flows, room occupancies and employee locations. AMX automation systems are designed to react to employee location by appropriately updating room schedules, adjusting audio levels and updating digital signage. “The ability to link Harman’s IoT solutions with AMX automation opens up powerful possibilities and really shows the potential of where we are headed,” ... Read more:

AMX and security for audio visual systems

AMX, a company that produces audio and visual systems designed for conferencing, has been accused of installing a deliberate backdoor in a number of its products, that makes it possible to set up an admin account that can sniff the local network, without prior privileges. Although it denies it, AMX appeared to update software in an attempt to obfuscate the flaw in its security, rather than fix it. The flaw was originally picked up by Austrian company last year, and update was recently released that may well have shored up all of the backdoors. Read more:

Smart Thermostats allow control of HVAC system remotely

For some, making a heating and air conditioning system operate more efficiently is just a click away. Hi-tech thermostats that can be monitored and controlled through any computer, tablet or smartphone are options available for new and old HVAC systems. “It’s the new-age remote control,” Mike Holley with Bob Woodall Air Care Systems said. Convenience is the biggest advantage. “They can open their phone up and monitor their house’s temperature during the day,” Holley said. “They don’t have to go home to a hot house.” At home you can adjust the thermostat without getting out of bed. Read more:

Turning stadium into smart building

Honeywell created what it called the “intelligent system” for the National Stadium in Beijing. To accommodate such capacity, China turned to Honeywell’s EBI Integrated Building Management System to create an integrated “intelligent system” for improved building security, safety and energy efficiency. Honeywell used its EBI Integrated Building Management System to integrate the building’s automation system; the fire alarm and fighting interlock control system; and the security automation system with distributive database technology. It also integrated the office automation system... Read more:

Home Automation grows overseas

With technological advancements in several developing countries across the globe, home automation solutions are evolving continuously and is used in a variety of applications across residential, commercial and hospitality segments. Home automation systems refer to all such systems, whether used as a single application or as integrated solutions that are used to automate processes (such as turning on the AC, dimming lights, managing entrance gate and cameras, operating smart appliances in a house, and so on). According to a report published by RedSeer Consulting, Home automation market in India is rapidly growing due to increasing consumer awareness and financial ability, product innovations (like smart phone apps), builders’ requirement for market differentiation and an increase in the preference for energy efficient systems. Read more:

Installing home surveillance systems

There are a lot of reasons you may want to set up a video monitoring system for your home or business. Perhaps you want to complement a home security system, in light of the over two million home break-ins that occur annually in USA. Or perhaps just to keep an eye on things when you’re not there. I know several business owners who not only watch what goes on in the office while they’re out, but interact with employees using the systems they’ve installed. There are quite a few options for those who want a turn key solution, ranging from professionally-installed-and-monitored systems to simple plug-and-play options like the Nest camera. But all of those tie you to a cloud vendor, who gets access to your data, and require a monthly fee. You'll need to think about what areas you want monitored, and the cameras you’ll need to have to cover them. Security cameras come in all shapes and sizes. Read more:

Smart security camera saves family home

The owner of a smart security camera was saved by a connected device when it saved his house from going up in flames by alerting to the breakout of a blaze via his smartphone. The internet-enabled camera, was equipped with an acoustic sensor that was able to detect the sound of a smoke alarm going off caused by an electronic toy catching fire. It sent the home owner a smartphone notification which enabled him to phone the fire services to extinguish the breakout before it spread, saving his family home and dogs from being razed to the ground. Read more:

Consumers Like Value In Smart Home

Smart home products have to create new value if they are to be adopted. That’s the conclusion of a study on various aspects of the Internet of Things, including smart lighting and other smart products in the home. The adoption and ultimate success of smart home products centers around creating new value, both for end-consumers and the brands serving them, according to the study by Parks Associates. Almost half (44%) of consumers who have a connected security camera in their home access it remotely on a daily basis. Read more:

The new glue of Smart Home

FTTT does the complicated work of tying together internet services and internet-connected hardware. Users come up with so-called “recipes” for how these things will work together. For example, send an email when Facebook’s stock jumps over $150 a share, or send out a tweet every time the garage door opens (no, maybe not the most useful recipe). IFTTT users have created 40 million of these recipes to date. On Wednesday, the San Francisco-based startup announced that developers will now be able to integrate these IFTTT recipes directly into their apps. This could vastly improve IFTTT’s reach. Before, users had to go through the IFTTT app and the whole process was rather limited to more technically savvy users... Read more:

SoundCloud Go now works with Sonos speakers

The number of options for Sonos owners to stream music to their connected speakers continues to expand. SoundCloud announced today that its subscription service is now available on the popular multi-room audio setup. Launched in March, SoundCloud Go is the long-rumored monthly subscription option from the music library that's been a go-to spot for creators and listeners alike. Read more:

Savant Could Unleash Home Automation

We’ve heard lots about home automation, but no single product has yet evolved to provide a simple interface and a single system to manage it all. It’s still as complicated as ever, burdening us with numerous apps and connected devices. But I’ve been trying out a new home hub system that has the potential to be the solution we’ve been waiting for. What may make this different from the other failed attempts is that Savant is no newcomer. They’ve been in the business for more than a decade, making some of the world’s most successful and costly home automation products that control entertainment, lighting and other equipment in some of the world’s most luxurious homes, estates, castles and even yachts. They've now taken this experience and have built a system for the rest of us. Read more:

Home insurance industry is taking a closer look at smart home devices

Observers expect that smart homes will have a similar effect on home insurance that telematics and the connected car did for auto insurance. Soon, carriers aim to use connected-home technology for claims avoidance, underwriting and improved interactions with homeowners beyond just creating a policy. That’s according to new research from technology-research firm Gartner. And, some insurers are beginning to invest in connected-home companies using their internal venture capital arms. But there are still obstacles in the way of fully realizing smart homes’ potential. There is no set standard yet of how to leverage data insurers collect from households, according to Kimberly Harris-Ferrante, distinguished analyst at Gartner. Customers are also not adopting smart home technology as quickly as the industry would like. Read more:

Turning rentals into a smart home

Name a home appliance, and there's probably a smart version of it. But for the renters among us, it can be tricky to navigate the aisles of smart light bulbs, thermostats, air conditioners, and vacuums to pick out devices that won't jeopardize your security deposit. When you don't own your home, there’s a different set of rules dictating modifications, and some smart home products don't take that into account. Luckily these days, an increasing number of smart home devices can cater to apartment dwellers that want to avoid ripping open walls and trussing up wires. And as a NYC-based Ars staffer, I had a particularly perfect rental laboratory to recently test and explore what kinds of smart home devices fit renters' needs. Read more:

Smart Door Locks with Alexa

August Smart Lock customers using the first- or second-generation locks can use the service by enabling the August Smart Lock skill located in the Alexa app. The service also requires the August Connection WiFi bridge to connect the Bluetooth lock. The ability to remotely control home security marks the latest series of capabilities for Alexa voice-command products, which now have about 1,900 third-party skills from a range of companies, including Kayak, Lyft, Honeywell and more. Customers are using Alexa-enabled devices to listen to music, set alarms, get news, shop online, order pizza, and perform a variety of household talks including controlling lights and window blinds. Read more:

Staples leaves home automation

Staples has officially announced that it's handing over sales and support for its home automation system Connect to Z-Wave. Though the exact terms of the deal remain undisclosed, Z-Wave has purchased Staples' inventory. According to representatives at Zonoff, the company that has supported Connect's software and will continue to do so with Z-Wave, users should experience no practical change to their Connect automation systems. Staples stopped selling the Connect hub months ago, and rumors began to swirl that the office supply retailer might be planning to unplug its internet of things ecosystem altogether. In April, the company said it would be releasing a statement about Connect's future sometime in the coming weeks. Read more:

Move-In Ready Now Means Smart Home Installed

Americans are excited by smart home options—but 44 percent want the technology already installed before moving in to a new home. Further, 57 percent would consider buying an old home if smart home applications had been installed. So says a new survey from Coldwell Banker Real Estate which found that the majority of those who are eager for smart home tech are Millennials, then followed by those from Generation X, and finally Baby Boomers. Although smart home devices are growing easier to install, consumers still want some of the work done for them. Having a home pre-wired and set up for smart home devices, whether a smart thermostat or security system, is clearly now a attractive feature for home buyers. Read more:

Shade control may lower electric bill

Shades are a simple solution for ambient temperature control. Placing shades over windows on the east or west side of a house can reduce heat gain by as much as 53 percent. Automated shading systems are an even more advanced way of controlling blinds, enabling the shades to lift and lower based on the indoor or outdoor temperature, occupancy, or the time of day. Automated shades come in battery-operated versions, which simplify installation and are easier on your pocketbook than shading systems that are hardwired. Read more:

Women lag men in smart home interest

It only takes a quick Google search to see the promise of the smart home. The way in which we can now control functions in our homes and how devices control aspects of our lives for us is nothing short of incredible. And to consumers who aren’t technology-lovers, it’s nothing short of overwhelming. Though smart home technology is continuing to grow, the majority of early-adopters have adopted. To identify what consumers want it’s essential to create a clear portrait of their buying motives. In a report that Shelton Group produced last year, we were able to break this down and reach a surprisingly logical conclusion: men and women have different priorities when purchasing new technology and therefore different buying drivers in the smart home arena. Read more:

Top reasons for installing smart home

Buying a home is a liability for most. And a smart home would be a bigger one. Probably being a first-time smart home buyer, you've resorted to other smart home owners’ recommendation, many of whom are encouraging you to go ahead and buy it. Nonetheless, you may still retaliate, if that will be a right thing to do. Having hesitations is normal. However, the more you focus on the reasons to invest in a smart home, the entire process will seem less fearsome to you. A smart home is one that is armed with smart products for monitoring, mechanizing and optimizing functions such as temperature, lighting, security, safety or entertainment, by tech devices such as smartphones, iPads, etc. Read more:

For smart-home installers, security ranks high

According to The NPD Group’s Connected Intelligence service, four out of 10 consumers who are at least somewhat interested in a smart home ranked making their home more secure and safe as the top reason driving their interest. The top five reasons consumers cited as driving interest in building a smarter home were: Read more:

Device simplifies smart home control

Logitech has a new device called the Pop Home Switch, and it’s a bit different from their usual offerings. The Pop is a broad button about the size of your palm, which connects to a hub that plugs directly into an outlet via Bluetooth LE. The hub has the real smarts, with support for a whole host of top smart home gadgets, including Phillips Hue lights, LIFX connected bulbs, Lutron smart drapes and August locks, to name just a few. Using a companion app on either Android or iOS, you simply scan your Wi-Fi network for compatible devices, then tie those devices to one or more Pop for simplified control and recipe creation. Individual Pops only offer a big, single button – but they can be programmed to do three different things, since you can press, double press and long press each to trigger a separate action. This means you could program a Pop to turn your Phillips Hue lights on or off, activate just a single room or group, and also set it to dim the brightness to set the mood. Read

It time to upgrade your home theater system?

There’s two things you need to know about 4K TVs. For one, they look spectacular, due to the fact these televisions deliver four times the resolution of 1080p HD TV – instead of 2 million little dots (“pixels”) that make up the image. There’s so much detail in the picture it’s almost like being there. Secondly, thanks to falling prices and more 4K content than ever before, there’s never been a better time to invest in 4K TV (otherwise known as “UHD” or “Ultra High Definition”). 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. Read more:

Backup Power Integration with Home Automation

With every passing month there are more and more systems that integrate with home automation systems. Everything from audio/video and climate control to lighting and security. But what happens when the power goes out? Well now you can integrate your homes backup generator system into your smart home. Systems like Control4 and Crestron have allowed the integration of solar panels and other energy devices into your system to monitor your home’s efficiency. While most generators are essentially an engine combined with an alternator to generate electricity, the control panels included with newer models can relay all of the important information to your control system. Read more:

Savant's Remote offers many features

Savant's new Remote addresses the major sources of frustration with traditional and universal remotes, controlling more than 380,000 of entertainment devices, as well as lighting. Using voice control or the touchscreen, users can easily switch between favorite channels, services (cable, DirecTV®, Sonos, Apple TV, Blu-ray, etc.) or activate their Savant Scenes. For the first time, users can capture Scenes right from the remote, giving them the ability to capture a mood they can recall at any time—like “Relax,” which could instantly dim the lights and play mellow music. Savant Lamp Control delivers lighting and dimming capabilities, allowing users to combine lighting and entertainment to set the mood. The Savant App pairs with the Remote and makes it easy to control scenes, services, and settings from anywhere. Read more:

Lock Your Door With Simple Voice Commands

The Alexa-powered Echo first launched nearly two years ago and it has grown from a tame voice-activated “smart” speaker to a home automation hub. Recently, August Home has announced that one more Alexa skill is coming to the Echo family; one that will enable you to lock your front door using the sound of your voice. The August Smart Lock is now baked into the Alexa ecosystem — to get started, simply say “Alexa, enable August Smart Lock” and the Skill will be added to your Echo’s repertoire. “As the first smart lock to support Alexa-enabled devices such as Amazon Echo, we are giving consumers a whole new level of convenience with a hands-free way to control the front door,” said August Home Inc. CEO Jason Johnson. Read more:

Smart Lighting saves on energy cost

A combination of internet technology and smartphones has resulted devices capable of interacting with each other using wireless technology and promise more intuitive surroundings. Some office spaces already make use of smart motion-sensin lights and air conditioners, but can you do the same when it comes to your personal spaces? One of the most terrifying components of monthly bills is the one telling you how many times you forgot to turn off that light and fan when you left home. Smart lights have been designed to help you both control and change lights as per your requirements. While these smart light bulbs do cost more than traditional bulbs, but they help in taming the surging power costs and also help add to the house’s existing decor, all with a single tap on your smartphone. Philips has a range of smart lighting solutions including the Philips Hue Personal Wireless Lighting Starter Kit. Read more:

Amazon and August let users lock doors with voice command

“Alexa, tell August to lock the front door.” With a voice command like this, a homeowner can activate a Bluetooth-controlled lock through August Home, the smart-lock maker. The team up between August and Amazon is another step in expanding how "smart" a home can be. Though gadgets to control, for instance, a house’s lights, thermostat, and audio system, have been around for decades, they could only be operated at first through personal computers and control pads, and eventually tablets and smartphones. Now, the two firms are pushing Alexa into home security. “The ability to be able to talk to Alexa and control my lock is definitely getting closer to the home of the future,”.. Read more:

New home automation features for window launched

Decorview®, a leading seller of custom window treatments in North America, has announced new features to its window treatments. The company offers blinds, shades, shutters, and motorization. In addition to the ability to operate window treatments with the touch of a button, blinds and shades equipped with the PowerView™ system can be programmed and scheduled to move at specific times of the day using the intuitive PowerView™ App. "The PowerView™ system is now compatible with many of the most advanced home automation systems on the market," added Rush. "For greater connectivity, consider pairing your Powerview-enabled blinds and shades with other smart home devices... Read more:

Motion Sensor lighting system to launch

Philips looks set to add hands-free smarts to its lighting system, with word of a new Hue Motion Sensor sneaking out. A mainstay of many smart home installations, Hue's wirelessly-enabled bulbs can be controlled by various means. That looks set to change with the Hue Motion Sensor, at least according to a recent FCC filing and a prematurely-posted product page in Germany. Philips has packed a motion sensor and an ambient light sensor into what appears to be a roughly 2-inch square, which hooks up to your Hue network's ZigBee connection. Read more:

New Smart Light Switch for Wi-FI homes

Brightswitch is majority-owned by Bellatrix Systems Inc., which has a long history of inventing and manufacturing electronic devices, but Brightswitch is its first foray into smart devices. CEO and co-inventor Ray Lundy, who is also chief operating officer of Bellatrix, said that to develop Brightswitch, the company turned to new investors via the crowd-sourcing. While there are numerous smart products for homes on the market, from Nest’s thermostat and smoke detector to internet-connected lighting systems, a market research analyst said Brightswitch is the first product that replaces a standard light switch with a touch screen. Read more:

Smart Lighting Control may help keep home safe

While you’re away, thieves could be planning to attack your home and ruin more than your vacation. If your home is being cased, would-be thieves may notice that the lights come on at the same time every day and figure that they’re on a timer. “With new smart lighting technology and home automation packages, homeowners now have the ability to maintain full control over how a living space is illuminated, even while no one is home. Brighten multiple rooms or dim lights from the other side of the city or the other side of the world with an app on your smartphone, or invest in a smart home system that alternates lighting on a schedule,” Read more:

Smart Blinds Control for beating summer heat

These days, you can have complete, automated, remote control of not just your air conditioner, but also other units in your house that can help you control the overall temperature this summer. Smart blinds are great for controlling the amount of sunlight that enters a room in your home. Smart blinds can be programmed to work on a specific schedule, or you can simply control them remotely. You can also control if your blinds are open all the way, closed all the way, or slightly open or closed. These are great to use in the rooms in your house that face the sun during the day. With control, you can keep the blinds in a position that responds to the sun, and you can keep your house cooler. Read more:

Smart Home Automation Is Changing Indian Homes

Among several smart home powered companies popping up to take advantage of a burgeoning trend toward home automation in urban India, one Gujarat-based outfit believes they can provide something new through app-powered smart homes. A number of factors have contributed to India’s move to embrace technology. One of these is the increased availability of disposable income, the other, according to Green Cloud iSoft CEO Piyush Yadav because “we use technology because we like to use it – Europeans only use technology if it is useful.” Read more:

Focus on Home Automation API

In a recent report titled, “The Connected Home Is Transforming Into a Programmable Platform”, Gartner has predicted that 25% of households will use digital personal assistants on smartphones as their main interface for connecting to smart home services, according to an article on CXOtoday. This growth is driven by the improved capabilities of personal assistants, as well as more smart devices for performing home automation tasks by connecting services, ordering products and configuring devices. While these devices each offer their own control applications, the IoT industry will place a growing importance on digital personal assistants that can control the entire system. Read more:

Sonos opens its first store

Sonos, the audio company beloved for its simple, streamlined, seriously high-performing speakers, opens its first-ever retail store in New York — but it won‘t feel much like a store. The showroom was conceived as an optimal space for customers to discover music. Instead of shelves of merchandise, the shop consists of seven unique listening rooms, each modeled as a miniature home, with multiple sound systems throughout. “The best place to discover music isn’t in a store—it’s in someone’s home,” says Dmitri Siegel, Sonos’s vice president of global brand, about the shop’s layout and concept. Read more:

Smart lighting systems have been detected with security holes

Osram Sylvania Lightify smart lighting systems' vulnerabilities were discovered by the security researchers at Rapid7. Osram, which sells both Home and Pro products, claims it agreed to test its Lightify products by Rapid7. The technology provided by Osram is designed for users to set moods, brightness, and other lighting controls from their apps. “This vulnerability allows a malicious actor to inject persistent JavaScript and HTML code into various fields within the Pro web management interface. When this data is viewed within the web console, the injected code will execute within the context of the authenticated user,” Read more:

Lighting Control Enhances Home Theater

No matter what you happen to be watching on the TV in your media room—a movie, it always looks brighter and clearer when the room lights are off. This is one of the main reasons home systems integrators suggest incorporating some form of lighting control into a media room or home theater. You can tap a button on your smartphone, a keypad on the wall, or a handheld remote to instruct the lights to turn off. This is the most basic form of lighting control and costs a couple hundred dollars to add. If you have a significantly larger budget, you can buy a more sophisticated sort of lighting control system and get a lot fancier with the way the lights in your media room function to make the entertainment experience even more engaging. Here are 9 great recommendations: Read more:

Savant, Control4 and other Smart Home devices still looking for apps

The past few years have seen enthusiasm for smart home devices, sparked arguably by the dark horse success of the Nest Learning Thermostat. We’re currently experiencing a gold rush, with a flood of supposedly smart products of every stripe appearing, not only from big names but also startups. And yet the clutter of competing platforms and wireless protocols — there’s Z-Wave and Zigbee and Clear Connect and Insteon and Control4 and Savant and Nest and HomeKit and on and on — have left consumers in an understandable quandary. For new technology to find mainstream success, it first must find its soulmate — that one killer app that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Read more:

Year's best Smart Home devices

There’s a lot of smart home gadgets out there, so we rounded up some of early favorites in 2016. With the development of new technologies, appliances and gadgets that we use on a daily basis are changing. The future was never so unpredictable, and right now we’re seeing just a glimpse of what is to come. There are numerous smart home gadgets that will make your life easier. From advanced lighting, thermostats, smart pillows and TVs, all you have to do is choose the ones you like. However, these 5 listed below are home gadgets that every household should have. Let us start with the one that’s always a helper. Read more:

Latest home security cameras

Everyone likes to know that their home is secure and that everything and everyone is safe while we’re gone. In years past, that meant using a CCTV system to record, but few had remote access or alerts. Latest entry is a Ring smart doorbell. Even though it's not technically a security camera, it provides users with a live stream whenever somebody knocks at your front door amongst other security camera-esque features. Whether you’re looking for an easy way to check on your children and pets, or a motion detection system for intruders, you’ll find the right camera for your needs. Most home security cameras perform the same basic functions – they detect an event, record the event and send you an alert – but they don’t all do it in the same way. Read more:

Smart Home Properties Charge More Rent

A recent survey from Smart Home vendor August Home shows that advances in Smart Home technology is playing a role in where travelers decide to stay during business trips and vacations. In the survey, innovations in the Smart Home is one of the reasons why. 60% of respondents say they would pay more for a short-term rental with a Smart Home feature, such as smart locks, doorbell cameras, Smart TVs, streaming media and Smart Home security systems. Travelers also indicate they believe Smart Home features will be a big part of rentals in the future. While having one Smart Home feature is appealing to the guests surveyed, with 90% saying they would desire features, a Smart TV, specifically, is the most desired feature, with 93% saying they would want one in their rental. They also expressed interest in Smart Home security systems at 91%. Among those surveyed, 87% say they would want a video-enabled doorbell camera, 86% want smart locks. Read more:

Smart Home Device Connectivity in Windows 10

Microsoft wants to put Windows 10 at the center of smart homes. The company wants users to be able to tell the operating to switch on a light, open a door, and even check the contents of a refrigerator. For Windows 10 to be successful, the OS will have to work with a wide range of smart home and IoT devices. The two organizations will work together on improving interoperability between smart home and IoT devices. This means devices running Windows 10 will be able to connect with most smart home products and program home automation tasks based on events or times of the day. The alliance will benefit smart-home customers, with less guesswork involved in getting devices to work together. Read more:

Staples switches Smart Home Systems

Staples is discontinuing Staples Connect, the automated home and office platform it launched and is transferring Staples Connect to a system using products from two companies, Z-Wave Products and Zonoff software. Staples Connect was one of the earliest retailer-specific smart home ecosystems, it works with some 150 lighting, climate control, home security and other products from the likes of Lutron, Philips, Honeywell, First Alert, Yale, Kwikset, Schlage, Leviton, Cooper, GE, D-Link, Radio Thermostat, Linksys, Sylvania, Aeon Labs, Doorbot, Jasco, Jawbone and Goji, Twice magazine reports. Read more:

Automatically opens and close window blinds

Opening and closing your blinds is a trivial process that you may never have thought about automating it, but it can make your home more energy efficient and secure. A new device allows users to automate existing blinds and control them via an accompanying mobile app. The FlipFlic lets people maximize the amount of natural light in their home, regulate its temperature, give the impression of someone always being at home, and save lighting, air conditioning and heating energy. The app connects to the device via Bluetooth and allows users to open or close their blinds at the push of a button or based on sunlight, temperature or schedule. Read more:

Motorized Shades Review

Automated shades can be a great feature for any living space, but when you start looking at the market, you might be surprised how expensive outfitting a whole home can be. That said, smart shades and blinds have a lot of potential. They can make windows in hard-to-reach places more accessible, and can be important tools for the disabled or elderly. Serena Shades are pretty easy to set up. With a power drill and a couple screwdrivers, I was able to set it up within 30 minutes. The good news is, besides the Caseta Bridge, you'll only have to buy shades. No extra hubs, no extra remotes. In fact, the only reason you need the bridge is to cut down on battery usage. Read more:

Savant System in High tech home

Elite Media Solutions tied the home’s lights, thermostats, audio equipment, and surveillance cameras to a Savant home control platform, and loaded the Savant mobile app onto the owners’ iPads, some of which are mounted to the walls, and smartphones. Tapping a single button on the app, for example, triggers a housewide “All Off” command. Lights turn off, the thermostats adjust, the audio system turns deactivates, and the surveillance cameras maintain their vigil over the home and property. The app also enables the iPads and smartphones to function as intercoms. When the doorbell of the Mobotix door station is pressed, an image captured by the nearest surveillance cameras is passed to the app, and the owners can converse with the guest directly from the app. Similarly, if any family member hears a noise in the middle of the night, he or she can turn on all the outdoor lights via that Savant app. Read more:

Smart-Home Technology in FL home

The new owners of this ultra-modern Harbor Acres showplace never have to fret that their 2,000-bottle collection of fine wines will go bad. A built-in monitor in their floor-to-ceiling glass-walled wine cellar keeps the right temperature; they’re notified immediately by email if it varies by a degree. They never have to wonder, either, if their visiting college-age kids are helping themselves to a favorite chardonnay. A series of secret keypad codes gains entrance to one of the wine cellar’s four doors—each door allowing access to a different level of wine—all of them controlled via magnetic locks, and all of them on camera. “There’s a guest door, the wife door, the master of the house door, etc. Read more:

Security of Smart Homes

It is important that we keep our homes safe, and we do everything in our power to ensure the same. Automated lights that can be toggled with our iPhone, fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to warn us of incoming danger, cameras to keep a pair of eyes upon us as we sleep, there is so much that technology has to offer in terms of safeguarding our fortress. However, such efficient techniques of home automation also come with a certain amount of vulnerability. Such vulnerabilities can be plugged, leaving us free to enjoy the myriad advantages of home automation. Read more:

Designing Smart Home

Smart home connectivity is a confusing muddle for the average consumer. Works with Nest, HomeKit, Wink, Z-Wave, Zigbee, SmartThings, Brillo… These are just a handful of the platforms and standards of the smart home. But don’t worry about them. Apple, Google, Samsung and many other big tech names all want a piece of the smart home pie. And, as the genre is still finding its feet, no-one has really set the standard yet. You’ve no doubt read how the fragmentation of the smart home will be its downfall… but that’s not really the case. Many of the devices work across multiple platforms. Philips Hue lets you control your smart bulbs, officially, using Android and iOS and there are a number of third-party apps... Read more:

Home automation systems increase the appeal of home

Home automation systems that allow an owner to control lighting and shading, heating and cooling, music and video, security cameras and other functions can definitely increase the appeal of a home, said Zachary Vichinsky, a real estate sales agent. “The last home I sold, the purchaser came out and told me that his decision to purchase the property was based largely on the technology that was incorporated into the home,” Mr. Vichinsky said, noting that the house had a fully integrated Crestron home automation system. “As a second home, it was very appealing to the purchasers to be able to be coming down the highway and turn the air-conditioning and lights on in their home, or raise the temperature of the pool.” Read more:

Home automation that's open sourced

With an ever-expanding number of devices available to help you automate, protect, and monitor your home, it has never before been easier nor more tempting to try your hand at home automation. Whether you're looking to control your HVAC system remotely, integrate a home theater, protect your home from theft, fire, or other threats, reduce your energy usage, or just control a few lights, there are countless devices available at your disposal. But at the same time, many users worry about the security and privacy implications of bringing new devices into their homes. They want to control who has access to systems which control their appliances and record every moment of their everyday lives. And understandably: In an era when even your refrigerator could now be a smart device, don't you want to know if you fridge is phoning home? Read more:

Market for Smart Homes Picks Up Steam

The “smart home” movement has been brewing for quite some time. But, what exactly is a smart home? Generally, a smart home refers to a house or residence loaded with advance technological devices that aim to do one thing: make the residents’ lives a little easier. For example, one function of smart home is the owner can easily monitor and control a wide range of applications such as lighting control, access control, fire and leak detection, energy efficiency from anywhere in the world, no matter how far away, via his/her smartphones or internet. Some smart homes have replaced the conventional locks with key cards or fingerprint identification, making it harder for someone to break-in. Read more:

Home security system is best defense against burglars

Security systems are by far the most effective way to help keep burglars from targeting your home, according to the burglars themselves. This finding was the result of a study by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology. Researchers surveyed 422 incarcerated burglars across three states to find out why they targeted certain homes, and what steps homeowners can take to help deter them. Read more:

Americans fear having their home security cameras hacked

As more and more devices get connected to the Internet of Things, so their susceptibility to hacking increases too. New research from Vormetric in conjunction with Wakefield Research shows that this is a concern for many people. Most feared is the hacking of cars and home security cameras, both cited by 61 percent. In addition 52 percent thought a virtual personal assistant such as Amazon Echo would be vulnerable to hacking. Read more:

Surveillance, Remote Monitoring and other technology for your home

More and more cases of home burglary are being recorded on a daily basis. Door locks, guard dogs, and intrusion alarms aren’t getting the job done anymore and people are looking for an alternative. Fortunately, with the advent of smart home security technology, people can put their minds at ease with a system that actually works. The convenience of smart home security measures is endless. From monitoring rooms to digitally locking your home, there is no end to the comfort and security you can enjoy with this technology. And if you want a crash course, check out these four technologies that can help you feel safer than ever. Read more:

The benefits of a smart home

Smart homes make life easier and more convenient. Who wouldn’t love being able to control lighting, entertainment and temperature from their couch - or from anywhere for that matter? Whether you’re at work or on vacation, smart devices alert you to what’s going on at home and help you stay connected and protected. “Since inventing the world’s first residential smoke alarm, First Alert has been at the forefront of advancement in home safety technology,” says Tom Russo of First Alert. “Our Onelink portfolio of smart products goes beyond traditional perceptions of safety products and ushers in a new era of interconnectivity between a home’s comfort level and people’s safety and lifestyle preferences.” Read more:

Voice-controlled fully automated home

I'm talking about the technology that lets us turn our lights on, control our home heating, start our car, find programs on TV  - all available by using our voice to control these functions. You also can do your banking, get a wake-up call, order a pizza, call for an Uber ride or even summon up an audio book to be read to you just by talking to a machine. And that's just the beginning. The buzz is that this is technology's Next Big Thing Read more:

Smart Home sprinkler systems

I tried many Smart Home sprinkler systems; none have the performance of the Rachio Smart Sprinkler system. With its simple setup, including connecting it to your existing Wi-Fi network, you’ll have your lawn watered for however long you want in as many zones as you choose. Full disclosure, I’m not an electrician and I’m not a plumber. But doing this was as simple as plugging a lamp into a wall. If you have an existing controller, photograph the wire connections before removing. Then follow the Rachio instructions on connecting the existing wires to the new device. Read more:

Smart lighting cuts energy costs

Atlas Global Solutions, an international protective packaging company, cut energy costs by 75% by upgrading the plant’s lighting with smart LED lights, according to Network World. The facility installed a smart lighting system from Digital Lumens, said Atlas Global Process Engineer Frank Tavares. The system enabled Atlas to: Set preferred lighting times. Atlas’ facility operates in shifts 24/7, but only uses certain parts of the facility at certain times of the day. Tavares said the company sets time preferences to control the lighting in certain areas based on the shift and time of day, which helps reduce overall energy usage. Read more:

Smart home companies integrate

Until recently, it didn’t make sense for smart home companies to integrate with each other. From a user experience, the types of platforms previously available had limitations that required the user to set up complicated rules in order to provide adequate and useful functionality. While this was great for early adopters, it was not ideal for the mass market. Now, HomeKit and Google Home will serve as two easy-to-use options that are certainly more user friendly than what’s previously been available. Integration also didn’t really make sense up until now because there were very few best practices in place. Read more:

Butlers master Smart Home

“There is no silver tray anymore,” said David N. Youdovin, chief executive of Hire Society, a household staffing firm based in New York. “If you can’t set up a secure wireless network or sync an iPad or use the Crestron or Savant, it’s hard to be considered for these jobs,” he said, referring to two home-automation brands. Granted, even the nonrich struggle with increasingly complicated home technologies. But in recent years, the rich have taken smart homes to a new level — and assigned their household staffs to keep them running. Weber Tysvaer, estate manager to several rich families, said one home he worked in had so many motherboards and servers in the basement, the connecting wires formed giant, multicolored columns along the walls. Read more:

Smart Windows may replace shades

Low-cost window tinting which automatically adapts for color temperatures, brightness, and privacy opacity could be a reality, thanks to new technology developed by the University of Cincinnati and industry partners. This patent-pending invention in tunable’ window tintings goes byond blinds and existing smart windows. Most critically, the structure that makes these smart tunable windows possible is highly simple to manufacture. Both shading and privacy could be controlled electronically at the same time. Read more:

Smarter, Unified Control Systems for Intelligent Buildings

As momentum towards smarter buildings continues to grow, so will the complexity of managing the multiple systems found within these facilities. Building owners and operators therefore stand to benefit from a solution that can simplify the process, all the while ensuring energy efficiency and occupant comfort. Convergence allows for the successful combination, all under one control system, of the numerous functions within a building including HVAC, lighting, shading, card access, video surveillance, and power monitoring. In applying this concept to a building, one stands to benefit from increased simplicity, occupant appeal and significant energy and cost savings. As the industry increasingly experiences these advantages, it is clear that the prevalence of smarter, more unified building control systems will only continue to expand throughout the world of building automation and energy management. Read more:

Remembering Lutron founder

Joel Spira was 88 years old and had spent more than five decades quietly helming Lutron Electronics Co. Spira was a physicist with a nimble, fertile mind whose products are in the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History alongside inventions by Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. Chad Paul, president and CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania at Lehigh University, hailed Spira as a technology pioneer and brilliant entrepreneur. "His inventions transformed the global lighting control industry with new technologies that save energy, harvest sunlight, and substantially improve human environments," Paul said. "He will be greatly missed." Read more:

Intelligent lighting control market developments

The key trend of lighting control market is the tremendous increment in the demand of intelligent lighting control in the commercial buildings. There are various factors driving the growth of global Intelligent lighting control market such as the advantages provided by Intelligent lighting control system over the traditional switch operated lighting systems; it is more economic and energy efficient, it provides better experience to the users as compare to the traditional lighting system, other drivers include robust demand from the residential sectors, declining price of light emitting diode source of light gives rise to the adoption of intelligent lighting control system Read more:

Best smart bulbs and smart lights for your connected home

Some key benefits to using LED rather than incandescent bulbs are that they use less energy, produce less heat, and last much longer. All smart lights use LEDs. Of course, smart lighting is also pretty cool. Some of the bulbs we've listed below can set mood lighting for the different rooms in your house, be controlled from afar or scheduled to turn on and off at preset times from your phone or tablet, and even to function as an alarm, gently waking you in the morning. But there are some down sides, too. A problem with LED is that it's still much more expensive than the technology it replaces. Yes, you'll make savings on your energy bill and in buying fewer replacement bulbs, but how long will it take you to return your investment and start seeing those savings? Read more:

Savant at Smart Buildings

Smart Buildings 2016, is a two-day event dedicated to showcasing the latest integrated building technology. This year’s event featured a number of leading companies exhibiting the latest solutions from the smart home market. Leading home control and automation company, Savant, will showcase its range of connected home technology and launch its new Savant Pro app and Savant Remote. From adjusting lighting to controlling entertainment, Savant aims to change the way we enjoy homes and create a more interconnected, responsive environment. Read more:

Home automation hub or universal remote control?

In June, Logitech announced the Harmony Pro, a new universal remote and home automation controller for the custom integration channel. For perspective on the product, I spoke with an industry friend — an integrator-turned-home-automation manufacturer — about his experiences with Harmony. This friend has tried all of the DIY-type smart home hubs, including Revolv (he liked it!), Wink, SmartThings, Lowe’s Iris, Staples Connect, Vera (MiOS) and apparently every other Internet of Things device du jour. Calling it “a phenomenal product,” he says Harmony is his go-to remote and home controller... Read more:

Savant Remote can now be purchased

Designed in collaboration with award-winning San Francisco design studio Ammunition, led by renowned industrial designer Robert Brunner, the Savant Remote addresses the major sources of frustration with traditional and universal remotes, controlling more than 380,000 of today’s most popular entertainment devices, as well as lighting. Using voice control or the elegant touchscreen, users can easily switch between favorite channels, services (cable, DirecTV, Sonos, Apple TV, Blu-ray, etc.) or activate their Savant Scenes. The Remote also offers a new level of customization for users, providing personalized profiles so friends and family can access their own favorite channels or Scenes with a tap or voice command. Savant Lamp Control delivers fully controllable lighting and dimming capabilities, allowing users to combine lighting and entertainment to set the mood instantly. Read more:

Home theater that doesn’t overtake your living room

To get the big-screen effect, a typical projector needs to be positioned a fair distance from the wall. In cramped living quarters, that often requires perching the projector on a high shelf or mounting it to the ceiling—a real eyesore and a cabling nightmare. In cavernous great rooms, projectors pose a different problem: Anyone who crosses the room winds up casting a shadow over the image and is likely to be blinded by the projector’s beam. “Short-throw” models can create a surprisingly large image when placed just a few feet—or, in the case of ultra-short-throw versions, a few inches—from a wall, with no compromise in video quality. Read more:

Home Theater upgrades

4K TVs look spectacular because they deliver four times the resolution of 1080p HDTV — instead of 2 million pixels that make up the image, we’re talking more than 8 million. There’s so much detail in the picture it’s almost like being there. Secondly, thanks to falling prices and more 4K content, there’s never been a better time to invest in 4K TV (otherwise known as Ultra High Definition or UHD). 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. Read more:

Great home theater sound without wires

If you're seriously into movies, you've thought about setting up a home theater in your house to try to replicate the movie theater experience without all the distractions. The movie theater experience involves a TV or projector showing the film and perhaps a home theater surround sound system. My first home theater system was called a Home Theater In A Box, which included a cheap receiver and 5 cheap speakers - two front, two surround and a center channel speaker with no subwoofer. Until recently, if your house wasn't pre-wired for home theater speakers, you were stuck trying to find creative ways to run wires around your living room baseboards or you drilled holes in your walls or ceiling to run wires through the attic. Read more :

Home monitoring and security for seniors

What homeowner, young or old, isn't interested in affordable and functional home improvements that can be enjoyed for years to come? For seniors 65 and older, well-thought-out additions or upgrades are necessary for continued comfort and safety. Some monitoring and security options that address functionality and living safely include home automation systems and Smart Home technologies, security systems, in-home health and activity monitoring to detect falls, and cell phone apps that control thermostats, lighting and other systems in the home. Read more:

Smart Home expands to yard

In Southern California, where the drought continues and water supplies are shrinking, such tech-friendly systems could be crucial to conserving enough water for a growing population. . "We live in a modified desert," said Witting, a fish biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Long Beach. "Yet I often see sprinklers running in the rain. It drives me crazy. Water is not something we should take for granted." Witting's system, designed and manufactured by Blossom, an Irvine firm, is one of the latest inventions in the exploding universe of home automation. In the connected home, heating, air conditioning, lighting, alarm systems and appliances can be remotely controlled through software. Read more:

Families benefit from installing Smart Homes

Whether the children are leaving for school or coming home from soccer practice, they’re constantly in and out of the house. There’s a good chance that your children will occasionally forget to lock the door or will lock themselves out. Smart locks can eliminate these safety risks. For example, Yale Keyless Deadbolt lock enhances the security of your front door and allows you to control your locks remotely from anywhere. Instead of physical keys, each family member is assigned a unique user code. You can add up to 25 user codes, which is a great feature if you regularly have friends or family stay over at your house. You can also enable an automatic re-lock function, which is a great security feature when you have children. Read more:

Consumers are purchasing security systems for their home automation features

Trusted Alarm recently discovered a shifting trend in the purchasing of home security systems. Homeowners and business owners alike are choosing to use security companies as primary suppliers of home and office automation systems. Rather than trying to set up complicated non user-friendly systems, homeowners and business owners are opting to turn towards larger companies such as Protect America, Vivint, ADT to streamline the process of automation. Home automation allows homeowners to remotely control their home from a variety of devices. Imagine during a commute to work that it is remembered someone forgot to lock the front door, turn off the lights, close the garage, or turn off the air conditioning. Read more:

Home Automation System Covering Home Security

We cover an overview of Google's six patents relating to a future home security system that will eventually be a part of a greater home automation system. Google's first security system patent filing is titled "Home Security System with Automatic Context-Sensitive Transition to Different Modes." According to Google, "A home security system may operate in two modes that may be generally referred to as an "away" mode or a "home" mode. The home security system may operate in an "away" mode, for example, when the occupants of the home are away for a period of time no more than 24 hours at a time (e.g., at work during the day). While operating in the away mode, the entry points for the home may be monitored for intrusion. Read more:

Enhancing Security with Smart Home

Market research firm Parks Associates, predictsthat an increase in smart home controllers will help drive the increased adoption of home security systems—moving the penetration rate of home security systems past the 20 percent mark up to 26 percent by 2020. Is is estimated that by 2020 more than 50 percent of U.S. broadband households will have a smart home controller, up from 13 percent in 2015, and 24 percent will have an IP camera, up from just under 10 percent in 2015. “The addition of home controls, interactive services, as well as the addition of new players, expand the value proposition and attract new people to the security market,” Read more:

Place for wireless in smart home

The connected home of tomorrow provides a vast number of opportunities for developers, device manufacturers and service providers. But how much opportunity will exist for mobile network operators is still unclear. That thought occurred to me as I toured a connected home here in Denver a couple weeks ago. The 110-year-old bungalow was inconspicuously outfitted with Comcast's Xfinity Home offering and sported at least eight connected gadgets including security cameras, thermostats and a hub that essentially consisted of a dedicated tablet. Read more:

Keeping hackers from Smart Home

On Wednesday, the privacy-focused non-profit Guardian Project announced a new technique it’s developed to apply Tor’s layers of encryption and network stealth to protecting so-called “Internet of things” or “smart home” devices. That growing class of gadgets, ranging from refrigerators to lightbulbs to security cameras, are connected to the Internet to make possible new forms of remote management and automation. They also, as the security research community has repeatedly demonstrated, enable a new breed of over-the-Internet attacks, such as the rash of hackers harassing infants via baby monitors or the potential for hackers to steal your Gmail password from your fridge. Read more:

Outside of your house is smart too

Featuring an all-glass lens for improved image quality, the connected, 1080p Full HD camera, which also boasts a night vision mode for after-dark monitoring, will keep an eye out for unwanted visitors, relaying footage to your smartphone and alerting you to suspicious movements when you're away from home. As well as letting you see what's going on outside your home, featuring an integrated mic and speaker array, the Nest Cam Outdoor lets you hear what's happening, and even let's you talk to anyone who might be at your door. Read more:

Smart home tending towards security and safety

Smart home popularity appears to be trending away from appliances and into security and safety devices. Smart locks, air quality and filtration, and energy management have seen a rise in sales over the past two years. That is good news for Notion, August, and other security and safety providers, though the firms may face similar issues when it comes to launching their second or third generation device. Read more:

Smart-home with a video doorbell by Ring & ADT

Ring has a 1080p camera built into it, so when someone rings the doorbell, you can check who it is. You can also use the two-way audio feature to talk with the person -- even if you're not home. With this new partnership, you'll also be able to toggle security features from the Ring iOS and Android app if, say, you see the person at the door is an unwanted guest or you aren't available to answer. Essentially, Ring's partnership with ADT makes its security features more actionable. You can lock your front door, arm your system, turn on the lights -- all from the Ring app. Read more:

Smart Home Lightining Options

Though apps try to make the setup easy, there’s still a lot to think about. To get the most out of a smart home, you need to assign lights and appliances to specific rooms on the app. Then you need to enable automation through the app – figuring out which devices do what when you say “good morning” or “good night.” It isn’t too difficult for tech enthusiasts to figure out, but it could be challenging for folks who want things that “just work.” In theory, I could just have the lights come on automatically when I open the front door, which has a motion sensor attached. But that sensor is tied to Samsung’s system, while the lights are with Apple’s. And that coffee maker? Read more:

Bluetooth Smart's range will increase up to four times

The range of Bluetooth Smart will increase up to four times from the current 50 meters “to transform smart home and infrastructure applications” and deliver “an extended, more robust connection for full-home or outdoor use cases,” the group said. Data speeds will double to 2Mbps from 1 Mbps without increasing energy consumption, enabling “faster data transfers in critical applications. With mesh networking, Bluetooth devices will create hub-less home-automation networks “that can cover an entire building or home, opening up home and industrial automation applications,” the group added. Read more:

Savant targets mass market

When it comes to come automation, most experts compare Savant’s software to Apple’s. In my tests the company has plenty of software features that put it above the competition’s when it comes to making it easy to use. For example, the remote uses Bluetooth to wirelessly connect, which means it doesn’t need line of sight with your television or cable box to change a channel. Also, Savant has developed a stand-alone wireless IR puck that can sit inside a cabinet which means that not only can you leave your cabinets closed and still control your receivers, but also that you don’t have to wire the IR extensions devices into gear. Read more:

Benefits of Installing Motorized Shades

Sometimes we don’t even think about how shades can impact our lifestyles. If you have trouble sleeping at night, evaluate your bedroom. Is there an abundance of light flooding your sleep space? Installing blackout shades may be better than what any doctor might prescribe, as science tells us that melatonin levels drop when it is bright, and increase when it is dark. The proper shade can lead to a solid night’s sleep. Blackout shades also work well in conference rooms at the work place, easing eye strain by allowing employees to better see material that is being presented on screens. Read more:

Smart Curtain control

Some days you might want to flood your house with sunlight. Other days, you might want to hibernate in the darkness. With automated window treatments, the decision is literally at your fingertips. Automating your blinds, curtains or shutters can also help keep your home’s interior at a comfortable temperature (blocking that late afternoon sun!) and give you privacy in an instant from the outside world. Shades can be set to open at sunrise and close automatically at sunset, or whatever time you prefer. Read more:

Santa Barbara Home Has Indoor & Outdoor Automation

When a Santa Barbara homeowner began remodeling his 1500-square foot home, he sought to create a harmonious space that seamlessly transitions from indoors to outdoors without missing a beat.

Smart Home winner has Smart Surveillance

While the homeowners are closing the shades — or leaving the task to the Crestron system — they can peek in on their waterfront property. Wicked Smart Homes positioned four Visualint IP cameras strategically to capture all of the goings-on — be it at the front door or the back yard by the boat dock. Wicked Smart Homes set up the time-of-day parameters for the cameras to follow while they were installing the technology into the home, so there’s no need for the homeowner to tinker with the settings; it all happens automatically. Read more:

Security worry among potential Smart Home customers

It’s true that if something is on the internet, it’s vulnerable to hackers. Anyone who claims otherwise just isn’t being realistic. On an individual basis, though, this fear is overblown. It’s true that if the right vulnerabilities surface at the right time, a dedicated hacker might be able to disable your security system and even open your Smart Lock. But it’s difficult to do – much more difficult than breaking into a house the old-fashioned way. Similarly, someone could theoretically mess with your sprinklers, but who’s going to bother doing that? Read more:

Automated lighting and motorized shades are trending like never before

Homeowners nowadays are more accustomed to automated technology, and features in every room to control audio, visual, and lighting equipment. And, with smart technology making life simpler than ever with a touch of a button, easy-to-use home automation control apps from a variety of manufacturers can suit any homeowner’s needs Automated homes that run off smart technology are much simpler to live in when the right technology is being used – and thanks to 30+ years of forging exclusive partnerships with all the top brands like Hunter Douglas, BTX, and Lutron ... Read more:

4-year-old meets home automation

My wife and I bought two lamps for our bedroom last year. They are nice, but they are not easy to turn on from the bed. I bought wireless remotes for the lamps, but they misfired too much (I would turn on the lamp on my wife’s side instead of mine). I learned about Philips Hue. They seemed like a perfect solution for us. You can control the lights with your phone, no more misfires. Eventually, I realized you need to open an app every time you want to turn a light on Read more:

Pella integrates shades with Savant

Pella launched its Insynctive smart shades in January, making this wireless shade entry the newest on our list. What Pella brings to the party is its expertise in windows: the only smart shade supplier with its between-the-glass shades or blinds – its Designer Series – for double-glass windows. (Yes, they also do standard room-sized wireless shades and blinds.) Through its plug-in Pella Bridge, this shade integrates with a number of existing smart home systems: Wink, Savant, Nexia and most Z-Wave systems. There are also Pella Insynctive products including a garage door, bolt lock, door and window sensors that round out its smart home system. Pella also appeals to the smart energy home owner. Read more: