Showing posts from July, 2016

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:

Homebuilders now are offering automated homes built for you

Adding home automation elements during construction isn't new. What's changed in the last few years is that the prices have dropped dramatically (from tens of thousands to about $3,000) and the systems can be run from Apple's HomeKit or a voice assistant like Alexa instead of proprietary hardware. Providing homeowners turnkey solutions gives these companies an additional source of revenue. But, it also shows that the current wave of connected home devices and platforms is finally reaching a level of maturity that will convince people that home automation is actually useful. Read more:

Smart Homes help in reducing energy consumption & provide safety for home

Home automation is growing in popularity among house owners owing to decreasing cost and simplicity in functioning of home automation systems. This has fueled the growth of global home automation market. Moreover, home automation systems helps reducing energy consumption and provided improved safety for home. Home automation systems can effectively prevents the criminal activities such as robbery, theft,. Read more:

Control4 views Home as gateway for home automation

With Siri integration, which allows the user to turn off their lights, close the blinds, lock the doors, etc., Apple is morphing its virtual assistant into an Alexa Lite of sorts, with its sights set on controlling more of the user’s home. The move also puts Apple in the company of platforms like Control4 and Crestron who’ve made it their goal to give consumers a single platform where they can control all of their connected devices, the laundry list of which will look awfully familiar to those we mentioned a few lines up. What Apple brings to the table, though, is a platform that is familiar, perhaps simpler, and doesn’t require yet another third-party application to be installed on the user’s device. Not to mention the fact that the app comes from a company with one of the most recognizable names in the world at the moment. Read more:

Deako’s smart home lighting system in new construction homes

Deako’s hook is its price: rather than rewiring the whole house, its smart light switches can be installed along with existing systems, making them cheaper than many whole-house systems. CEO Derek Richardson said the company will begin beta testing in September, but its main debut will come next year. Deako has signed contracts with builders to be implemented in about 10 percent of all new homes built in Seattle next year. Any of the touch-screen light switches can be used to turn on a pre-set “scene” in the house — for example, a group of lighting actions might dim a room or turn on lights in only one part of the home. Read more:

Smart and simple home lighting

There are basically two ways to install smart lighting in your home. You can install a smart switch, or you can install smart light bulbs. The problem with smart bulbs surfaces when you install them in lamps or sockets that are controlled by the dumb switch on the wall. Turn off the switch and you’ll never be able to control the bulb with an app on your smartphone or tablet, because no electricity is flowing to the bulb. Smart switches are the better alternative, except that most require a central hub to control them, and—unless you’re comfortable dealing with live wires—an electrician to install them. If you’re a renter, you can forget about smart switches altogether. Read more:

Google shows off a new smart-home speaker

The company announced Google Home, an Internet-connected speaker that listens for your voice commands to play music or control lights and thermostats in the home. It is reminiscent of Amazon’s Echo and will be available later this year for a yet-unannounced price. Google’s bare-bones entry into the still-nascent field of virtual reality came two years ago when it unveiled a cheap headset made out of cardboard. The company is poised to get more serious, given far more sophisticated options available for sale. Read more:

California Smart Home designed by techie

Wired with many of the most up-to-date smart home technologies, the structure did everything short of putting up a lawn sign and chatting up potential buyers: blinds, shades, and doors popped open, the audio system played string quartet covers of popular songs, and the televisions even broadcast a drone video of the home’s exterior on loop, pulled from the building’s networked hard drive. After hosting potential buyers, at 5 p.m., the entire home would close down and assume night mode. The owner believes smart home tech should be responsive, not just flashy. Renovated and redesigned over the last eight years, it showcases his take on cutting-edge technologies, from lighting to security. Read more:

Santa Barbara Smart Home on Sale

The mansion’s lighting, heat, airconditioning, window shades, and door locks can be controlled remotely by tablet or smartphone. Even the height of the fire in the fire place operates on the system. The home also has three built-in aquariums – one of which is specifically for jellyfish – that can be programmed to automatically change the water and monitor water temperature and quality. Read more:

Home Security with Canary

Canary is a good solution for tech-savvy individuals. The devices start at $166.94, and users can stream real time video in their home. Canary alerts your phone when it detects movement (there is an option to disable that feature when you come home). Once you get that mobile alert, you can instantly look through the camera and even sound a siren and alert the authorities. You can view the recordings for up to 24 hours, but if you need the video past that time, you will just have to pay a small fee. Best of all, you don't have to deal with a pushy salesperson or need to get it installed. I love that you don't have to rush to a keypad to disable the alarm, either. You just plug it in and connect it to your secure Wi-Fi. Read more:

Alarms to make apartments safer

“People still imagine security as a traditional hard-wired system. But there’s so much more flexibility and so much available to homeowners and renters alike.” Expect to pay anywhere from $400 to more than $1,000 for the alarm and installation. Monthly monitoring fees — the ones that keep you connected to a monitoring station in case the alarms go off — can range from $20 to $50. Wireless alarms operate via your internet service and can incorporate things like window sensors, panic buttons and duress codes that will alert the monitoring station that you’re in trouble. Read more:

No-fuss home monitoring

It doesn’t matter if you’re away from your home for a day or a month, sooner or later you’re going to wonder if everything is just as you left it back at your humble abode. An Internet-connected camera can act as your eyes and ears when you’re away, giving you some much needed peace of mind for a minimum of investment. Unlike most smart home gadgets, the market for remote camera systems is already packed with options. Of the dozens of potential choices, Blink ($100 per camera) is one of the most user-friendly. Blink is totally wireless, and its built-in battery lasts about a year, which makes it very low-maintenance. Read more:

Protecting your home from burglars

According to one major alarm company, it costs just pennies a day to prevent a break-in. But the price of alarm services can quickly add up: A premium system will cost you $600 to install, plus $500 a year for monitoring. So the real question is: Are these systems really worth the money? According to Simon Hakim, an economics professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, home security systems almost never catch burglars. After analyzing the data, Hakim found the average police response time to a triggered home alarm is between one and four hours: so there’s plenty of time for perpetrators to flee. But despite the abysmal record when it comes to actually catching thieves, alarms can play a significant a role in preventing break-ins, explains Hakim. Read more:

Memodo concept of Smart Home

The smart home of the future will likely be controlled with your voice, which is why companies like Google and Amazon are putting so much effort into getting their ears into your living room. But voice control feels impersonal. It's disconnected from the physicality of the objects with which we have intimate connections in our day-to-day lives. Memodo is a new take on how the smart home of the future could be controlled. Instead of using your voice to dim the lights and Netflix-and-chill, you place physical totems representing those actions down in a specific place. So, for example, throwing your keys into the key bowl when you get home could kick up the jams, or turn on the A/C. Read more:

63 per cent will own some sort of smart technology inside their home.

Smart technology can range from having speakers in your walls and ceilings that automatically connect to a smartphone to allowing you to monitor your kids while you’re away. Check on your sleeping baby, or peek in on your babysitter while you are at work right from your smartphone. Another extremely popular device is a smart thermostat. Everyone knows Canada is known for chilly winters and humid summers. This thermostat works to create a home with the perfect indoor temperature. The smart thermostat follows the movements inside a home, studies what rooms are used the most and at what times to create an auto-adjusting temperature schedule. Read more:

Automated Homes technology in Region homes

Houses can be set up so the homeowner can unlock the front door with their phone, watch security footage on their phone, or get a text alert if the thermostat drops too low, which might indicate a problem with the furnace. Window shades can be programmed to open when sunlight hits them. Homeowners can use their phones to play music in different rooms, adjust the temperature from the couch, or turn the lights on before they get back so they're not walking into a dark house. A mood button in the bedroom dims the lights, puts on pre-selected music and ignites the fireplace. Read more:

Controlling the Connected Home

Most AV control systems manufacturers now offer a full breadth of automated technology, including lighting control, energy management, automated shades, and security to help drive dealers to succeed with more than just audio and video. “Bringing in products and services like shades, security, and IT allows the dealer to become a one-stop- shop for their customers and also increases the complete invoice total.” said Paul Williams, Control4 VP of security and communications products. The range of potential product categories is really up to the dealer and to what extent they want their services to reach. “Energy management, solar panels, smart appliances, HVAC systems, shades, lighting controls–all of these categories should be on the dealers’ list to become specialists of,” said Tom Barnett, Crestron director of residential marketing. Read more:

Increasing number of "smart" household appliances that can be controlled remotely

Sensor-based systems also can have security and healthcare applications as they allow monitoring of door use and movement through a home. One sensor-based system, Mother, uses motion-sensing "cookies" (not the information-collecting files certain websites will deposit into your computer). Up to 24 of them can be attached to track movement around various surfaces. All these smart things promise ultimate convenience, but there are some problems. First, each can require a separate controlling app. That results in "app fatigue," where your phone or tablet requires so many apps to get things done that convenience is questionable. Enter the hub, a control center that can run groups of smart appliances... Read more:

Automated home: control from your phone

"People don't realize how often they turn lights on and off. It adds to a sense of security if you come home to a lighted house, especially in the winter when many of us leave for work when it's dark and come home in darkness," A Lutron remote control lighting package, consisting of a network bridge, two dimmers with wall plates and two remotes, retails for $340, not including installation. While smart devices can simplify life and provide additional security, he says the devices may not all utilize the same source code or language, and the fact that each device has its own app ... Read more:

Home security via smart phone app

Viper Connect, for iPhone and Android, is an app that monitors homes and cars. The company supplies a do-it-yourself security system with motion sensors and video cameras, which can be placed around the home, and watched remotely. "Traditionally unless a home had already been wired for security and automation, it was difficult and expensive for people to get the advantage of home security," said James Turner, vice president of product development at Viper, which is owned by Directed Electronics, in Vista, California, Read more:

Locks in Smart Home Security

A more broadly appealing kind of smart security comes in the form of smart locks. Dozens of companies are coming up with innovations in this field, but one of the hottest is lock-maker Kwikset, whose Kevo system incorporates regular metal keys, automobile-style key fobs and smartphone control. Kevo is interesting because it can be used like a traditional lock, but it also allows you to control access to your home, no matter where you are. The smartphone functionality works through encrypted eKeys, which have assignable user levels and can be shared between users. Read more:

Centralized home technology grows in popularity

Builders of high-end homes must now seriously consider integrating lighting, heating and audio-visual controls into a centralized system in order to ensure its appeal to the luxury homeowner, said McKenzie, who communicates with developers and contractors to continue expanding the use of technology in the local market. The systems eliminate banks of light switches and dials, make bulky electronic cable and stereo boxes seemingly disappear and give homeowners an added feeling of authority over the thousands of square feet they call home. Read more:

Testing smart-home products in CNET Smart Home

First, we'll conduct all of our smart-home reviews from the house going forward. Now we can test pretty much any connected household device, from robot vacuums to water heaters, in a real residential environment. We'll see how the tech performs by itself, as well as how it behaves when we try to integrate it with other smart-home products. Can you really get your smart window shades, your lights, your coffee maker and your music all synced up into some kind of morning routine, for example? Would anyone want that? Read more:

Savant's remote connects Sonos with Apple TV

Why a remote control? Do you foresee a future where home automation is entirely hands-free? First, we felt we could help simplify the entertainment experience—and we’ve done that; you can switch easily between all your devices, and set up personal profiles. Second, it’s familiar. We’ve found that people are more willing to adopt new technology if it’s in a recognizable form. If you add Savant Lamp Control to a Remote, people can start to get an idea about the possibilities of home automation technology. Read more:

Millions of Smart Home Controllers in Europe

"The security industry is the leading channel for the smart home market in Europe," said Tom Kerber, Director, Research, Home Controls & Energy, Parks Associates. "However, this is changing as companies such as Samsung begin embedding smart home controllers into their smart TVs and appliances, driving substantial growth in the adoption of smart home controllers globally. At CONNECTIONS™ Europe, we will explore these shifts in the IoT, connected CE, and smart home markets and their implications for Europe and worldwide." Read more:

Vivint Emerges As Big Smart Home Player

Vivint has grown into one of the world’s biggest and most successful “smart home” businesses, the most visible component to the average consumer of the burgeoning Internet of Things. Still private, Vivint was valued at over $2 billion in late 2012, and it hit $650 million in revenue last year, 16% more than the prior year. It recently attracted a $100 million investment co-led by billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel, who recently made headlines for secretly funding Hulk Hogan’s privacy lawsuit against Gawker. In contrast to Silicon Valley’s gadget-obsessed innovators, who tend to agonize over product design and tech specs, Vivint has succeeded on the sheer power of its sales network. Its door-to-door salespeople spend long days proselytizing the benefits of the smart home to anyone who will listen. Read more:

Research and home automation forecast

Home automation can be termed as controlling of home appliances automatically and remotely through intelligent terminals. With the increasing awareness of protection and security from theft and energy saving the market for home automation is poised to increase. The home automation includes switching off/on the air conditioning, dimming the light, automatic home appliances, managing cameras and entry gates. The main area of focus is residential, and commercial. Read more:

Why they call them Smart Homes, not Easy Homes

Smart home technology is a catchall term that includes household appliances and devices that connect to the internet, so you can see and control them remotely using a phone, tablet or computer. That can mean being able to turn on a single lamp, or controlling and monitoring almost everything in a house, including heating and cooling, security cameras, lawn sprinklers, televisions, stereos, robotic vacuums, a doorbell, door locks, lights, air quality, fire alarms, baby monitors and more. It means you’ll always have the answer to the question, “Did I leave the stove on?” Read more: