Showing posts from August, 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: