All in Home Automation News
While this year’s CEDIA Expo certainly showcased a tremendous number of high-end connected home products and services, there wasn’t much that was worthy of me thinking “wow!” There were newer versions of control systems, with some new features of course, 8K video was seemingly everywhere…and in some respects—aside from price tags—it started to get hard to tell the difference between the high-end and DIY sides of the market. More on that later.
You could argue that the new augmented reality demos were pretty exciting, or that Tim Cook as as a "memoji" was pretty funny, but for people who want to simplify their lives and want HomeKit to be more flexible...the new Siri Shortcuts were the big win at Apple's 2018 Worldwide Developers Conference.
Google kicked off its annual developer conference, Google I/O, this morning with a two-hour keynote that ranged from Waymo self-driving cars to new Google Photos features to improvements in Google Assistant. And across all of it was a central theme: artificial intelligence, now being baked-in to nearly every Google product and service. While there were a number of improvements for the smart home, they felt a little lackluster. Also, there was absolutely zero information from Nest, a Google subsidiary.
While I didn't post officially here on smarterhomelife.com regarding the content "pause", I definitely needed to post something new here in 2018. As I talked about in the Thank You video, I've had to take a break from, and re-structure Smarter Home Life. But that certainly doesn't mean it's over. Smarter Home Life's content will slowly return in the coming weeks and months, but for now, let's talk about CES.
Squashing the rumors, Google introduced a smaller version of the Google Home at its #MadeByGoogle event, and also included a surprise Google Home Max smart speaker.
Amazon introduced Alexa Calling and Messaging back in May, but it only worked between Alexa devices and the Alexa app. Today, Amazon is rolling out actual outbound phone calls from Alexa devices, with inbound calls coming soon via a companion Echo Connect device.
Amazon announced a plethora of new devices today, ranging from new members of its Echo family to fun light-up “buzzer” buttons to a new Amazon Fire TV with 4K HDR. This announcement almost felt like Nest’s mega-announcement of new products last week, but Amazon won on number of devices announced.
Just in time for "iPhone Season", LIFX has completed the work to make their smart bulbs work with Apple's HomeKit platform and the Siri voice assistant. Apple and LIFX fans, rejoice!
Today, Nest introduced more products in one press event than ever in its history, firmly planting its flag into the security portion of the connected home. Revealing the new Nest Cam IQ outdoor security camera, Nest Hello video doorbell, and Nest Secure alarm system, Nest erased ideas that the company "wasn't working on anything new".
Residential smart lock leader August Home introduced a new family of products this week, improving on its popular line of retrofit smart locks and security products with new models and new features. August Smart Lock Pro and August Doorbell Cam Pro become the new top-tier offerings, while the new August Smart Lock comes with new features at a lower price.
It’s been a pretty busy last few weeks in the world of the smart home, from Philips Hue’s Fifth Anniversary to Control4’s new “DIY” features, all of us here at Smarter Home Life are looking forward to this year’s holiday gadget season.
Well-known gadget maker Logitech introduced the Circle 2 home security camera earlier this summer and promised HomeKit support, and yesterday they made good on their promise with a software update.
Getting an odd message of "Hi, I need an upgrade" or similar on your Google Home when you try to ask it for something? Google is pushing out an update that, well, needs a little bit of assistance before you can take advantage of new features for your smart speaker.
Nest has finally confirmed rumors that it was working on a new thermostat…introducing the new, lower-priced Nest Thermostat E. It has most of the features of the flagship Nest Learning Thermostat, but comes in a plastic case with a unique, frosted display.
After promises and several delays, Chamberlain became the first company to ship a HomeKit-compatible garage door opener system, er, add-on “bridge” device: The MyQ Home Bridge.
Ring, the company that originally just made smart video doorbells, continues to expand its line of connected security cameras with the “spotlight cam”, a more compact version of its Floodlight Cam that debuted at CES 2017 earlier this year.
August Home announced today that it’s raised $25 million in Series C funding. This increases the total funding that the smart home company has achieved to $75 million over the past few years. August says the additional funds will be used to expand their operations and further extend their products and services. In the crowded smart home space, and especially the popular smart lock segment, the company with a solid product, business plan and excellent marketing strategy will usually win.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Microsoft announced yesterday via YouTube that Johnson Controls had “reinvented the thermostat” and teased its new “GLAS” thermostat in a lifestyle-focused video showcasing the device’s features and beauty.
The iPhone as the “Ultimate Digital Device” as coined by Steve Jobs in 2007 became much, much more than even he could have predicted. Today, the iPhone (and modern smartphones) has powerful apps, voice control, proximity automation, the list goes on. And all of those features, based in a hand-held device, have largely solved the decades-old challenges of creating a (real) smart home.
The rumor mill ground to a halt and the long wait ended this morning, actually this afternoon, as Apple officially unveiled the HomePod: its high-end audio and smart speaker for the home.