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.
Cree, maker of both LED components, as well as commercial and consumer lighting products, has introduced three new high-output LED flood lamps. These new bulbs are designed for homes with high ceilings, and for those who simply desire more light.
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".