Hot Stories

Home automation's next big opportunity: Controlling the water heater

Submitted on 09/29/14, 05:29 AM | Click Here for the full article: Network World

Home automation's next big opportunity: Controlling the water heaterHome automation's next big opportunity: Controlling the water heater

Rheem, one of the leading manufacturers of water heaters in the U.S., has just launched a Wi-Fi module for electric and gas water heaters that lets you monitor the performance of the device, control its energy usage and be warned about leaks or other potentially costly malfunctions. Part of its new EcoNet Home Comfort technology that will control all Rheem HVAC and water heating devices, the Wi-Fi Module for Water Heaters is a good example of the unification of green technology and home automation industries.

But, the control possible using Rheem's free EcoNet app is the best example to date of the intersection of energy savings with home automation. Responsible for up to 18% of a home's energy use, a water heater just sits there 24/7, heating and reheating water to a set temperature. With the Wi-Fi water module attached, it can now be programmed from your smartphone.
 
Using the Rheem app to set schedules based on your lifestyle and usage needs -- and being able to quickly change things on the fly -- the module makes it possible to save energy without inconveniencing you. So if you have it programmed to cool down during the day while you’re at work, but then unexpected get the day off, you can override your normal schedule in a snap. Heading out of town? Remotely set the water heater to vacation mode, preventing it from heating and reheating water that's not going to be used.

 

View Comments | Leave Comment

Amazon reportedly exploring wearables and home automation

Submitted on 09/26/14, 05:45 AM | Click Here for the full article: Reuters

Amazon reportedly exploring wearables and home automationAmazon reportedly exploring wearables and home automation

Amazon.com Inc will boost staffing at its secretive Silicon Valley-based hardware unit by at least 27 percent over the next five years as it tests Internet-connected "smart" home gadgets such as a one-button device to order supplies.

This expansion comes as Lab126 tests connected-home devices that could open up a new front in its war against Google Inc and Apple Inc, two people familiar with Lab126's activities said recently.

The sources requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

Technology companies see Internet-connected dishwashers, thermostats and other household devices that can "talk" to one another as ways to fuel demand for products and services. But skeptics say many of these devices cost too much for most consumers and could take years to go mainstream.

Amazon is testing a simple wi-fi device that could be placed in the kitchen or a closet, allowing customers to order products like detergent by pressing a button, one of the people said. Lab126 is also interested in wearable devices, the other person said. Both sources stressed that such devices may never come to market.

 

View Comments | Leave Comment

Wink announces Relay, touchscreen display and control pad for the connected home

Submitted on 09/24/14, 05:30 AM | Click Here for the full article: HomeToys Newspage

Wink announces Relay, touchscreen display and control pad for the connected homeWink announces Relay, touchscreen display and control pad for the connected home

Wink, the company that connects you with all of the smart products in your home, today announced Relay. Replacing a light switch, Relay conveniently controls and monitors your connected home from one central location. Relay brings all of the convenience of your smart home to your wall, so that you can keep your phone in your pocket. This Wi-Fi-connected control pad acts as a command center by interacting with more than 100 products from 15 trusted brands that already work with Wink. Relay is available today for presale on Amazon for $300.00. 
 
"Done right, the smart home connects you to what you want, when you need it...bringing conveniences of safety, security, and automation. That doesn't mean you should have to see your work email when you lock your door," says Brett Worthington, VP/GM of Wink. "Relay allows you to have control of your home without having to look at your phone." 
 
DIYers can install Relay by replacing any light switch. Once installed, Relay will automatically connect with all Wink App Ready products, from light bulbs to garage door openers, as well as Wink App Compatible products that use the Wink HUB to connect. Watch Relay in action here. 
 
Relay's 4.3" multi-touch LCD display makes it easy to monitor everything in one place. The two mechanical buttons act as replacement light switches, perfect for controlling smart bulbs, or they can be programmed to turn other smart home products on or off with a single click.

View Comments | Leave Comment

Creators Of Beats And Guitar Hero Launch Smart Home Startup Leeo

Submitted on 09/22/14, 06:21 AM | Click Here for the full article: Forbes

Creators Of Beats And Guitar Hero Launch Smart Home Startup LeeoCreators Of Beats And Guitar Hero Launch Smart Home Startup Leeo

Another day, another smart home company is coming alive. But this latest one, Leeo, has some pretty big names behind it–including the main people responsible for creating products like Beats headphones and the video game Guitar Hero as well as executives from CIA-backed big data company Palantir and robotics company RoboteX.
 
And after a year and a half in stealth mode, Palo Alto-based Leeo has already amassed a team of 60 employees and $37 million in venture capital from Formation 8, Visionnaire Ventures and German utility giant E.ON .
 
What exactly does this smart home startup do that’s getting so much money and talent? Well, Leeo isn’t ready to talk about specific products it’s coming out with yet, but the company’s explanation of how it’s approaching the industry is a bit different than other smart home companies. From the very beginning, Leeo is focusing on working with hulking incumbents like telecommunication companies and utilities to help roll out services onto the company’s smart home product line. That will make Leeo a bit of a mix between an enterprise and consumer product company.

View Comments | Leave Comment

Logitech Harmony Extends Its Expertise in Controlling the Living Room to the Entire Home

Submitted on 09/19/14, 05:28 AM | Click Here for the full article: HomeToys Newspage

Logitech Harmony Extends Its Expertise in Controlling the Living Room to the Entire HomeLogitech Harmony Extends Its Expertise in Controlling the Living Room to the Entire Home

Logitech announced it is bringing its expertise and leadership in universal remotes to the home control market with new home automation product compatibility and four new products. The new Harmony® Living Home lineup gives you easy access and control over a wide library of entertainment and home automation devices, all from one centralized control system. 

"Harmony led the path for simplifying home entertainment, and now we've taken that expertise to also simplify home automation," said Chad Thompson, senior director of worldwide marketing and product management. "As more connected devices such as the Nest Learning Thermostat™, Philips® hue lights and August™ Smart Locks come to market and enter the home, there's more of a need than ever before for a centralized way to simply control all of the home's devices - the Harmony Living Home lineup does just that." 

With just a few easy steps your remote, tablet or smartphone can now control your TV, set-top box, speakers, lighting, thermostat, door locks, window shades and other popular devices. Plus, you can easily combine multiple devices into Activities to trigger at once so you can power on your TV, dim your lights, adjust the temperature and open your window shades all at the same time. You can start an Activity with one touch of your remote or mobile device, automatically on a custom schedule, or by passing a sensor. You can even trigger Activities from the Harmony Mobile App when you're not at home. 

View Comments | Leave Comment

CEDIA EXPO SHOWS STEADY GROWTH

Submitted on 09/17/14, 05:23 AM | Click Here for the full article: CEDIA

CEDIA EXPO SHOWS STEADY GROWTHCEDIA EXPO SHOWS STEADY GROWTH

CEDIA EXPO 2014 showed steady growth in attendance and exhibitor participation. More than 480 exhibitors and 18,500 attendees from 82 countries participated in the 2014 event in Denver.  Professional and overall attendance both grew by 3%, and the overall exhibitor footprint also saw growth with a 14% increase in the square footage of the show floor.

“CEDIA EXPO continues to be a vital venue for home technology decision makers to connect and experience the latest and greatest the industry has to offer,” said Don Gilpin, CEDIA Executive Director and COO. “Not only did attendees see where the industry is going on the show floor, they also saw it in the classroom. CEDIA EXPO offered 110 training sessions, 48 of which were new, offering attendees avenues to stay up to date on the skills they need to remain competitive in the industry. From product launches and demos to networking and training events, CEDIA EXPO 2014 proved to be a fantastic success."

Attendees remained consistent in their professional development with CEDIA training and this year’s certification offerings. All CEDIA Certification exam sessions sold out and 40+ training classes were sold out.

View Comments | Leave Comment

CEDIA ANNOUNCES 2014 ELECTRONIC LIFESTYLES® AWARDS WINNERS

Submitted on 09/15/14, 06:31 AM | Click Here for the full article: CEDIA

CEDIA ANNOUNCES 2014 ELECTRONIC LIFESTYLES® AWARDS WINNERSCEDIA ANNOUNCES 2014 ELECTRONIC LIFESTYLES® AWARDS WINNERS

The Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) recognized the outstanding work of its members at the annual Electronic Lifestyles® Awards Celebration Saturday night. The honorees included over 40 winning projects in the Designer Awards competition, 11 Manufacturers' Excellence Awards winners, the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and this year's top volunteers. Also at this year's Awards Celebration, CEDIA paid special recognition to the founding members of the association as part of the 25th Anniversary celebration. 

The Designer Awards competition, which honors the best projects completed by home technology professional members in the past year, featured winners in such categories as Best Integrated Home, Best Media Room, Best Hidden Installation, and Best Home Theater. The Designer Awards winners were determined by a panel of expert judges that included home technology professionals, architects, and interior designers. Also recognized were the three winners in the CEDIA/HGTVRemodels.com People's Pick Awards, which were voted on by visitors to HGTVRemodels.com.

The Manufacturers' Excellence Awards honorees included 10 Best New Product winners, one Sustainable Lifestyle Product Innovation winner, and three inductees into the Product Hall of Fame. The winners were selected by a panel of home technology professional judges. 

The full list of award winners can be viewed at here.

For all the News and announcements from this years show make sure to check out our SPECIAL CEDIA NEWSPAGE  & Check out our Special CEDIA Tradeshow Report.

View Comments | Leave Comment

CEDIA 2014 - Underway in Denver Colorado

Submitted on 09/10/14, 05:14 AM | Click Here for the full article: HomeToys Newspage

CEDIA 2014 - Underway in Denver ColoradoCEDIA 2014 - Underway in Denver Colorado

CEDIA 2014 is underway in Denver, Colorado with training sessions beginning on September 10th and the Show room floor opening up on the 11th.  This years show used the slogan "Hyper-Change" to signify the ongoing evolution of the residential AV market and promises to showcase "New Products, New Innovations and New Demands."  

Showcasing a full spectrum of the Home Technology trends that are relevant today and tomorrow CEDIA 2014 hosted thousands of visitors browsing the booths of nearly 500 exhibitors.  As well over 100 courses will be offered that cover home automation, home theater, audio video, systems integration and networking.
 
As usual HomeToys.com is on hand to see what was what at this years show.  Stay tuned for our Special CEDIA Tradeshow Report.  
 
For all the News and announcements from this years show make sure to check out our SPECIAL CEDIA NEWSPAGE.

View Comments | Leave Comment

NEXT PAGE

Featured Hot Product

ELK Products -M1 GOLD with Two-Way Wireless

ELK Products -M1 GOLD with Two-Way Wireless

The M1 Gold Security & Automation Control combines security, energy management, lighting, and access control with the accessibility to over 50 integration partners offering a flexible and integration friendly approach to home and business management. With remote access capabilities and simple, user-friendly interfaces, M1 keeps homeowners informed and in control, anytime, anywhere! ELK’s Two-Way Wireless family of products for the M1 Cross Platform Control revolutionizes the reliability and functionality of wireless peripherals for homes and businesses. Designed with true, two-way signal acknowledgement, ELK’s two-way wireless technology assures installation confidence through signal quality and status LED indicators. RF power levels are constantly monitored and adjusted to deliver clear signal while maximizing battery life. ELK’s Two-Way Wireless products utilize 900 MHz frequency-hopping spread spectrum to increase signal diversity and agility to ensure signals get through.

More AV and Automation Industry Resources

 

 

More Technical eMagazine from LJB