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Ubi, the voice-activated control system for your home, is finally out of beta

Submitted on 10/17/14, 05:41 AM | Click Here for the full article: DigitalTrends

Ubi, the voice-activated control system for your home, is finally out of betaUbi, the voice-activated control system for your home, is finally out of beta

After more than two years of closed beta testing, Ubi, the voice-controlled home computer system for your home, is finally ready for general release.
 
If you didn’t happen to catch the device during its hugely-successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2012, the device is a lot like HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Armed with a slew of different sensors and an Internet-connected brain, it’s able to detect when you’re in a given room, and can also understand spoken commands.
 
It’s certainly not the first voice-activated home control system to hit the market, but unlike products that run through Siri or Google Now, Ubi doesn’t always rely on your smartphone. It’s a standalone device that plugs directly into your wall, so you don’t need to have your phone handy to issue commands. That said, the creators did build voice control into the accompanying smartphone app as well, so it’s still possible to control stuff via voice when you’re out and about, or simply in a different room.

 

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Thread Home Automation Group Accepting New Members

Submitted on 10/15/14, 05:10 AM | Click Here for the full article: ACHRNews

Thread Home Automation Group Accepting New MembersThread Home Automation Group Accepting New Members

The Thread Group announced that it has opened membership and will begin accepting applications from companies interested in using the Thread protocol in their products. The Thread Group was established in July by seven companies including Nest Labs, Samsung Electronics, Big Ass Fans, Yale Security, Silicon Labs, Freescale® Semiconductor, and ARM, to develop Thread, a new IP-based wireless mesh networking protocol designed specifically for the home.

“Thread enables products in the home to securely communicate with one another in ways that were not possible before,” said Chris Boross, president, the Thread Group, and technical product manager, Nest Labs. “Thousands of companies have already expressed interest in Thread, and we look forward to seeing how they will use Thread technology to build the next generation of the connected home.”

The organization said Thread was designed to overcome the technical roadblocks that have prevented widespread adoption of the connected home. Thread enables product developers and consumers to easily and securely connect more than 250 devices to a low-power, IP-based wireless mesh network that also includes direct Internet and cloud access for every device.

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Xiaomi Unveiled Company’s Home Automation Devices In China

Submitted on 10/13/14, 06:04 AM | Click Here for the full article: AndroidHeadlines.com

Xiaomi Unveiled Company’s Home Automation Devices In ChinaXiaomi Unveiled Company’s Home Automation Devices In China

Xiaomi is a Chinese company most known for it affordable and yet well-built smartphones. In Asia, people are calling this company China’s Apple, which is a good fit I guess. Xiaomi’s hardware and software are often inspired by Apple’s products, or so it seems. Xiaomi Mi4 and Redmi 1S are probably company’s most known products. The former is Xiaomi’s 2014 flagship while the latter is an extremely affordable device which carries rather good specifications and design, this device is extremely popular in India where Xiaomi is selling it as part of “Flash Sales” via Indian retailer Flipkart.
 
This Chinese manufacturer has serious plans to bring its business abroad, they’re already active in Italy, India and will soon be in South America. Xiaomi has other countries in plan soon as well. It seems they want to differentiate in their products lineup as well, other than expanding their business geographically. After teasing company’s “Mi Home” smart box yesterday on its official webpage along with some other smart products which are used through that box, Xiaomi announced all of those today. This Chinese manufacturer announced 4 new product as part of their very own smart home lineup, Mi Smart Remote Center, Ants smart camera, Mi Smart Power Plug / Socket and Yeelight Smart Lightbulb. The first one is of course the smart box itself which is basically a router for all other of these devices, or as Xiaomi calls it, smart Remote Control Center. The second one is the Ants Smart Camera, this little gadget has a viewing angle of 111 degrees, a resolution of 720p and it comes with 4-times optical zoom. You can make voice calls through it without a problem considering it has an embedded microphone and a loudspeaker. Xiaomi’s Smart Socket, on the other hand, lets your remotely switch power on and off, it has a USB port. You’ll be able to do this via the special app for your smartphone of course. Yeelight is the 3rd device we’ll talk about, this is a Bluetooth 4.0-powered smart bulb which lets you adjust its color and light via the aforementioned smartphone app.

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Best Buy Adding Home-Automation Departments

Submitted on 10/10/14, 06:09 AM | Click Here for the full article: Twice

Best Buy Adding Home-Automation DepartmentsBest Buy Adding Home-Automation Departments

Best Buy is rolling out home-automation departments to more than 400 stores this fall.

The “Connected Home” sections are expected to be in place by Thanksgiving and will feature more than 100 products from established vendors and startups.

The assortment will include security cameras and monitoring service from Dropcam; smart thermostats from Nest and Honeywell; smart lighting from Philips/Hue; smart locks from Kwikset; garage door accessories from Chamberlain; and wireless on-off switches from Belkin WeMo.

The departments will also spotlight networking equipment (routers, modems and range extenders), plus TV, Internet, phone and security services from cable companies, DirectTV and ADT. 

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Latest Apple TV update enables remote access relay for HomeKit connected accessories

Submitted on 10/08/14, 05:43 AM | Click Here for the full article: AppleInsider.com

Latest Apple TV update enables remote access relay for HomeKit connected accessoriesLatest Apple TV update enables remote access relay for HomeKit connected accessories

HomeKit support in the Apple TV is yet another sign that the company's streaming set-top box is likely to become Apple's official hub for a connected home. AppleInsider first predicted in June that Apple wouldn't likely begin selling "iLight" or "iLock" products, instead leaving those efforts to third-party developers and hardware makers.
 
Of course, HomeKit support in the Apple TV paves the way for future models to expand further upon this functionality. For example, a new microphone-equipped Apple TV with always-on "Hey Siri" support could be used to turn off the lights downstairs and raise the temperature when you go to bed, playing nicely with a wide range of different smart-home accessory makers.
 
The Apple TV is long overdue for an update, last having seen a minor, silent hardware refresh in January of 2013 with a redesigned CPU. The hardware is essentially the same as the model released in March 2012.

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CEA Examines the Future of Consumer Technology in Five Technology Trends to Watch

Submitted on 10/06/14, 05:25 AM | Click Here for the full article: CEA

CEA Examines the Future of Consumer Technology in Five Technology Trends to WatchCEA Examines the Future of Consumer Technology in Five Technology Trends to Watch

he Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) today unveiled five cutting-edge technologies that will significantly impact the CE industry during the opening session "Five Disruptive Techs to Watch" at CEA's Innovate! Conference being held this week in Phoenix, AZ. The session, moderated by CEA Senior Vice President of Communications and Strategic Relationships Jeff Joseph, included The Envisioneering Group's Richard Doherty; Disruption Corp.'s Paul Singh; and CNET Reviews Editor-in-Chief Lindsey Turrentine. 

Based on CEA's annual publication, Five Technology Trends to Watch, the session introduced each of the five topics with man on the street videos of consumers filmed on the National Mall in Washington, DC to gauge their familiarity with the five technology trends. The 2015 edition highlights Big Data, the rise of the machines (Internet of Things, robotics and driverless cars), digital health and the quantified self, entertainment and immersive content including augmented reality, and business models in the innovation economy. 
 
Geared toward industry professionals, this publication provides in-depth analysis of each trend and outlines related issues and market forecasts for the coming year. Each section also explores consumer perspectives, partnerships and key players. 

 

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Cisco, Acer, others join Intel-backed IoT standards group

Submitted on 10/03/14, 05:29 AM | Click Here for the full article: Computer World

Cisco, Acer, others join Intel-backed IoT standards groupCisco, Acer, others join Intel-backed IoT standards group

"Internet of things" standards groups are rallying the troops for efforts to make thermostats, door locks, sensors and other connected devices find each other and share information.

On Thursday, the Open Interconnect Consortium announced it has gained 27 new members, including Cisco Systems, Acer, chip maker Mediatek and home IoT hub maker SmartThings, since the group was founded in July. The group's founding members include Intel, Samsung Electronics and Dell. The OIC also named the people on its board of directors, which will be led by Jong-Deok Choi, the deputy head of Samsung's Software R&D Center.
 
The group says its mission is to ensure that devices such as wearables, remote controls, appliances and handsets can easily communicate and exchange information regardless of operating system, form factor or service provider. Member companies will contribute open-source code to build up the technology to make this possible, the group says. It plans to initially develop standards for discovery, connectivity and device authentication.
 
But the OIC isn't the only organization pushing for a common approach in this area. On Tuesday, the Thread Group, backed by Google's Nest Labs business as well as ARM Holdings and other founding companies, opened up its membership and laid out plans to certify Thread products starting next June. Connectivity is also a focal point for Thread, which is developing a networking software stack. 

 

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Swann Flies Into Home Automation Market

Submitted on 10/01/14, 05:16 AM | Click Here for the full article: Twice

Swann Flies Into Home Automation MarketSwann Flies Into Home Automation Market

DIY security supplier Swann Security is expanding into DIY home automation with the launch of SwannOne, a security-focused home-automation system controlled from apps.
 
The system uses such wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, Zigbee and Z-Wave to monitor and control home systems. The pricing of the products and optional service plans were not disclosed.
 
The SwannOne system is built around a hub that connects wirelessly to multiple products, including the SoundView Camera with Wi-Fi. It features encrypted HD video streaming, motion detection, night vision, and optional cloud-storage service plans to store audio and video for the past seven or 30 days. With a service plan offering audio analytics, the camera’s built-in microphone detects and identifies sounds such as breaking glass, car alarms, a baby’s cry or gun shots, and also notifies users.

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Featured Hot Product

Leviton Acquires Bitwise Controls

Leviton Acquires Bitwise Controls

Leviton announced the acquisition of BitWise Controls, LLC, a leader in design and manufacture of control and monitoring solutions for residential and commercial facilities. Leviton has been carrying BitWise Controls’ automation controllers for some time and is excited to welcome them into Leviton. As part of the acquisition, Leviton will bring BitWise Controls’ entire product line into the Leviton family of solutions, including their iPhone/iTouch/iPad and Android app-based GUIs that are easy to use and simple to install with drag and drop programming, and the recently launched hand-held remote control. Additionally, Leviton will offer the Bitwise app on its’ popular OmniTouch 7 for applications when fixed touchscreens are required.

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