Plug gives control, data on power consumption, but application needs work
Home automation fans have been getting their fair share of gadgets and accessories in the last few years. Starting with light bulbs, and ramping up to larger machines like refrigerators and washing machines, the home automation market appears to be growing every day. Smaller devices are still paving the way for consumers to jump into "smart home" products, giving companies like D-Link a chance to test the waters with new offerings. One such product, the Wi-Fi Smart Plug (DSP-W215) gives consumers a small taste of remote home control and monitoring. But is it the correct entry item for users to try? Find out in our review.
SmartThings purchase would bolster Samsung Internet of Things efforts
Samsung may be looking to acquire a home automation company, in order to bolster its home automation efforts. Shortly after joining up with the Thread Group to work on a wireless networking protocol for the "Internet of Things," the electronics giant is said to be in the process of purchasing SmartThings, with the deal said to be worth around $200 million.
Retailer selects Wink as 'signature platform' as it expands automation offerings
As several big companies are gearing up for entry into the home automation market, a smaller company may end up beating them to the punch. Wink, a company that originates from the crowdsourcing inventor hub Quirky, has partnered with several big names in home automation to allow a central service for device control. The endeavor is getting a new boost, as Wink-enabled products are now in 2,000 Home Depot locations.
Archos Smart Home kit includes tablet, cameras, movement sensors
Archos has started selling the Smart Home starter kit it introduced at CES earlier this year, a package that provides a simplified form of home automation. The collection of "Connected Objects" can be used to automatically perform actions with each other and control home appliances, as well as allowing the homeowner to monitor the house using the assorted sensors and cameras.
Wi-Fi sprinkler controller helps cut back water use, adjusts to regional conditions
Rachio has created a home automation device that makes watering the lawn much easier and more efficient than with traditional irrigation timers. The company has released the Iro smart sprinkler controller, which is meant to act as the brain of an irrigation system. The Iro uses smart features to adjust for different conditions, instead of just setting up a timer and forgetting about it until the end of a watering season. The controller connects to a smart phone over Wi-Fi, making it easy to use without having to step outside.
HomeKit allows automation to integrate into iOS devices, tie in with Siri
Information on the rumored home automation SDK coming from Apple has now been confirmed during WWDC. HomeKit will allow developers to pair their devices with Apple smartphones, allowing for new reaches in home automation control through iOS. An additional layer of software does not appear to be needed, but HomeKit will operate on a single protocol.
No new software layer coming
Apple's rumored home automation plans really involve Made-for-i certification of related accessories and appliances, sources claim. The most technological focus on Apple's part is expected to be an emphasis on easy connections via Wi-Fi, and voice control via Bluetooth. There reportedly won't be a new software layer that supersedes apps.
New platform for controlling appliances may make iPhone, Apple TV a centerpiece
Confirming anticipated news, Apple has affirmed that the keynote address -- expected to preview iOS 8, OS X 10.10 and potentially some new announcements -- will be held on Monday, June 2 at 10AM PT (1PM ET) as expected. A new report from Britain's Financial Times suggests that the company may be on the verge of releasing a new standard for creating a "smart home" system with iOS devices at the core.
Smart Home Tablet to act as central location for connected device interaction
Archos has outlined the range of devices it is preparing for CES next week, including a number of wearable items and some destined for use in the home. A smartwatch and a fitness tracker will be accompanied by a set of "connected objects" centered around home automation, and a separate 7-inch "Home Gateway" Android tablet that will act as a central hub for the collection.
Motorola 4Home automation hub hits the FCC
The Motorola 4Home Connected Gateway first unveiled at CES 2012 in January has inched closer to release after being spotted going through the FCC for testing and certification. The home automation device is designed to allow users to remotely access and control things like house lighting, appliances and even door locks. It will also allow users check on security camera feeds and control a home security system remotely through a smartphone, tablet or PC, including non-Android hardware.
Lets phones, tablets, PCs remotely monitor home
Motorola has unveiled the 4Home Connected Gateway. With it, a homeowner can remotely access and control many devices, ranging from lighting and appliances to the door locks. They can also monitor camera feeds and control their security systems.
Apps shown running on Galaxy Tab
Sling Media founder Blake Krikorian has previewed a home automation utility geared for Android devices. Ahead of the CEDIA Expo 2010, Krikorian showed off the new home-control interface, named R2, which is specifically geared for Crestron's automation systems.
XTension home automation
Sand Hill Engineering on Thursday unveiled XTension 6.0, a major update to its home automation software that adds support for a number of new hardware devices, as well as a new web-based interface. XTension now offers connectivity with multiple concurrent powerline and RF interfaces, supporting devices from Oregon Scientific, such as barbeque temperature monitors, atomic clocks, power monitoring, and more. Sand Hill Engineering is selling XTension 6.0 for $150, while a free "lite" version is also available.
lynda.com CS4 training
In brief: We have posted a review CleanApp 3 and a review of the Crumpler Chester Squander bag, lynda.com offers new CS4 training, and Savant Systems holds a home automation showcase ... We have posted a review of CleanApp 3 Beta. Wouldn’t it be useful if this utility could archive the whole package, so you could save it and reinstall it later, or even back it up or burn the archive onto a CD. Such a useful utility does exist, and it is Synium Software’s CleanApp 3. This very useful program is considered a beta product, but worked very well in all our tests. The CleanApp 3 user interface is rather simple. Along the left side is a list of the functions including Applications, Preference Panes, Old Files, Archives, Languages, Cache Files, Logging, History, and Related Files. The window to the right changes as you select one of the functions on the left.
Indigo 3.0 released
Perceptive Automation has released Indigo 3.0, the newest version of its Mac-based home automation server. Connected to proper accessories, the server can control appliances such as lights, thermostats, lawn sprinklers and hot tubs. The upgrade supports INSTEON technology, which for instance lets users wirelessly control Venstar thermostats. Users can define links and lighting schemes between most INSTEON modules, and upload information to a PowerLinc 2414U, which lets users shut their Mac off without losing automation.