Today’s post looks at some recent issues raised about the “State of the Art” and some realities of the fledgling marketplace.
Energy use and efficiency get a lot of ink in the connected-home space, but security is actually the biggest driver right now. Even so, Comcast and Alarm.com’s decision to purchase Icontrol is a testament to the the sector’s growing pains, and illustrates the difficulty in developing the ideal suite of connected products.
For Comcast, the deal will bring technology development in-house. The Converge platform (not to be confused with Comverge) powers Xfinity Home’s inner working, including managing security, home automation and thermostats.
“We will strategically invest in its technology and technologists, so that we can deliver new features, products and services to both individual Xfinity Home customers and enterprise-level Converge customers, faster than ever before,” Comcast said in a statement. h/t utilitydive.com
The last twelve months have seen a redoubling in efforts to bring the connected home experience to ‘the common man’. As a result, companies are cutting corners and putting products to market that are often barely capable of replacing the existing systems they aim to revolutionise. From smart bulbs and intelligent locks to more outlandish crowdfunded ideas such as clothes-folding robots and automated watering systems for the garden, a surfeit of off-the-shelf products on the market has emerged.
With several of these products, the onus is generally on the customer to work out what devices will speak to which, and plan for this accordingly. Since many of them will not automatically communicate with each other, the do-it-yourself route quickly becomes a minefield of jargon, standards and compatibility, requiring significant research on the part of the homeowner before everything can be made to work together in harmony.
The most high-profile example of this in the connected home is Revolv, a smart hub bought by Nest and subsequently thrown onto the technological scrap heap. Like many similar smart home products aimed at early adopters, it had a small user base, yet these customers were left with a piece of kit that was inoperable only a short time after it had been purchased.
TechCrunch. “By adding the smart water leak detector (with a humidity and temperature sensor) as well as our existing smart nine-volt battery for smoke alarms, we are now now capable of truly capturing bits of information around the home and turning them into appropriate notifications when they are most important to the consumer.”
The $49 device connects to the smart home platform the company set up for its smoke detectors, bringing alerts connected to water leaks, freezing, and changes in temperature and humidity, all of which can lead to expensive home damage – or, at the very least, pricing heating bills.
The detector utilizes WiFi, sending alerts to the company’s app (the same one utilized by its smoke detector). Roost promises a simple set up and three years of battery life, so you won’t have to think about it for while. It goes on sale this fall.
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