Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Connected Home Growing Pains

We at The Connected Home are obviously in favor of what we see as he inevitable transition into the new world of the truly connected home, whatever that will eventually mean.  Getting there from here will however be a fitful process of trial and error and hopefully learning along the way.
Today's post looks at some recent issues raised about the "State of the Art" and some realities of the fledgling marketplace.

Comcast Icontrol deal highlights pains in connected home technology | Utility Dive

 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
In this next section, The Connected Lifestyle laments the tendency of many of today's conencted products being "Throw aways," with limited expected lives, while I desires a more fundamentally long term set of products we can all live with functionally well into the future. 

The smart home is not a commodity | Connected Lifestyle

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.
Via connectedlife.style
If you live in the frost belt, you may be aware of the issues of burst pipes due to freezing int he winter. While most frequently an issue of lake side cabins, the problem can affect people in a lot of different circumstances. thus a new entry in the connected home space...

Roost’s latest connected home product detects leaks and freezing | TechCrunch

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.
 h/t techcrunch.com
he evolution and hiccups will continue, but however they evolve we at The Connected Home will be here to monitor the progress and when and where possible make it easier for you to access the tools you want and need.  Now frankly, we are still primarily your local Comcast Store in many people's minds, but that belies our ongoing relationship with Satellite TV, Home Security and plain old fashioned telephone land lines.  
Let us be your entry point into the connected home of the future.

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