Google’s new products intensify competition in home automation market, says IHS Markit

 

New Google Home Mini and Max deepen battle with Amazon at both ends of smart speaker market while Apple’s HomePod faces increasingly competitive environment 

Two new smart speakers were announced at Google’s Pixel 2 smartphone launch event, closing the gap with Amazon in terms of market-penetrating low-end affordability of its smart speakers. 

The first speaker, the $49 Google Home Mini, features a small, rounded, design-neutral form factor, and three color choices.

The device incorporates far-field voice recognition, and inherits the same slate of Google Assistant, Chromecast Built-in, and calling capabilities as its larger Google Home stablemate.  Continue reading Google’s new products intensify competition in home automation market, says IHS Markit

Sony returns to robotics market after 12 years away

 

Japanese electronics giant Sony is returning to the robotics market after more than a decade away, according to a report on Nikkei

The company is reportedly planning to bring back together the team which produced Aibo (pictured below), the robotic pet dog for the home, which proved popular many years ago.

Sony was at one time the most talked-about electronics company in the world, the Apple of its day.  Continue reading Sony returns to robotics market after 12 years away

Vorwerk’s acquisition of Neato Robotics adds spark to exponentially growing robotic appliance market, says IHS Markit

 

Germany-based home appliances manufacturer Vorwerk recently acquired Neato Robotics, a Silicon Valley maker of domestic robots.

Vorwerk is known for its premium products in the household appliances market and Neato Robotics is known for its innovation and technological know-how, mainly in robotic vacuum cleaners.

Vorwerk first invested in Neato Robotics in 2010. Both companies are eager to maximize the exponential growth of the robotic appliance market, individually and collectively, with ‘cross-over’ benefits.  Continue reading Vorwerk’s acquisition of Neato Robotics adds spark to exponentially growing robotic appliance market, says IHS Markit

Analysis: New Nest Labs security products face stiff competition, says IHS Markit

 

By Blake Kozak, principal analyst, security technology at IHS Markit

Nest Labs has expanded into the home security market with a range of products which includes the Nest Secure alarm system, Nest Hello video doorbell, Nest Cam IQ outdoor security camera, and corresponding software and services. 

The video doorbell uses Google’s facial recognition technology.

Nest Labs is one of the first big movers in the home automation market, and the company is thought to be one of the leaders.

Nest currently offers a range of products including thermostats, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and video doorbells.  Continue reading Analysis: New Nest Labs security products face stiff competition, says IHS Markit

Household appliances maker Vorwerk acquires Neato Robotics

 

Neato Robotics, which mainly makes robotic vacuum cleaners for the home, has been acquired by Vorwerk. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Vorwerk first invested in Neato Robotics in 2010. With this acquisition, the German family-owned enterprise says it is enhancing its strategic position on the emerging global market for home robot vacuums.

Neato will operate within the Vorwerk Group as a wholly owned independent business unit, with its own brand identity and corporate culture. There will be no changes to leadership or daily operations.  Continue reading Household appliances maker Vorwerk acquires Neato Robotics

Chowbotics prepares to unleash salad-making robot on the world, while RotiMatic rolls its way to making 6 million rotis

 

Chowbotics is gearing up for a major marketing push to find space for its salad-making robot in every home in the world – and maybe quite a few catering businesses too. 

The company – which manufactures a salad-making robot called Sally (main picture) – is expanding its operation and hiring new people. A key recent appointment is Dorothy Cudia as vice president of engineering.

Cudia’s previous experience includes time at food giants such as Nabisco, McDonald’s and Darden Restaurants.  Continue reading Chowbotics prepares to unleash salad-making robot on the world, while RotiMatic rolls its way to making 6 million rotis

ABB integrates Amazon and Sonos technology into its smart home products

 

ABB has partnered with Amazon and Sonos to add new functions to its home automation range of products, collectively called free@home

ABB claims to be the leading home automation company in the German market, and the company is apparently looking to expand into new geographies, possibly including the US.

Its free@home range includes a variety of devices and hardware, all based on its digital platform, ABB Ability.  Continue reading ABB integrates Amazon and Sonos technology into its smart home products

Interview: Fast-moving robotics and automation market prompts updates to forecasts

The global market for robotics and automation systems is growing so fast that it’s causing seasoned industry analysts to revise their forecasts. 

For example, the Boston Consulting Group released a report into the robotics which it has now updated with new numbers.

The causes of the reviews include the relatively new interest in personal robotics technology for the home, and the burgeoning market in collaborative robots for industry.

Another key development is the launch of the Apple HomePod, which, along with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, looks set to automate a huge number of homes to levels never seen before.

Continue reading Interview: Fast-moving robotics and automation market prompts updates to forecasts

Six new trends in home automation

Amazon Echo Dot
Amazon’s Echo Dot, the voice-controlled Alexa-enabled device, can connect to a wide range of your smart home gadgets

By Megan Wild, editor of YourWildHome.com

It’s an exciting time to be a homeowner, but it can also be overwhelming. It seems every week there is a new smart home product on the market that can automate various aspects of your life, and it can be tough to decide which direction to go.

Like all new technology, there is a certain amount of risk involved. You don’t want to jump on something too early, only for it to be outdated and forgotten about a year later.

On the flip side, there is also that natural feeling of wanting to keep up with the trends in order to maximize your home value — not to mention take advantage of all of the cool features many of these devices have.

Here are six trends in smart home automation that are relatively safe bets for the foreseeable future.  Continue reading Six new trends in home automation

Nortek Security ships 1 millionth Z-Wave home automation device

nortek

Milestone covers broad portfolio of lighting, control and security devices, says company

Nortek Security & Control says it has passed the shipment of their 1 millionth Z-Wave smart home device under its GoControl brand.

Nrotek is a provider of smart home technologies with a wide range of products for lighting, control and security.

Nortek says its GoControl products are consistently listed as best sellers on Amazon.com and are also the products of choice by many security dealers. Continue reading Nortek Security ships 1 millionth Z-Wave home automation device

Robots at CES: They’re coming in too fast

Honda’s Asimo robot
Honda’s Asimo robot, at CES a couple of years ago

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show is all set to be the biggest one yet for robotics. 

With recent advances in artificial intelligence, combined with newly affordable sensors and other materials required to make the machines, robots are no longer going to be a rarity at any tech event.

In the past, if they’ve been seen at events, robots usually appear at specially designed shows for their kind. But now, they’re everywhere and they’re threatening a total takeover.  Continue reading Robots at CES: They’re coming in too fast

Opinion: 5 reasons why a video intercom is a must for safety in the home

Five safety reasons for installing a video intercom in your home

In 2014 a charter school in Arizona took a big step towards bettering the security of their campuses: they implemented a video intercom system to help monitor entryways.

While there have never been any significant threats to AmeriSchool’s campuses, administrators elected to heighten security measures after the horrific events unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

The school brought in engineers to install remote-controlled mag locks on all of the doors and a video intercom system at the entrances of each AmeriSchool. Doors remain locked for 30 minutes after classes begin and the 30 minutes prior to the final bell.  Continue reading Opinion: 5 reasons why a video intercom is a must for safety in the home

Prescriptive Data chooses MongoDB for Nantum smart building system

rudin management

Prescriptive Data, a subsidiary of leading real estate developer Rudin Management, has opted for Nantum for its smart building solutions.

Nantum is a cloud-based smart building platform and control panel built on MongoDB, the database for giant ideas.

Designed to function as the “brain” of a building, Nantum integrates existing sensor data from disparate building systems to provide a holistic view of how a building is operating.

It can then prescriptively recommend real-time system adjustments, identify operational inefficiencies, target preventative maintenance and provide 24/7, 365 building re-commissioning in real time.  Continue reading Prescriptive Data chooses MongoDB for Nantum smart building system

Controlling your home from your smartphone with Hive

hive british gas

TechTalk – Smart Homes: Interview with Tom Guy, of Hive / British Gas, about smart homes and intelligent buildings of the future. Courtesy of Currys PC World

The phrase “bricks and mortar” is till used to conjure up images of buildings, residential or commercial. Usually, the phrase differentiates between something virtual or exists only in computers, say a website for a shop, and something that is physical, like an actual, real-world shop on the high street, for example. 

But, along with everything else in the known world, bricks-and-mortar building are being computerised. Those that have already integrated some degree of computer technology are often called “smart homes”, if they are residential, and “intelligent buildings”, if they are commercial.

A lot of experts say that over the next decade or so, the vast majority of buildings – commercial and residential – will become computerised, or become “smarter”.

In the second of two interviews about the subject, we publish a Q&A with Tom Guy, product and commercial director, Hive, the smart home system from British Gas.  Continue reading Controlling your home from your smartphone with Hive

Robots not yet ready to enter smart homes, says expert

relaince smart client for smart homes

TechTalk – Smart Homes: Interview with Matt Davis, of SCM World, about smart homes and intelligent buildings of the future. Courtesy of Currys PC World

The phrase “bricks and mortar” is till used to conjure up images of buildings, residential or commercial. Usually, the phrase differentiates between something virtual or exists only in computers, say a website for a shop, and something that is physical, like an actual, real-world shop on the high street, for example. 

But, along with everything else in the known world, bricks-and-mortar building are being computerised. Those that have already integrated some degree of computer technology are often called “smart homes”, if they are residential, and “intelligent buildings”, if they are commercial.

A lot of experts say that over the next decade or so, the vast majority of buildings – commercial and residential – will become computerised, or become “smarter”.

In the first of two interviews about the subject, we publish a Q&A with Matt Davis, senior vice president, SCM World, a cross-industry learning community backed by some of the world’s most influential supply chain practitioners.  Continue reading Robots not yet ready to enter smart homes, says expert