Security webcam and home automation hub Piper has been updated with camera swarm support, allowing multiple units to set up several zones of surveillance, as well as enabling two-way audio. The update comes on the heels of Piper's acquisition by home security heavyweight iControl, with up to five of the cameras now supported in any one home, and all sharing data.
Crowdfunding success and smart home startup Piper is likely headed to more homes after being acquired by security and home automation firm iControl, which aims to target the tech at renters and other installation-shy users. Piper, launched on Indiegogo last year, is a combination security webcam and home automation hub, allowing remote access of streaming video as well as the ability to control appliances and lights through plug-in wireless modules.
When you have a product like Kinect, so closely associated with gaming, how do you convince everybody else that they should be installing a motion-tracking camera in the home? Microsoft is looking to smart home technology and health, among other things, to do just that with Kinect for Windows v2, though a stealthy spread through Cortana and smartphones may be just as vital. We caught up with Microsoft’s Michael Mott, general manager of Xbox applications and developer relations, to find out how virtual assistants and home automation could make Kinect-tech the next must-have.
Home automation is a booming industry and one major issue holding back some users from automating their home is the complication of the tech. Samsung has announced that it will be rolling out a new Samsung Smart Home service that aims to simplify the control of a smart home by allowing a single app on a mobile device to control home appliances, TVs, and mobile devices.
Giving in to incessant requests, Nest, which is now owned by Google, has finally brought its Learning Thermostat to the UK. But due to differences in how heating works in the country across the pond, Nest's smart thermostat works a little differently from those that have already been in the market in the US and Canada.
Samsung is building Comcast Xfinity a set-top box with integrated smart home abilities, a new test filing confirms, with the prototype packing ZigBee among other wireless options. The new box, model number SX021AN, includes the mesh-networking radio - which is used in Philips' hue color-changing bulbs, among other things - along with WiFi b/g and Bluetooth.
Philips' hue system of smart home lighting is already pretty eye-catching when it cycles through colors, but the company is turning to 3D printing to make things even more dramatic. The new Philips 3D-printed smart luminaires will be available in table-lamp and pendant versions, and combine the color changing that hue is known for with unique designs from WertelOberfell and Strand+Hvass.
Philips' hue lighting system is gaining two new components, a hue lux remote-control white bulb, and hue tap, a wireless wall switch for easy control that demands no batteries or wiring. hue lux works on the same ZigBee low-power wireless system that the original color-changing hue bulbs use, but changes through white light only instead. However, it's Philips hue tap that we think might be more exciting, both to existing hue fans and to home automation users in general.
Droplet takes the innovation of connected homes and applies it outside the home -- to the lawn, specifically. The sprinkler can be connected to the Internet and controlled via a smartphone or tablet, gathering local weather information and using that to determine when to water the lawn.