At the recent IFA in Berlin Panasonic showcased a host of connected lifestyle solutions under the slogan ‘A Better Life, A Better World’. The product and services on display were focused on the themes family gathering, relaxation, of food preparation, and beauty and health. They can be placed the different rooms in our homes to enhance the activity or experience of the environment. Panasonic said they want to create a connected lifestyle we all desire that is technically possible within the next five years.
I was a reading the summery of a recent report by NextMarket and Vivint, titled ‘The Mass Market Smart Home”. In it, the authors are proposing that the connected home sector should create more use cases to drive adoption among the general public. Another report I read states that 70 per cent of connected home developers are enthusiasts. As an analyst of the sector, I think these are worrying numbers; even more worrying for entrepreneur and the investors, who are investing so much into connected home solutions.
Earlier this month the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a warning about the risks of having our connected devices being hacked. They have also made some suggestions on how we can protect our privacy, home and business from hackers. Google also recently released one of these recommendations on how to secure our home wireless network. The FBI suggested nine things we can do, which I think are easy for anyone to do.
Our readers might remember the Google Chromecast, a dongle introduced lost year to offer over-the-top entertainment solutions for TVs. To extend Google cast support and in collaboration with Broadcom, Denon has developed a new line of HEOS multi-room wireless speakers. Denon said, the new Google Cast Ready speakers will allow users to cast their favourite music Apps via any Android or Apple iOS mobile device via their home Wi-Fi network.
It’s just over a year now that Samsung acquired SmartThings, and to show us what they have been doing with SmartThings since the acquisition, they were at IFA in Berlin. At the show, they launched an upgraded version of the SmartThings Hub with a new design and a more powerful processor to support video monitoring; now called the “Smarthub” and a range of sensors. They have also used the opportunity to announce products for the UK connected homes.
Intel has announced the release of a number of processor technologies that will improve the speed of home gateway devices and allow service providers to boost the speed of their backend systems. The new chipsets include the Intel AnyWAN GRX550 for xDSL and Fibre home gateways, Intel Puma 7 SoC for cable gateways and Intel Visual Compute Accelerator for Xeon based servers.
CES 2015 was the first I heard of Nvidia DRIVE studio software, a package that can be used to develop car infotainment solutions. For this year’s show Nvidia collaborated with Renovo Motors to develop a 500 horsepower all electric coupe. As a first the car featured the Nvidia Tegra X1 mobile super chip which can offer over one teraflaps of processing power.
Anyone who has watched the Transformer movies will see some similarities between this new connected home device and the Allspark from the movie. Developed by London start-up EmoSHAPE, the EmoSPARK as it is called adds emotional intelligence to the connected home. According to EmoSHAPE, the EmoSHARK aims to be a little more human, it combines emotional learning with enough artificial intelligence that enables it to interact and converse with humans.
If you are a manufacturer planning on entering the connected home market and be part of this Internet of Things you will want to get your product to market as quick as possible. You might not have or want to invest too much into developing applications and interfaces for smartphones, tablets or PCs. For existing manufacturers who have IOT products and not the software platform, there is Thingsquare. Thingsquare can provide the platform to make all these interfacing possible.
NETGEAR has released and upgraded version of its Nighthawk high performance VDSL Modem Router with the Nighthawk X4S AC2600. Nighthawk X4S has a dual-core 1.4GHz processor and built-in DSL modem, it’s the first DSL modem router on the market to support the latest Wave 2 WiFi technology with Quad-Stream on both bands as well as Multi-User MIMO-capability. Families with multiple Internet-enabled devices connecting simultaneously to DSL broadband will want to upgrade their WiFi router to the Nighthawk X4S to be able to enjoy its blazing-fast WiFi speeds, extended range, and overall improved streaming and gaming.