IoT had a massive presence at CES this year (2014), with a big focus onÂ Smart home devices. The hype around the “Smart home” is just getting started… Who doesn’t wants to a have a fridge that can tweet all by itself?
More seriously, It’s fascinating to see how quickly new devices are getting to market these days. Hardware is hard, and yet a lot of startupsÂ are building devices quickly.Â Here are some cool devices that I’ve seen on the floor:
A DYI all-in-one Home Security system still inÂ pre-order. It’s had a very successful IndieGoGo campaign and the excitement over it seems well-founded.Â The CanaryÂ is a powerhouse of sensors with HD camera, microphone, thermometer, motion detector, air quality sensor… you name it.
The also have a friendly mobile app that goes with the device,Â enabling you to see what went down in your home in theÂ last day (or more if you pay for the extended plans). It’s basically a life-stream of the HD camera showing highlights of the day (based on movement and such). Looks pretty neat.
With no Door Open/Close, just a single motion sensor, and no home monitoring solutions Canary will be hard pressed to replace a full-blown home security system. However, if you Rent or don’t want to pay a monthly subscription fee Canary might be a good fit for you.
The Smarthome needs a brain to be smart and quite a few folks are off to the races to build a so called “hub”. The grand vision beyond this is that in the future all the “smart” devices will be able to talk to each other and somehow make sense of all the chatter.
Revolv is one of the latest contenders to this category and has been working onÂ some cool stuff.Â The Revolv HubÂ is a master controller of devices, connecting your devicesÂ to a smartphone app. The Hub supports 10Â wireless standardsÂ , includingÂ Z-Wave, Zigbee and a slew of others. Off course it also supportsÂ regular Wi-Fi devices to backlink it all to the cloud.Â Revolv is workingÂ with someÂ big names like Sonos, Philips hue, and Yale locks, but withÂ automatic firmware updatesÂ the team is committed to bring many more devices to the fold.
The intriguing part is how Revolv puts all those devices together through their app via triggers. For example,Â If you move within 100 yards of your house, the Kwikset smart lock can unlock the door and yous Sonos device can turn up the heat.
SmartThingsÂ is another hub that wants to lord over your home devices and also a successful graduate of crowdfunding campaign. While SmartThings handles smart devices using Z-Wave and Zigbee wireless protocols just like Revolv, SmartThingsâ€™ secret weapon is optional sensors thatÂ tell you when the dog leaves the house or a window is left open.
The SmartThings app also works withÂ IFTTTÂ (disclamier: IFTTT is a Life360 partner) meaning you can setup protocols like “If I come within 50 feet of the hub, Then unlock/heat up house.”
SmartThings made quite an impression at CES with their “house” (Check it out -Â https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DQfhdK5qMw)
Nest (the smart Thermostat company) is coming up with yet another product that is aimed to disrupt a dormant and un-sexy category. This time they are going for… Smoke Alarms.
The Nest ProtectÂ smoke alarm is all about the human touch. Instead of having annoying sirens go off, it it kindly speaks in a human voice and alerts you of smoke (and where itâ€™s coming from) or a carbon monoxide leak. To dismiss, simply wave at the Nest device.Â It’s also got a beautiful design (compared to any smoke detector I’ve ever seen) and a battery life that lasts up to ten year.