Fans of the Lowe’s Iris smart home platform can now automate their pet doors, garage doors, hoses and window blinds. The hose timer is actually pretty interesting, especially for folks that might not have an irrigation system or just want to water some plants while they are on vacation. The automated blinds will likely also prove popular. Lowe’s has been offering the Iris platform since 2012, and was one of the first DIY providers in this market, but this summer Home Depot has gotten aggressive offering the Wink platform and a variety of other connected devices.
After years as a toy company, LittleBits is ready to advance to the next phase of its strategy — becoming a platform that makes it easy for novices to build and prototype hardware. Read more »
In preparation for it’s European expansion, Netflix is readying a monumental amount of bandwidth in France. Read more »
Big Switch, a company that has shifted from building a controller for software defined networks to building an OS to run atop bare metal switches, is trying to make enterprise networks run like webscale networks. Read more »
The internet of things is primarily about deriving value from data, but we need to have mroe conversations about how that data is shared. Today we talk to the CEO of Truste about IoT and privacy. Read more »
Two former Bechtel executives have build code that links devices across protocols and platforms to let them communicate. They want to turn that code into a real business. Read more »
Cisco has launched a program to train developers to use its APIs and help them program its gear to work with products from Cisco partners. Can this program keep Cisco relevant in a software-defined world? Read more »
Verizon will upgrade its fiber-to-the-home service to symmetrical broadband connections at no extra charge for customers. That means customers get the same speeds when uploading data as they do downloading data (So my colleague Kevin Tofel’s speeds up above should soon match up.) Verizon says this is because people are creating a lot more content, but it’s also smart marketing. Fiber doesn’t face the same constraints as copper or cable, so symmetrical speeds are a relatively cheap way of offering customers more value, especially customers irked about the ISP’s Netflix fight. The upgrades will be phased out in the coming months.
Blink, a Wi-Fi-capable home security camera that’s also battery powered, is a cool gadget, but it’s also a chance for a chip startup to attract new buyers for its latest tech. Read more »
Good news for the people who have Hue lights and are sick of opening an app to turn them on. The Hue tap remote control that lets you press a button to control your Hue lights, hit the Apple store a bit ahead of schedule. The device costs $59.95 and I’m eager to try it out to see if it helps me keep my phone in my pocket. The tap is powered by pressing any one of the four buttons, which let you program four different scenes.
It’s been almost 10 months since consumers began complaining about poor Netflix streaming because of congestion where the last-mile ISP network met Netflix’s network. Why is this still an issue? Read more »
A startup that just raised $10.4 million in funding from NEA has me questioning the future of the best-effort internet. Here’s the scoop on IIX’s plan to change peering. Read more »
Samsung is in talks to buy smart home hub startup SmartThings in a deal valued at $200 million. If so, this is a win for both companies. Read more »
Data is the gold that’s luring businesses to the internet of things and connected home. Consumers benefit, but absent a conversation about rights and appropriate uses of data we may give up more than we realize. Read more »
Kosta Grammatis, who believes broadband is a fundamental human right that should be available to everyone, has a new startup and business model. The startup, Oluvus, buys bandwidth from an undisclosed telco and then offers free mobile phone service to the U.S. The hope is that people will shell out for extra services and fund broadband services for other parts of the world. The model reminds me of Toms Shoes, where each purchased pair of shoes pays for a pair for a needy child. Whether or not Grammatis succeeds, the Wired article detailing his efforts and failures is worth a read.
This week we are all about internet of things standards and certifications as we welcome the head of the AllSeen Alliance to the show and discuss a new radio certification introduced by Samsung, Nest, ARM and others. Read more »
Does the smart home need a new network? Some really big companies have created Thread, a new standard that aims to supplant Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ZigBee as the ideal radio tech for the home. Read more »
Apple has put a dedicated beacon device through FCC testing, but as it is outlined in the documents, the product seems clunky and odd. Read more »
SparkFun, a company that supplies products to people building electronic devices for fun, has launched an online place for makers to store their data as connectivity becomes an essential element in electronic projects. Read more »
Attention people with ideas for connected products: We want to send 30 of you to Gigaom’s Structure Connect event in October and give you space to show off your connected device in our Garage@Connect program. Read more »
The practice of network peering is gaining ground, which is good news for everyone on the web except for those companies providing transit. Will that continue? Read more »
In this week’s podcast we tackle some big issues, such as whether we want to put in the effort to train the anticipatory home and if the internet of things needs an OS. Read more »
Spark Labs, a company building a platform for the internet of things, has raised $4.9 million, making it another well-funded participant in this space. Read more »
It’s Tuesday, so here’s another standards effort for the internet of things! Intel, Samsung, Broadcom, Atmel and Intel subsidiary Wind River have formed the Open Interconnect Consortium to aid in product discovery and authentication. Read more »
It’s hot outside, so I’ve been spending my time inside testing connected devices. It’s been about a year since I turned my home into a living lab, so here are the devices I’ve liked enough to buy. Read more »
Measuring what’s happening with your body has never been easier, but measuring what goes in, is still an analog process of journals and maybe photos. A GE researcher wants to change that. Read more »
Good broadband isn’t just fast, it’s consistent as I’ve learned in the last few months when my service decided to get a bit dodgy. Read more »
The connected home needs amazing software, and no one company has cracked that yet, but Wink, a newly created company spun out of Quirky plans to try. Read more »
Microsoft is joining the AllSeen Alliance, a group dedicated to creating an open protocol for devices connected to the internet. Read more »
The web-based integration service If This Then That, which is trying to tie your physical connected devices to your digital services (and everything to each other), now supports the Nest thermostat. Or rather the Nest thermostat, which is the subject of a new open developer program, now supports IFTTT. So now readers could geo-fence their Nest to their phones, change their temps based on incoming emails (your ex sends an email the temp drops 30 degrees!) or whatever other recipes you’d like. Yes, all this will likely be available via the Nest developer program, but IFTTT is a way to bring in devices that may not yet be supported.
Bandwidth caps are a bad idea, but a story from earlier this month shows how our love of connected devices and the increasing prevalence of caps could lead to consumer angst. Read more »
Staples, the office supply chain, is doubling down in the smart home. It’s expanding of the number of stores that sell its Staples Connect hub and is supporting more radios and devices. Read more »
Microsoft will sell Insteon kits in its retail stores, joining the rush of tech firms and retail stores in getting connected products in front of customers. Read more »
Replacing dumb kitchen appliances with smarter ones will likely take decades, and given the fights over who will control the home, you may not want to start yet. Here’s a retrofit that may help. Read more »
As part of the fanfare around the launch GE-backed Quirky launching Wink as a separate company dedicated to the connected home, GE is opening up pre-orders for a connected light bulb that will work with the Wink app and only costs $14.97. For a connected, white-light LED that is a crazy low price tag. The upcoming Belkin, LG and Philips Hue light bulbs that will be white-light only are between $30 and $40 per bulb and the colorful connected bulbs are in the $60 to $100 range. TCP has connected white bulbs that are between $27-$33 per bulb, and are on the market today. The GE lights will be in Home Depot stores in the fall, so I can’t wait to see how they work.
An analyst firm has estimated the European and U.S. smart home market, but what’s more revealing is how it is thinking about the market categories. Read more »
Apple is reportedly assembling a team of people to possibly, maybe build hardware for the smart home. If it does so, here are a few ideas for it. Read more »
Should the smart home be programmable, or should it react to your needs before you even recognize them? A Time package shows the conflict between current smart home visions. Read more »
Beacons, the proximity radios that communicate with consumers’s phones when they are near the beacon, are popular with retailers for advertising, but they could do so much more. Read more »
Every quarter Akamai tracks the trends in broadband — from speeds to IPv6 readiness and security threats. This year the percentage of people who have speeds greater than 10 Mbps hit 20 percent for the first time. Read more »