Sources are indicating Samsung is ready to build support for Zigbee wireless technology into upcoming smartphone models. Zigbee is a set of standard protocols for wireless control of home automation devices like lights, heating and cooling controls, door locks or appliances. Samsung has already provided some support to the Zigbee Alliance and their standard by producing Zigbee compatible products like LED lightbulbs. This latest move though would move support for the standard from the individual products to the smartphone. By doing this, users would not need separate apps for each Zigbee equipped piece of hardware as control could be consolidated on the smartphone device. » Read the rest
A New York based startup company, Canary, is hoping to update smoke and carbon monoxide detectors using home automation technologies we have seen deployed for kitchen appliances, HVAC systems, lighting systems, and even door locks. The plan is to produce detectors that can connect to local WiFi home networks or possibly via Bluetooth connections, giving users better interaction with the devices and providing valuable information that might otherwise go unnoticed. » Read the rest
LG has certainly made a name for itself by introducing some awesome smartphones in 2012, but it seems intent on making 2013 the year of the “Smart House” by introducing several new and innovative appliances here at CES. As the Korean manufacturing giant has indicated in a recent tease, LG has introduced new additions to its Smart Appliances line including a washing machine, dryer, a refrigerator, an oven and even a robot vacuum cleaner— all of which are fully controllable using a user’s Android device by scanning an NFC Tag-on symbol found on the appliance.
Be sure to check out our continuing coverage of CES 2013.
We here at Talk Android love when we can use our Android devices to control items in our homes and Belkin has delivered in a big way by introducing its new WeMo Light Switch— aiming to help home automation just a little bit easier for all. The specialized light switch is basically a WiFi-controlled unit which replaces an existing light switch and connects into your home’s existing electrical wiring—- allowing users to control all aspects of lighting, right from the comfort of their Android devices. Additionally, users can control the lighting in their homes from anywhere at anytime or even make a set of schedules of when to turn on/off the lights.
While the WeMo Light Switch will be on full display at CES 2013 this week, it will be a while before Android users can get their hands on the puppy. Belkin pledges the WeMo Light Switch and app will be available for all Android users by this summer for Android devices operating on Ice Cream Sandwich and above.
While we wait to see this nifty little gadget in person, why not hit past the break to see the full presser?
I had a chance to see Life360 Family Locator in action today at CTIA. If you have kids, you’re going to want to pay attention because Life360 is all about family security. Over 15 million people have located family members with this app, viewed safety points & threats in their neighborhood, and chatted on their group messenger called FamilyChannel. Life360 Family Locator allows you to know where your family members are located, what safety points and threats are nearby, and if someone needs help or is safe (through the FamilyChannel).
If you’re still not convinced, Life360 Family Locator has been instrumental in reconnecting families after major emergencies such as the Japanese tsunami in March 2011 and the devastating floods and tornadoes that hit the United States in May 2011.
Hit the break for a quick hands on, what Life360 has in the pipeline, and download links.
Motorola is one step closer to bringing yet another toy for those of you who want to make life easier (and automated) for you and your homes. Its Connected Home Gateway box is a home automation box tool which was introduced earlier this year, is intended to make things simpler for users by having the ability to do such things like dim lights and adjust a temperature once you leave your home. The awesome thing is once everything is programmed with its UI, it allows for simple and seamless operation and accessibility from your mobile device. Apparently it has quietly slipped past the FCC doors and looks as if its set for arrival on customers’ doors in the near-future. No word yet on exactly when it will arrive on customers’ doors, but we do know Big Red will be featuring the product as it will be part of its Z-wave based Home Monitoring and Control system. It always seems like Verizon always gets the good stuff doesn’t it?
Yummy little guy, isn’t he? Sadly, while TalkAndroid wasn’t able to attend Google I/O (stupid day-jobs!), we’re watching the coverage closely, and there’s some interesting stuff coming out of the keynote already!
» Read the rest
After 1.5 years of work, Blake Krikorian, founder of Sling Media, has finally unveiled his Crestron home automation app for Android. Annoyed by some of the shortcomings of iOS, Blake was a big fan of Android’s true multitasking and background notifications. While the app isn’t quite finished yet (still being developed under the R2 codename) once it is released, it’s expected to cost about $99. While this may seem like a steep price for an app, when you look at the price for a dedicated Crestron remote, and see some prices in the ~$600 range, you begin to see the value of the adding the $99 app to an existing device.
There has been no word yet on a release date, but head on past the break to check out a video of the app in action on a Samsung Galaxy Tab