The next target for Samsung? Your home. The company is reportedly in talks to purchase SmartThings for a deal in the range of $200 million. According to TechCrunch, the deal has yet to be completed but it is very well on its way to being so. Google owns Nest and Apple is launching HomeKit, so it is only right that Samsung gets in on the action.
In the midst of all the Android Wear hype, one developer has taken Android Wear and demoed a home automation system using it. Not only that, but he’s done it using apps that are already available on the Google Play Store.
A video of the demo shows Doug Gregory, who seems to be associated with DKC Automation, using “OK Google” hotwords along with phrases like “turn off the lamp.” The video also shows a card on the Samsung Gear Live displaying information about the current status of the home. Hit the break to watch the video!
Now that Google owns Nest, it’s no surprise that the Nest Learning Thermostat is now being offered in the Google Play Store. The price is the same as everywhere else, $249.
If you’re not familiar with the Nest Learning Thermostat, it is the “Mother” of all thermostats. You don’t even have to program this one because it figures out what your habits are based on when you’re home or not. It even knows what the weather is outside, plus, you can even control it from your phone or tablet. It isn’t cheap, but the goal is to save you a lot more than the price of the device over time.
To celebrate Earth Day, Google is going to plant a tree for each Nest ordered from the Play Store for today only. Hit the link below to get your order in.
Click here to order from Google Play
Samsung Electronics announced its Samsung Smart Home service today, which is set to be launched in Korea and United States first, followed by more countries throughout the year.
The service allows consumers with the Smart Home app to connect and control smart home devices such as TVs, lights, mobile phones and more.
“We are excited that the launch of Samsung Smart Home makes the connected home a reality today and allows our customers to live a smarter life,” said Dr. WonPyo Hong, President and head of the Media Solution Center at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung Smart Home lets people live better, worry less and be smarter with their devices and appliances. We also have grand plans to enhance more and more parts of the home experience, especially with a view of expanding it to areas with high growth potential such as home safety and energy management.”
Home automation and fitness monitoring are going to be huge over the next few years, and Archos wants in on the action. They unveiled Connected Self and Connected Home accessories at CES 2014, and we had a chance to learn more about them.
Connect Self includes an app that tracks key health metrics for up to 8 different users. Some of the accessories include a Connected Scale, an Activity Tracker wristband, and a blood pressure monitor. They will retail for no more than about $100 each.
Connected Home includes a custom tablet and app that serves as the guts of the system. Then you can add various accessories including a Smart Tracker (GPS tracker with 3G capability), Weather Station, camera, motion ball, movement tag, weather tag, and smart plug. The Connected Home tablet station will cost $199 and will include a camera and motion ball.
Hit the break for a look at both the Connected Self and Connect Home accessories and how they work.
Home automation is still a hot topic amongst mobile enthusiasts and this year’s CES 2014 has no shortage of such technologies. The latest startup to flag the industry’s radar is Flyover Innovations, a small group of gents from Lenexa Kansas looking to bring the world its flavor of home theater and streaming control. At CES 2014 the company has introduced their latest product dubbed “Blumoo”. Blumoo is a small hardware platform offering the ability to connect any home theater system allowing you to stream your media from your mobile device. The company and their product aim to rid of the traditional “dock” believing that mobile devices should be just that, mobile. Blumoo offers an open source API so the company is hoping other developers will get on board as well. What’s nice about Blumoo is the limited amount of hardware required. You’re in essence using your existing audio equipment.
Heading into CES 2014, one of the areas Samsung is hoping to make push into is control of “smart home” devices like appliances, lights, TVs, video cameras, and other devices. Part of Samsung’s strategy is to create a standard protocol for communication with devices so third-party hardware will work with their app. We got to check out a little bit of how Samsung envisions this will work by spending some time with the app on the floor of CES 2014.
Home automation does not seem to be a very exciting market segment, but it could be big. It is an area where there is a lot of potential to make consumer’s lives less stressful. Check out how it works in our hands on video after the break. More CES 2014 news and hands on videos will be coming from TalkAndroid, so be sure to keep an eye on the site.
Archos has announced several devices they’ll be showing off at CES, and it looks like they’re going to put on quite a show. Connected home and health devices is the theme for Archos’s new round of devices, which includes a home camera system, a weather station, an activity tracker, a smartwatch, and even a blood pressure monitor. All of these will be controlled through one central Archos Connected Self App that works on any Android or iOS device for maximum compatibility. The app will allow you to connect to your ecosystem of connected devices from anywhere, which is basically an early entry into home automation like what we’re seeing other OEMs push for.
Aside from the home automation, health devices are the other point of focus for Archos. The Connected Self application will sync to things like the Archos Connected Scale, Activity Tracker, and Blood Pressure Monitor to allow users to keep up with health information synced from across multiple devices. Health and fitness has been an area with a quickly growing market, and Archos wants to take advantage of that.
All of the devices look cool on paper, but we’ll actually get to see them in action next week at CES.
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.
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.