If you wanted to build a smart home anytime in the last decade, you turned to one of two places: ZigBee or Z-Wave. Both are connectivity standards tailor made for the smart home, each connecting the hundreds of products approved for their systems. You’ve probably never heard of them, but you’ve definitely heard of their new competitors: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. As the niche smart home industry starts to grow, everyone wants a piece of it. And more established standards are coming for them.
It’s no longer difficult to find both home automation and security in a single package, but LG thinks it can one-up its rivals with something special… if a bit odd-looking. Its previously previewed Smart Security device may look like an upscale colander, but it serves as both a smart home hub (for Bluetooth, WiFi, Z-Wave and Zigbee) and a wide-angle security camera backed by ADT.
Annual Bluetooth enabled device shipments are set to increase from 2.8 billion units in 2015 to more than 4.6 billion in 2020, with a total of 19 billion devices to be equipped with Bluetooth technology over the next 5 years.
Showing just how much friends can help, the newly launched remote control company Ray Enterprises is getting some help from a highly visible friend: Dish Network. Ray Enterprises, which opened its doors in 2012, has recently introduced its Ray Super Remote. I set out to create one device to control my entire living room and offer the personalized content search and discovery experience my family was craving, he says.
In addition, the remote also incorporates Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, IR and ZigBee to enable its ability to control everything from cable and satellite set-top boxes (STBs), streaming media players and Blu-ray disc players, to gaming consoles and A/V receivers.
This year at CES 2015, Sengled introduced the Snap smart bulb with integrated IP camera and infrared lighting. At CES 2016, the company will debut Sengled Voice with integrated mic and loudspeaker for home automation via voice.
The Logitech Harmony Elite, which was previewed at IFA, is now available and consists of a home hub and touchscreen all-in-one control for (wait for it) 270, 000 devices, so far. The Harmony Elite comes with support for Bluetooth, IP, infrared and a range of proprietary formats, and has access to a database of 225, 000 existing products for zero-configuration. We asked Ian Crowe, Product Management Director whether having a single point of control for everything is just going to make life more confusing.
There are many WiFi, Bluetooth and Z-Wave light switch options and bulbs currently on the market. Clare Controls is looking to satisfy both with ClareVue. The ClareVue lighting line was designed to be affordable and easy to install, without having to skimp on any of the features expected from a high-tech system.
No special wiring or controllers are needed. Instead, ClareVue uses Z-Wave. Having Z-Wave light switch products, dimmers and other wireless components means that Clare Controls designed this system for mainstream use. It’s not limited to luxury installs or new construction; instead, it’s incredibly easy to retrofit—as well as add to.
The Google OnHub router was unveiled recently as a sign that the mothership is full-on committed to getting into your digital home. Don’t be fooled by the classy, cylindrical design although we wouldn’t blame you one bit if you did, it does look really nice the router is powerful enough not just to bring you your internet connectivity, but also to be the central hub of Googles plan to automate and digitize your home.
At the heart of it, the Google OnHub is a network router. Google has partnered with TP-LINK to manufacture this beautiful piece of hardware.