Smart Home Weekly: Verizon Adds Z-Wave, Goji Delays, Smart Vents, SmartThings-Windows

Welcome to the smart home weekly for the week ending/beginning November 1, 2014.

Last week was a bit slow for smart home, but this week's started in interesting fashion with Verizon's fairly quiet entry back into consumer IoT/smart home.

Before we get into the details, make sure to check out the archive of NextMarket's webinar from last week, featuring Kevin Meagher, GM of Lowe's smart home and Mike Harris, CEO of Zonoff. 

Also, we're having another giveaway of smart home gear (an August smartlock!). You can enter by reviewing the Smart Home Show in iTunes or (new!) simply signing up for the Smart Home Weekly newsletter list. Just forward your screen shot of the review or forward your mailchimp autoresponder to us and you're entered!

While you're at it, feel free to join the new Smart Home Group on Linkedin, where I'm curating smart home news (and invite you do to do as well).

Lastly, make sure to register for our Smart Home 2015 Outlook webinar on December 4th.

On to the news...

Verizon Adds Z-Wave, Additional HA Slot To FiOS Router

This morning, Verizon announced a new FiOS router, the FiOS Quantum Gateway. While the emphasis of the Verizon PR is around a new gateway that enables higher speed Wi-Fi, faster streaming and other broadband services, the most interesting thing about the new router is what's inside. 

According to my sources, the new router not only has Z-Wave in it, but also an additional slot for additional smart home radio interfaces as well. You might recall about six months ago FierceCable uncovered an FCC filing that showed Verizon was working with Greenwave Systems to develop a Zigbee enabled router, and this is essentially part of the same work. The additional slot in the device can use Zigbee and, one can imagine, other smart home radio interfaces (Bluetooth anyone?).

The Takeaway

While the press release may not say as much, this new gateway marks a quiet entry by Verizon back into the managed smart home and consumer IoT.  By tying into Greenwave's IoT platform, it's likely that the new gateway will be able to deliver consumer IoT and smart home services, and my sources tell me this is just the first of many announcements. Stay tuned...

Smart Vent Company Keen Gets Funding

You thought Nest had a monopoly on smart home heating innovation? Think again.

Keen, a startup which has developed 'smart vent' technology, has revealed its first product that will enable room by room airflow and temperature. 

The company unveiled its product at Techcrunch's NY Disrupt event, alongside a funding announcement of $1.52 million (does anyone do round number funding rounds anymore?). 

The Takeaway

In the future, it's likely that most home systems will have some degree of smart home control, including your heating and cooling. Vents make sense as they give you more finite control on a room by room basis.  I know I've been "manually" opening and closing vents in various rooms for years, so I see some utility for this. The big if for me is pricing, which Keen has yet to announce, but even so I think this has a fairly decent market opportunity in both new builds and the remodel market.

SmartThings Opens Windows

SmartThings has finally released its Windows app this past week. This is good news for Microsoft more than SmartThings, as up to this point Microsoft has had to do some fairly extensive business development to push smart home vendors to develop for its mobile platform, the most obvious of these being INSTEON. 

Now, with this announcement, the company adds SmartThings to its portfolio of compatible platforms. 

The Takeaway

Microsoft's been fairly quiet on the smart home front, though it does look like its starting to ramp up its broader consumer IoT push, most markedly with the new fitness band announced last week.  My guess is we'll see a more pronounced push into smart home by early 2015, likely going beyond just Windows Mobile integration to a few smart home systems.

Goji Wi-Fi Smart Lock Delayed Until April

I'd been watching Goji, a high profile Wi-Fi smart lock company, as it had gone dark for the last six months without an update.

Well, they finally got around to letting their backers know what's going on, and its not exactly good news if you're waiting for your Wi-Fi smart lock. According to the company's update, the device has been delayed until April 2015, almost a full year and a half after its original targeted ship date.

The Takeaway

This is a pretty significant delay, but as we've seen with Lockitron's struggles, Wi-Fi smart locks are no easy engineering feat. All this delay makes quiet Lockstate and their Wi-Fi smart lock impressive in the fact its actually shipped and in-market.

That's it for now.  To get this newsletter in your inbox, simply sign up here. Keep an eye out this week for Smart Home Show episodes featuring Roost's Roel Peeters and a crossover episode with the good folks from FarStuff.

Podcast Edition Below:


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