This is the Smart Home Weekly, Cinco De Mayo edition. As always, if you haven't subscribed to get this every week in your inbox, do so here.
The last week or two has been fairly slow for smart home news, unless of course we're talking about the Apple Watch. With the release of Apple's wearable last month, developers for every major smart home device are busy creating an app for a device that could singlehandedly make wearables mainstream. A handful were ready at launch, and this past week SmartThings, a Samsung company, jumped into the fray.
Outside of Apple Watch, the other platform everyone's paying attention to is IFTTT. Last week the Amazon Echo channel on IFTTT launched, and just this morning Belkin WeMo LED bulbs added IFTTT compatibility (while also announcing a price cut for its bulbs).
One reason IFTTT is so popular is it's the only place many of these popular platforms work together. That said, I personally think IFTTT could use a little competition, and as I write here, I think Twitter might be the one to give it to them. If you think this is a weird mashup in itself, get ready; the mix of social media and the smart home is just beginning.
And of course, no newsletter would be complete without some speculation about what Google might be up to next in smart home.
Enjoy the newsletter.
Is Google Heading Into The Smart Kitchen?
As many readers know, the smart kitchen has intrigued me for some time, so I was a little surprised to see this piece from Times of India this weekend. According to the Times, Google is developing an IoT platform focused specifically on white goods and the connected kitchen. While the piece is fairly scant on details (particularly who its source was for this news), such a move by Google is an intriguing one to consider. Read More
Are We At the Beginning Of A Smart Bulb Price War?
While no device category in the relatively young smart home market can really be called mature, if there was one that was 'more mature' than others I'd say its the smart bulb space. The market, which I still expect to continue to grow exponentially in the coming 3-5 years, is the one with the greatest degree of competition. At CES, there were probably more smart bulb products than any other category and because of this competition we're seeing the early signs of a price war. Read More
Chamberlain Releases First Fully Integrated Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener
Chamberlain jumped on the smart home trend yearly, but up until this point Wi-Fi access was yet to be built into their garage doors. The addition of smarthphone connectivity was reliant on external dongles that connected the router to the Internet. Read More
Amazon Echo IFTTT Channel Debuts
I've been thinking a lot about both Amazon's Echo and IFTTT lately, so I was excited to see both show up together this weekend in a blog post announcing the debut of the Amazon Echo channel on IFTTT. As you'll see from much of the other coverage, an Echo channel on IFTTT enables Echo owners to access third party services through a variety of recipe mashups. Browsing the recipes, it's clear that people have been busy mixing and matching as there are already a bunch of user-defined recipes, many of which allow the Echo to control Nest, SmartThings, Philips Hue and other smart home platforms. Read More
How Twitter Could Become A Social IFTTT For IoT
This week I've been thinking about why social media companies care so much about IoT and smart home and, the more I thought about it, the more obvious the connection became to me. As I wrote in Forbes, social media companies want to play in IoT to stay relevant, become the alert and control system for both us AND our things, and to add contextual relevance to their services, which will in turn make them more magical for consumers and create better insights to feed their large and growing data businesses. Read More
Why Social Media Companies Want Into The Smart Home
I wrote a piece for Forbes on the efforts of the big social media players to get into IoT. While their efforts extend beyond just smart home, much of the early implementations have been in smart home and smart living spaces. Read More
Apple Watch: Here Come The Smart Home Apps
The idea of a smartwatch apps for the smart home has always made perfect sense to me, so much so I created a CES panel on the topic for CES 2014. While there wasn't much to talk about a year and a half ago, since then numerous integrations for the likes of Pebble and Android Wear have made their way into their respective app stores. But that was just the beginning; with the launch of the Apple Watch, we can expect the trickle of smart watch apps for the smart home to become a flood. Read More
SmartThings Releases Apple Watch App
Just after the Apple Watch debuted, I wrote about the small handful of smart home products that had already released an app for Apple's new wearable. It was a fairly modest list but one we knew would grow quickly, and this week SmartThings added its name to the list. Read More
That's it for this week. Listen to me talk to the CEOs of Whisper and PetNet about the intersection of pets and smart home, and to follow me on Twitter to hear my thoughts on smart home and IoT in realtime during the week.