Google makes stupid move with smart home product

23 April 2016 by Steve Blum
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The lost hubs of Easter Island.

If you bought a home automation hub from Revolv, sorry, it’s about to be bricked. Google bought Nest, which in turn bought Revolv, and then decided to turn off the servers that make its gizmos work

So we’re pouring all our energy into Works with Nest and are incredibly excited about what we’re making. Unfortunately, that means we can’t allocate resources to Revolv anymore and we have to shut down the service.


The IoT hub is dead and Stringify killed it

6 January 2016 by Steve Blum
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Simple solution for home automation chaos.

Stringify has mixed the glue that will bind home automation and the other gizmos and platforms of the Internet of Things together. Two weeks ago, the Los Gatos, California-based startup launched its server-based and mobile centric meta-platform that allows consumers to control 200 products and services offered by dozens of companies via a single smartphone app.

It’s a brilliantly simple proposition: instead of using a dozen different apps to control a dozen different products, a consumer installs one app that talks to a server that talks to a dozen different servers – cloud to cloud, if you like – and makes them all work together.… More

Open standards and clear consumer branding will be the cure for CES home automation confusion

18 January 2015 by Steve Blum
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The new good housekeeping seal of approval.

There were plenty of home automation hubs at CES, as it turns out. The first home automation products out of the gate, at the pre-show press events, were primarily one-off gizmo-and-app combos, but the usual suspects eventually showed up.

Lowe’s Iris system was prominent in a demo smart home built on the show floor. Nexia had a presence too. Both have a similar business model: sell a hub and support it through a cloud server for $10 per month.… More

How do you say sugar daddy in Irish?

7 November 2014 by Steve Blum
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Finally, an electric utility is taking the plunge on home automation. Electric Ireland announced a deal with Nest, the Google-owned company which makes a networked thermostat that learns your habits and controls your home heating and cooling system accordingly.

New customers who sign up for a 2 year contract with Electric Ireland get a free Nest thermostat, including installation. Existing customers who extend for another 2 years pay €99 (about $123). the device goes for $249 in the U.S.… More

Google positioned to set standards for smart homes

Nest is in good hands with Google.

The quest for a mass market business model for home automation products and services took a new turn this week, when Google announced it’s buying Nest, which makes networked thermostats and smoke detectors. Since it’s unlikely that Google is going to drop $3.2 billion just to make pretty gadgets, the working assumption has to be that it’s developing an online platform to support networked products. Just as it developed the Android operating system, then bought Motorola’s mobile phone manufacturing business as a development tool and to lock down valuable patents.… More