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European Custom Installer

System Integration for the Connected Home

Home Automation

The HomeKit-Compatible MyQ Home Bridge

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Chamberlain launches the MyQ Home Bridge-- a means to add HomeKit compatibility to any MyQ garage door opener (without built-in wifi) and lighting products.

MyQ HomeBridgeAnnounced back at CES 2017, the MyQ Home Bridge allows customers to control garage doors with Siri, set scenes within the Home app and connect a MyQ garage door opener with other HomeKit-enabled devices. Thus, one can have a smart thermostat or light bulb adjust accordingly whenever the garage door opens or close.

The company also offers a series of MyQ lighting accessories users can connect to HomeKit for control via iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple Watch.

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LightwaveRF Adds HomeKit Compatibility

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British smart home solutions maker LightwaveRF announces it is working on a product range featuring Apple HomeKit compatibility, with offerings including a light dimmer and smart socket.

LightwaveRFThe products in question are the Generation 2 Link Plus smart hub, Smart Dimmers, Smart Sockets and a Smart Radiator Valve. The Link Plus connects to routers and controls the LightwaveRF smart home system for lighting, heating, power and security. The LightwaveRF system also gets new features, such as built-in energy monitoring, colour-changing status LEDs and wire-free two-way switches.

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BuzzFeed Cooks With Smart Hot Plate

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BuzzFeed expands its popular Tasty cooking videos in a perhaps unexpected hardware-based direction-- the Tasty One Top is a smart hot plate customers sync with a smartphone app via Bluetooth.

Tasty one TopThe One Top is a pentagonal device with soft corners. It comes in black or light blue, and features a trio of buttons (two for raising/lowering temperature, one for power) and lights to indicate plate temperature and cooking instructions. To start cooking, customers need to select a recipe from a selection of 1700 found in the companion app, with the One Top chiming and dinging to indicate when to move to the next step.

One can also use the One Top a regular, manual mode to cook whatever they wants, as well as control it remotely via app.

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Cortana Powers Smart Thermostat

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The thermostat is the next device category to receive voice control via Cortana as Johnson Controls reveals GLAS, a slick looking controller featuring the Microsoft smart assistant.

GLAS CortanaThe GLAS offers a translucent touchscreen as well as voice control, and packs sensors allowing it to detect whether people are in the room or not, and if not to turn the HVAC system on or off. It can also check air quality and energy usage. Of course, Cortana allows users to simply speak to the GLAS, and one can also control it by speaking to their phone.

Being a co-development with Microsoft, the GLAS also makes use of the Azure cloud computing solution to provide insights on air quality and more. Meanwhile, behind the actual hardware is is a Windows 10 IoT core.

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Google Home Heads to Germany

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The Google take on the smart speaker expands further into Europe, as Germany is the next country to get Google Home-- marking the third language the speaker can speak and understand.

Google HomeCurrently in Europe the Home is available in the UK and France. Like all other versions, the German-speaking Home can answer general questions, play music, remind about calendar appointments and control smart home devices, all through the power of the spoken word and the "OK Google" command.

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Smart Speakers, Crime Stopper?

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Smart speakers might be able to do more than mere voice-based home control-- ABC News reports an alleged assault could have turned ugly if a smart home device did not inadvertently call the police.

Smart speakerThe incident happened in a town outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where one Eduardo Barros was house-sitting a home with his girlfriend and daughter. According to the police, the couple got into an argument that got physical. At one point, Barros threatened to kill his girlfriend with a firearm, asking her "did you call the sheriffs?" An unspecified smart speaker connected to the house surround system picked up the message, recognised it as "call the sheriffs," and proceeded to do exactly that.

Thus, following the spot of Minority Report-style crime prevention, the police arrived at the scene. The girlfriend and daughter were saved, and crisis negotiation and SWAT teams managed to take Barros into custody after an "hours-long stand-off."

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Futuresource: Smart Home Can "Emerge by Stealth"

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The smart home market is set to emerge "by stealth," Futuresource reports-- once a consumer buys a first connected device, they will be keen to automate further, leading to slow but steady growth.

The conclusion comes from a survey of over 4000 consumers in France, Germany, the UK and the USA covering smart home devices (including smart/Voice Personal Assistant speakers), appliance ownership, perceptions and purchase intent. Respondents are segmented into 4 different levels (non-adopters, beginners, intermediate and advanced), as based on the number of smart home devices owned.

Futuresource smart home

Among the 4 countries, the USA is the one with the highest penetration, with 38% of respondents having at least 1 smart home device installed. Germans are the most resistant to smart home devices, as only 20% own at least 1 such device. Audio and video content make a common first step into automation, as 2 out of 3 respondents consider music and other AV content as "important" in the smart home context.

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