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European Custom Installer

System Integration for the Connected Home

Home Automation

Acer Monitors the Air at MWC

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Mobile World Congress 2017 sees Acer announce the Air Monitor-- a connected device providing real-time air quality analysis through companion app and a colour-changing LED embedded in the chassis.

Acer Air MonitorPart of the company's "Internet of Beings" (IoB), the Air Monitor tracks 6 air quality indicators, namely TVOC (Total Volatile Organic Compounds), carbon dioxide, PM2.5, PM10, temperature and humidity. The smartphone app allows users to easily access the measured data, and it can also send warnings via push notifications when indicators exceed predefined thresholds.

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Juniper Research: Home Automation Devices to Exceed 770m by 2021

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According to Juniper Research home automation and monitoring devices will grow to 770 million globally by 2021-- representing 1000% growth over the 68m sold in 2016.

Home automationThe analyst points out increasing adoption of platform evangelism and openness to partnership boosts 3rd party device development, especially in developed markets. In fact, W. Europe, N. America, Far East and China are forecast to account for almost 75% of households adopting the technology in 2021.

In addition, Juniper says home automation hardware devices will "rapidly" beat subscription services, with one-off purchases seeing faster growth over the next 5 years. Hardware sale revenues are to exceed subscription revenues in 2018, reaching $6.2 billion, and services such O2 Home in the UK are destined to remain a niche offering. This is due to the subscription business model not being a fit to an immature market.

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Crestron Shows Alexa Integration at ISE

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The consumer segment of Crestron's ISE 2017 booth was all about voice control, as the company took to highlight its partnership with Amazon with live demos in a dedicated soundproof room.

Crestron AlexaAs the company puts it, Crestron Technology Professionals can leverage the Alexa Voice Service to build voice-controlled scenes and settings based on customer specifications. Integration is not limited to just lighting and temperature control, as homeowners can choose from an "unlimited" range of voice control options.

“We’ve been collaborating very closely with Amazon Alexa engineers to make sure we offer an uncompromising voice control experience that is every bit as seamless and satisfying as tapping a button on a beautiful Crestron touch screen, remote control, or designer keypad," Crestron says. "You can ask Alexa to set the mood for dinner, or to play a movie in the bedroom, or let her know it’s too cold in the bathroom. Just say the word and your Crestron system responds immediately.”

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B&O Opens BeoLink SmartHome

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At ISE 2017 Bang & Olufsen announces the BeoLink SmartHome is now open for integration with other home automation solutions, with support for Crestron, Control4 and Savant products.

Bang & Olufsen SmarthomeThe system also works with products and services from Danfoss Link, DoorBird, Ecobee and OpenWeather. A BeoLink Gateway enabler allows installers to open the system, before customers choose suitable connected device from both things already installed and things yet to come.

A real-time configuration tool comes complete with "hundreds" of pre-installed drivers, with a simple graphic interface removing the coding out of home automation programming. The manufacturer's remote control allows customers to manage the home automation system and 3rd party devices, and cloud-based services provide a secure remote connection dedicated to B&O solutions, allowing installers to upgrade or service existing setups from remote locations.

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Lutron Systems Getting HomeKit, Alexa Support

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ISE 2017 sees Lutron announce the HomeWorks QS home control and GRAFIK RA 2 lighting and shading solutions now work with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Sonos.

Lutron As the company puts it, the three "alliances with best-in class brands" make it easier for customers to interact with and control connected homes, while "enhancing peace of mind and improving the quality of life."

Apple HomeKit support comes from March 2017, and covers the Lutron Connect Bridge and GRAFIK RA 2 systems. It enables users to control Lutron systems via the Home app, Siri or 3rd party HomeKit apps on iPhone or iPad. Thus, one can tell Siri to "turn the lights off" and the Bridge turns off the lighting in the entire house. Users can also ask Siri to check if the lights in a specific room are on or off.

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Control 4: Amazon Alexa Skill Now Available in EMEA

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Control 4 announces the Smart Home Skill for Amazon Alexa is now available in EMEA-- giving homeowners the ability to control devices on the Control 4 system through voice commands.

Control4 AlexaInitially available in the UK, such control requires a subscription with the Control 4 remote access software, 4Sight. It is compatible with over 10000 connected devices, including lighting, audio, video, security and thermostats, and voice control covers both individual devices and multi-device scenes preset for daily conveniences, mood, ambiance or simple expediencies.

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Control4 Integrates BakPak on Pakedge Routers

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Control4 announces the availability of BakPak on Pakedge RK-1 routers--an integration of management software and router providing customers with a monitored, intelligent home network.

Bryston BakPakEssentially a leveraging of the February 2016 Control4 acquisition of Pakedge, BakPak manages both IP network and smart home devices. It also delivers real-time visibility of network health, allowing diagnostics and troubleshooting before problems happen, mitigating downtime and service calls.

“With BakPak monitoring the home network, the automation system, and all of the devices connected to it, remote management becomes standard for dealers,” Control4 says. “The connected home is a reality-- with an ever-increasing number of connected devices, integrators need more sophisticated services to meet the expectations of customers. That is why we are including BakPak on every RK-1 Router as well as every NK-1 wireless controller, to provide our dealers with the remote management tool they need for every customer.”

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