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System Integration for the Connected Home


Facial Recognition Reaches the Front Door

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Chui doorbell Startup company Chui debuts at CEDIA Expo 2014 with a device combining facial recognition, advanced computer vision and machine learning to create a smart doorbell able to put a face to the user's key.

According to the company the doorbell can recognise individuals and perform tasks specifically to them, such as unlock doors, activate connected devices and setting said devices to individual preferences. So for instance it can adjust the thermostat to a specific temperature and switch on the TV once the homeowner arrives at front door.

It also provides smartphone text alerts to let homeowners know who is at the door, as well a 2-way audio feature.


Withings Home Combines Camera, Sensors

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Withings launches a home-monitoring camera/environmental sensor combo at IFA 2014-- Home, a connected device featuring a camera, two microphones and temperature, humidity and air quality sensors.

Withings HomeThe camera portion features a 135-degree wide-angle zoom and "clear" night vision, allowing it to detect both general motion and the presence of people. Meanwhile the microphones detect sound and specifically  recognise crying, allowing use as a baby monitor.

It links to smartphones via app, and send alerts should it detect anything unusual. Such events are also stored on the cloud, providing users with an interactive timeline.

As for the environmental sensors, the company claims the device can help users build a healthier environment by alerting them to changes in temperature, humidity and air quality, including Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) levels.


RTI Automation Gets SnapAV Security

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Remote Technologies Inc (RTI) simplifies the integration of SnapAV surveillance video solutions within RTI control systems with 2-way drivers for SnapAV Warpath PTZ IP cameras, DVRs and NVRs.

RTI SnapAVThe Wirepath PTZ camera driver provides direct pan, tilt and zoom control of up to 24 IP cameras via RTI wired or wireless UI, including the RTiPanel app, with live video viewing as easy as choosing a camera from a list and recalling up to 256 camera position presents.

It supports jpeg image capturing and allows users to view cameras directly ethernet-enabled RTI controllers. The interface also enables automation functionality, with trigger events such as turning on lights or sending an email based on motion sensing, input sensing and video loss notifications.

Meanwhile the Wirepat DVR/NVR driver provides RS-232 and IP control over the recording and playback functions of SnapAV surveillance video recordings.


Belkin NetCam HD+ With Wifi, WeMo

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The Belkin NetCam HD+ is a wifi camera providing customers with 720p resolution footage via PCs and mobile PCs, as well as cloud storage, easy setup and compatibility with WeMo home automation ecosystem.

Belkin netcamWeMo compatibility allows one to set rules or connect activities with other WeMo products via the WeMo app-- for example pairing the NetCam with a WeMo Switch to turn on a lamp when the camera detects motion.

The NetCam features a wide-angle glass lens, night vision and a built-in microphone for 2-way conversations while checking what is going on in the house.


Touchscreen Variant for Kwikset Lock

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Kwikset reveals an updated version of the SmartCode 914 deadbolt lock at ISC 2014-- one featuring a touchscreen and UL certification.

Kwikset LockThe touchscreen allows customers to activate the lock with a simple touch. It automatically detects correct codes and, of course, unlocks doors.

A dedicated button allows for one-touch locking, while Home Connect technology (in both Z-Wave and Zigbee versions of the lock) handles integration with other home automation components.


Control4 Partners With Security

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Control4 automation and control solutions get more surveillance camera and network video recorder (NVR) support following the implementation of the Simple Device Discovery Protocol (SDDP) by 5 security vendors.

Control4The companies in question are LILIN, Channel Vision, Planet, QNAP and Snap AV.

Surveillance camera and NVR integration within a Control4 system provides customers with remote property viewing via smartphones and tablets. It also adds the Control4 4Sight service, with automatic response triggers according to "actions" (such as text alerts if a person approaches the door or flashing lights if the door is opened late at night) identified by security cameras.

Homeowners can also check camera footage and remotely command the home from their mobile devices.


The Smart Lock Opportunity

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According to NextMarket Insights door lock upgrades are the next potential growth business-- the analyst forecasts the global smart lock market is to grow from $261 million in 2014 to $3.6 billion by 2019.

Smartlock"The mainstreaming of the smart home is driving innovation in previously forgotten categories of home hardware and systems," the analyst says. "Established security and home hardware companies increasingly face competition from upstarts who are introducing a new breed of smart and connected locks into the market."

Initial smart locks are Z-Wave- and ZigBee-based, and come integrated within a whole-home solution. However the second smart lock wave is simpler, with Bluetooth LE, wifi and (eventually) NFC connectivity providing a low-cost and easy entry point into smartphone-based connected access control.