Apple's Self Installing Smart Home, and Other Smart Home News
One of the biggest challenges with the smart home industry is keeping up on all the tech.
2020 is a year full of innovations for the smart home industry, with new tech rolling out consistently. It can be hard to know what is worth paying attention to and what is merely noise.
Here are the news stories that caught our eye.
Apple Files a Patent for Smart Home System
A patent published by Apple shows a system that could detect devices and automatically configure them for the room they're installed in.
In the patent Apple says, "Configuring the smart home can present many challenges.
For instance, the differentiation of brands and their incompatibilities between each other, differing connection and communication protocols, wiring and connector types, hardware/software configurations, and general system set up can be daunting to the average consumer.
Even technology savvy enthusiasts may be challenged by the non-intuitive and often frustratingly laborious process of configuring a fully integrated smart home."
The theory behind Apple's patent is that you can install a new switch, and Apple will automatically configure it, identify it, and add it to your Home app.
Another feature outlined in the patent is the concept of a smart map of your home.
By knowing where all of the devices are, Apple's system could generate a floor plan of your house. The system would know when you're moving the sofa, and even know when you personally are moving from room to room.
Additionally, the system could detect when an unauthorised visitor is in your home, and disable access to different devices.
While the concept Apple patented is a brilliant one, and has the potential to reduce the complexity of each smart home installation, we don't foresee this eliminating the need for a trusted smart home professional.
With each new piece of tech that's created, there are bugs to troubleshoot, and other complications that will arise.
Windows 10 is Removing Cortana Smart Home Support
Beginning with the Windows 20H1 update, Cortana is losing of all smart home skills. The change comes as the result of an effort to narrow the focus of Cortana to search and productivity.
While Cortana will be more user-friendly to a wider audience with skills like calendar reminders, and opening apps, it comes at the cost of smart home capabilities.
According to TechRadar, "If you currently use Cortana to control your smart home devices, there is at least some good news: Microsoft has confirmed to ZDNet that you'll still be able to manage your lights and music with the Cortana apps for iOS and Android (for the time being)."
Leviton Released a New 4 Button Controller
Leviton is hard at work this year, and has already released multiple products including a ceiling fan controller, and a lightswitch that has Alexa built in.
But their latest tech release caught our eye.
It's a new 4 Button Controller.
While controllers like this are nothing new, the new Leviton 4 Button Controller features dynamic buttons that can be programmed through the app. The controller itself integrates with IFTTT.
For homeowners who want to move to a more integrated system, but aren't quite ready to take the plunge, this controller is going to be the gateway.
Arlo Will Now Require 2FA
Security is a big concern with smart home devices, and with good reason. Nobody wants their smart home to be spied on. Nor do they want to inadvertently allow bad actors to have access to their devices.
Arlo has taken a big step forward in tightening security measures.
Ring and Nest have already implemented two-factor authentication, and Arlo is following suit.
Arlo announced to customers that they must use two-factor authentication by the end of the year.
In their support guide, Arlo explains the user will receive a push notification, or a text message to verify their identity when logging in. To those of us who use two-factor authentication for email and banking, this will feel like a natural process.
With all the changes flooding the smart home industry, it's easy to get overwhelmed, especially by the piece-meal solutions available. If you're ready to ditch the overwhelm and fully integrate and automate your home, give us a call. (800) 878-9705