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Cedia 2016 Part2

Cedia 2016 Part2

Control 4

Overview of High End Control 4 system

Lutron

Lutron Lighting solutions working in conjunction with all other Lutron solution options

Control 4

High end lighting solutions from Control 4

Savant Pro

Savant Pro Home Automation solutions

Control 4

High End Home Theater and Audio/Video solutions from Control 4
(On the left) Control 4 had by far the largest exhibitor area at Cedia 2016 but also by far the biggest ego. Making statements like “Our system never fails didn’t go well with integrators”.
(On the right) Lutron was with Savant right behind in terms of size of booth and demo area. Lutron showcased their many home automation solutions.
Another eye catcher were companies like Hidden Vision and FrameMyTV. Below is the video for a hidden weapon framed picture. Their motors are very quiet and the speed is also acceptable. They also have smaller applications for their picture frames for handheld weapons, safe storage, etc. Watch the video below!
FrameMyTV had a smaller booth and their main attraction for integrators was their upcoming shop integration. This will allow integrators to resell the solutions under the integrator’s brand. They are even coming up with co-labelled and un-labelled material for integrators to give to potential customers.
The star of the Cedia 2016 show was something completely different and unexpected. Dome HA showcased the first ever Z-wave enabled Mouse trap. Yes, you read correctly. A mouse trap, which notifies you after the critter has been caught in that trap. Very bizarre use case and not everybody will jump on this offering.
However,this shows that there are endless possibilities for Home Automation and there will be more to come. Cedia was great and looking forward to see you guys at Cedia 2017 in San Diego.
CEDIA 2016 Part1

CEDIA 2016 Part1

Fibaro Portfolio

Water leak, smoke detector, motion sensors, dimmers, the buttons, swipe and wall plugs.

Fibaro Hubs

Fibaro Home Center 2 and Fibaro Home Center Light

Fibaro Light Controller

The new Fibaro Light controller hub launching in October 2016!
Fibaro Systems from Poland has officially launched their controller hub in US. The distributor homecontrols.com is reselling the Fibaro Home Center 2 hub and will soon be offering the new upcoming Fibaro Home Center Light controller. I was able to get pictures of that new mini hub at the Cedia conference. The new Fibaro Home Center Lite (HCL) is a complete Z-Wave home automation gateway. Don’t let its tiny size fool you – Home Center Lite is all you need to run your entire home – communicating with sensors, activating lights, appliances and heating, and even alerting you if it detects threats such as fire, flood or break-in. The Fibaro HCL is tiny – measuring just 90 x 90 x 33mm. It uses a new ARM Cortex-A8 processor to deliver high-speed performance while using very little power. HCL is the smallest Z-Wave controller available and still packs a punch big enough to manage any Z-Wave system with up to 230 devices. The differences between Fibaro Z-Wave Controllers – HC2 and HCL The Fibaro Home Center Lite (HCL) is a very powerful Z-Wave controller packed into a tiny size. It is capable of running your entire home, but does have some import ant differences compared to the Home Center 2 (HC2). The main differences between the Fibaro HCL and the HC2 are: Plastic casing (HC2’s has an Alloy Case)
  • No LUA
  • No LiLi
  • No VoIP
  • No Satel integration
Also notable are the Fibaro swipe product line and their latest button product line. Swipe has been available in US for some time now and there are plenty of use cases especially the hidden implementation ones, which did create a lot of attention. The button is a nice product line for places, where a physical switch or a physical scene controller doesn’t exist.
Fibaro Button
Fibaro Doorbell
Last but not least Fibaro showcased their prototype of their doorbell aka intercom system at the Cedia conference. The size of their doorbell was a little bit bigger than Skybell and their software had some minor glitches but it was working well for a prototype. No details were shared about features and functions e.g. ONVIF support, Area masking, cloud recording, etc.

Ring Doorbell

Skybell

August Doorbell

Yale Doorbell

Last but not least Fibaro showcased their prototype of their doorbell aka intercom system at the Cedia conference. The size of their doorbell was a little bit bigger than Skybell and their software had some minor glitches but it was working well for a prototype. No details were shared about features and functions e.g. ONVIF support, Area masking, cloud recording, etc.
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Ring Doorbell

Ring Doorbell showcased their 3 models. The standard Ring, their Pro version and their flush mount doorbell.
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Skybell

Skybell showcased their new slim look which reminds everybody of the Ring Pro from a Look & Fell perspective.
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August Doorbell

August showcased their doorbell in conjunction with their door locks and their integration and collaboration between their product lines.
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Yale Doorbell

Yale showcased their different approach by using the peephole of the door for a doorbell system. Optional Z-wave modules for this doorbell will ship approx. in November 2016.
Nest Products
Nest showcased their product lines which consisted of their Nest Gen 3 Thermostat, their Nest Smoke detector and their Nest cameras. Their latest product line is their outdoor camera, which is only available with a hardwired connection.
Sonos Products
Sonos showcased their existing product lines with no new products. A different company showcased an enclosure for in-wall installs for Sonos speakers, where the enclosure was almost as expensive as the speaker itself.
Alexa on your smartwatch

Alexa on your smartwatch

A Chinese company is about to release a new smartwatch which is integrated with Alexa from Amazon (Echo) called “CoWatch”. Here are the details published from their Indigo crowd funding page.

CoWatch_1

 

Speak, and CoWatch will listen. With a built in dynamic speaker – and as the first smartwatch to integrate Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, you can ask for a traffic report, control connected devices, make a phone call to a friend, order a taxi to your home, pay your bills, and so much more. As long as your CoWatch is connected to a WiFI network or to your phone with a data connection, Alexa will be on!

Your smart home is at your fingertips. The power of Bluetooth 4.1 and cloud connectivity lets you dim the lights, check on your car, turn up the heat, and interact with the devices, products, and services that matter to you most.

Friends encourage friends to stay healthy. Be proactive and let CoWatch sweat the small stuff. CoWatch can track your calories burned, count your steps, even monitor your heart rate after and during a workout. Using a nine-axis accelerometer, digital compass and gyroscope, as well as heart rate sensor and vibro motor, CoWatch can help you keep track of every move.


CoWatch_2

Maximize efficiency and connect with a simple touch. Send a quick response through text message, check your emails, review your calls on your phone, connect to your favourite streaming service, and turn on your favorite song – CoWatch can do it all.

CoWatch unites classic watch design with state of the art technology. Elegantly constructed and at a price point that competes with other luxury brands, you have a choice between carbon black or mineral silver stainless steel, with a fracture-resistant zirconia composite ceramic body for excellent wireless signal (2.4G 802.11 b/g/n). The vivid super AMOLED 400 x 400 high-resolution touch screen has an interchangeable and reactive watch face, catering to your mood, experience, and look, from day to night.

 

This is definitely a new concept given that Siri from Apple and Google NOW are already in smartwatches. The question is how useful or beneficial this concept will be. Reading their funding campaign made me excited about their product as this really sounds very interesting and then I started thinking about my personal application of that product.

From a personal perspective I bought the Gear 1 years ago and I was able to control my home with Google NOW until Samsung decided to kick Android OS out and replace it with their own OS called Tizen. That integration stopped working after the change of OS but other options became available e.g. IFTT, etc.  The point was to be able to have your home automation at your fingertips and/or use voice with your watch to control your home.

CoWatch_3Now, let’s look at CoWatch with this in mind. You can use CoWatch to get Alexa functionality at your wrist. I already have 2 Alexa’s in my home and I can use my voice to control my complete home. There are some rooms where using Alexa via the watch might be useful e.g. the Garage, Laundry room, etc but personally I don’t see the benefit of having an Alexa on my wrist while being at home as I can simply speak louder and Alexa will pick it up anyways. Alexa’s voice recognition range is simply awesome. This might be different if you would only have one Alexa for your whole home and you want to control your home from every single room at any point in time.

The other use case would be to be able to control your home while on the road but in that case you already have your smart phone with your favorite home automation application and if you went all the way, you already have voice control on your phone for your smart home like Tasker + AutoVera or the Siri Integration with Vera.

 

  1. At home your cell phone might not be next to you so your watch voice control might become handy but again Alexa has a large voice recognition range already.
  2. Not being at home you have your cell phone most likely on you and with the Siri or Google NOW integration you already control your home via voice.

Let’s see how their product will get accepted in the market especially with Alexa’s unprecedented growth and given that Amazon has published APIs for integration other smartwatch vendors might follow.

Disclaimer: This blog and tweets represent my own view points and not of my employer, Amazon Web Services.

Doorbell Z-wave Integration

Doorbell Z-wave Integration

To integrate your existing conventional doorbell into any existing Z-wave eco system, you have a variety of options to go about it. The method I chose was the easiest while requiring a little more hardware in terms of having to mess with timeouts, repetitive doorbell pressing, too long presses of the doorbell, etc.

Z-wave Doorbell Integration

Here is the hardware (total cost $60):

Elk Project Box

Relay

Door/Window Sensor Option 1

Door/Window Sensor Option 2

Integration process:

The N.C. terminals of the relay are wired to the external terminal connector on the Everspring window/door sensor, preventing the sensor from always showing as tripped in the home automation system.

SM-103

The relay is powered from the existing 24V power in the doorbell when the button is triggered and it also covers quick presses or long presses which otherwise could cause scene issues with your existing home automation system.

doorbell

Connect the “white with blue stripe” wire and the “white with yellow stripe” wire from the relay to the transformer terminals. Then connect the solid “yellow wire” and “solid blue wire” from the relay to the wire input terminal on the Everspring door/window sensor.

Integration into Vera or any other home automation is a breeze now. You create a trigger scene.

Doorbell Vera Trigger

Once the doorbell is being pressed the SM-103 will change state which you can detect with a trigger and then this could start any desired scene. As you can see in the video below the doorbell triggers a scene which makes Sonos speakers announce that somebody is at the door. You can control lights, etc as well.

If you want to get really fancy you can use PLEG and after you install the night/day plugin on Vera you could do things like “If night and doorbell pressed then enable front door light and announce on speakers” otherwise “doorbell pressed then announce on speakers”.

You will also see in the video below that the doorbell triggers the tablets to open the video app to show on all tablets in the house who is at the front door. I will cover this in the next post on how to integrate a video intercom system with the doorbell system.

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