GM and hi everyone! Before jumping into this week’s smart home newsletter, a special welcome to the 22 newest readers of the smart home newsletter!
Thank you for giving me space in your inbox. From an IRL perspective, all cool, had a day trip to IKEA in Dublin and Thursday. Also, keep an eye out for some free training this week on how to make extra money installing smart home devices. On the smart home front, here are five important stories that occurred in recent times:
Tuya Collaborates with Amazon to Launch Bluetooth Mesh-Based Solution to Simplify Smart Device Setup Experience
Earlier this month, Tuya Smart, a renowned IoT platform service provider, officially unveiled Tuya’s solution for Bluetooth Mesh Simple Setup (BSS) for its lineup of Bluetooth Mesh smart devices. This is the latest collaboration between Tuya Smart and Amazon in the development of the IoT industry. If you’re hearing about Tuya for the first time, it may interest you to know that the platform provides support for Frustration-Free Setup among all its smart devices.
FSS is an Amazon program that lets homeowners connect their smart devices to Wi-Fi in just a few simple steps. In some cases, the homeowner can simply take the smart device out of its box and power it to complete the entire setup.
Back in 2020, Tuya came up with a Wi-Fi Simple Setup (WSS). This program is basically a part of FSS, but it’s meant for Wi-Fi smart devices. The new Tuya solution for BSS can now be used to connect Tuya-enabled smart devices to Amazon Echo devices over Bluetooth. To get started, homeowners can easily configure the device via Amazon Echo using Zero-Touch Setup (ZTS) mode.
On the other hand, some users may also opt to manually set up their smart devices using the User-Guided Setup (UGS) mode. Additionally, homeowners can also configure their Tuya-enabled smart devices using the Tuya app. Once the smart device is configured, users can control the Tuya-enabled smart devices using Amazon Echo, Alexa app, and even the Tuya-enabled app.
This means homeowners can manage their Tuya-enabled devices using voice commands and remote control without a smart speaker. With that being said, the main purpose of Tuya’s solution for BSS is to address the complexity of the previous device configuration processes and improve the overall user experience for homeowners.
The new Tuya solution for BSS comes with the following benefits:
- It gives users access to various IoT ecosystems and provides functional support- In addition to the Tuya-enabled smart devices accessing Amazon’s services, they can also enter another third-party ecosystem using Tuya’s open ecosystem. Also, homeowners can configure their smart devices using the Tuya-enabled mobile app without the need for Amazon Echo. It’s also worth noting that the Tuya solution for BSS helps global developers to come up with even more device features, including music rhythms, recurring timing, over-the-air (OTA) firmware updates, dynamic scenarios, among many others.
- It has the advantage of Tuya Bluetooth Mesh protocol – This protocol enables users to have more options for the control of their smart devices, including remote control through a gateway and direction connection via Bluetooth on smartphones. This type of connection is more stable since smart devices are less likely to be affected by interference from the 2.4GHz band with Tuya’s frequency-hopping technology.
- It’s more affordable and comes with technical support from the Tuya IoT Development platform – The numerous development solutions with low-coding or non-coding of the Tuya IoT Development platform will likely save many developers significant labor and capital costs for development. This enables them to complete development in an effective and cost-effective manner so that they can provide essential services and products to guarantee the best customer experience.
- It provides full-service support spanning from development to production – This basically means that when users develop smart devices on the Tuya IoT Development platform, Tuya can also help developers to produce smart products that meet market expectations quickly.
Generally, implementing the BSS technology was one of the main requirements for receiving Certified for Humans (CFH) certification. CFH is basically an Amazon certification program for smart devices that configure high-quality smart home experiences in terms of setup, usability, and performance. After the collaboration with Amazon, Tuya is expected to launch FSS for Matter-certified products (MSS) towards the end of 2022.
First Samsung The Wall Residential microLED Worth $800,000 Installed
Just One Touch /Video & Audio Center recently made history by installing the first ever 219- inch Samsung The Wall microLED video wall. This gigantic screen, model IW-008A, features true black, as well as an 0.84mm pixel pitch, double the original The Wall commercial version.
The screen also features HDR 2000, which is approximately four times more improved than the previous version. The entire installation project took the Just One Touch crew only three days to complete. When it comes to the audio solution for the gigantic screen TV, the crew used in-ceiling architectural speakers. However, the technicians did not have any wall reinforcement to support the entire weight of the unit.
Joseph Akhtarzad, the founder of Just One Touch /Video & Audio Center, has urged integrators to stop worrying about the price and rather focus on showcasing and marketing new technology to customers. Akhtarzad is looking forward to the growing potential for microLED technology in residential homes.
Nowadays, there is the flexibility to make the picture any size the client wants, and the suitability of this technology is in both dedicated theater rooms and high-ambient light areas of the home, as well as the quality of microLED tiles that are completely invisible, and the overall picture quality that eliminates unwanted artifacts using Samsung Motion Smoothing Technology.
The advancement of Samsung’s video technology has been faster in recent years. In 2017 the company unveiled the Fine Pixel Pitch LED, the LED HDR in 2017, the Onyx Smart LED digital signage in 2018, and commercial microLED in 2019. The company has recently unveiled The Wall All in One, including the 110-inch and 146-inch versions.
On top of the 219-inch version installed by Just One Touch, Samsung also has 255-inch and 292-inch versions available. Just One Touch /Video & Audio Center puts all its employees through weekly training on new products. The company also requires employees to practice a 2-minute sales presentation regarding the new technology, why people are buying it, and why the customer should consider it.
Aqara’s Long-Awaited Matter Transition Starts This December with Free Hub Update
Aqara just announced its smart home plans at the just concluded Matter event in Amsterdam. The plans start with a software update this December for the Hub M2, which will make most of Aqara’s existing Zigbee smart devices Matter compatible. This will then be followed by the release of Aqara’s first two Matter-over-Thread smart devices in early 2023, as well as a new multi-protocol hub in the coming days.
This December, Aqara will issue a long-awaited over-the-air update to the Aqara Hub M2. This move will make over 40 of Aqara’s existing Zigbee smart devices Matter compatible when connected to the hub. This list will then be expanded in the near future to support more than 160 of Aqara’s Zigbee devices. The company’s other hubs, including the Hub M1S/M1S Gen 2, Hub E1, Camera Hub G3, and Camera Hub G2H Pro will become Matter compatible in the coming months.
Once the Hub M2 is updated, all the Aqara Zigbee smart devices connected to the hub will become usable in any Matter ecosystem. It’s worth noting that this is the same approach Ikea is using to make their existing smart devices Matter compliant. Ikea plans to update the new Dirigera hub in early 2023 to make its existing Ikea smart products Matter compliant.
This is undoubtedly the fastest way for companies to achieve Matter compatibility. However, this means that hubs will still be required in Matter networks, especially by users who have heavily invested in Zigbee smart devices.
In addition to making existing devices Matter compatible, Aqara is also announcing new details regarding the Matter-over-Thread devices announced earlier this year. For instance, the Thread-based Door and Window Sensor P2, as well as the Motion and Light Sensor P2, are scheduled to be released early next year. The company has also announced that it will be releasing even more Thread-based devices, including dimmer switches, smart lights, plugs, and sensors.
Another device awaiting official release is the Hub M3, which according to Aqara, is a next-generation smart home hub with multi-protocol support. The Hub M3 is ideally designed to bridge existing Aqara Zigbee devices to Matter while also serving as a Thread border router and Matter controller so that it can connect and manage Thread and Matter-compatible smart devices. Additionally, support for other third-party Matter devices will also be possible with the Aqara Home app.
Level’s New Home Key Smart Lock Can Easily Be Unlocked by Anyone with Low-Skill Attacks
After a long-lasting uncertainty regarding the company’s plans to support Apple’s Home Key feature, Level officially unveiled its new Level Lock+ last month. Even though the new smart lock supports Apple’s Home Key feature, the physical design of the lock won’t exactly keep your door locked as you’d want it to. Per a video posted by LockPickingLawyer, Level’s smart lock is far from secure.
The video shows different ways in which the Level Lock+ can be compromised in a matter of seconds. According to the LockPickingLawyer, these are basically low-skill attacks that a smart lock with a price tag of $329 shouldn’t be vulnerable to. The rollout of the Level Lock+ has been confusing, to say the least.
Initially, one of the company’s representatives announced that the Level Lock+ won’t be supporting Apple’s Home Key feature. This feature allows smart lock manufacturers to integrate their locks into the Wallet app so that users can unlock their doors by simply tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch. Additionally, this feature allows people to share their keys with other iPhone users. Shortly after the representative made this announcement, the company released the Level Lock+ with the Apple Home Key feature.
Currently, this smart lock is only sold at Apple stores and retails at $329. This smart lock is quite similar to other locks previously released by Level, except for the Apple Home Key feature.
Research Shows That Security Dealers Have New Opportunities to Take Control of the Wi-Fi Network
Park Associates has released the report Control the Network, Control the Costs: Solving the Wi-Fi Problem in Home Security which was developed in partnership with Johnson Controls. This new research from Park Associates shows the increasing demand for smart home products through security system providers, but the technical challenges with Wi-Fi are common. In fact, 51% of smart home device owners have confirmed they’ve experienced a loss of wireless connectivity at some point.
The report mainly focuses on the growing demand for Wi-Fi devices integrated with security and smart home solutions, the effects of poor Wi-Fi network performance on the professional install channel, as well as the opportunity for dealers to own and manage the Wi-Fi network remotely. The latter would easily reduce the costs for dealers, limit truck rolls and even improve the overall user experience.
According to Jennifer Kent, the VP of research, at Park Associates, the loss of wireless connectivity is the main problem facing owners of smart home devices, and it has been consistent for the last four years. Jennifer Kent further explains that interest in network services has doubled from 2020 to 2021, a trajectory that strongly correlates with the total number of smart home devices owned by homeowners.
The research shows that the greater the number of smart home devices owned, the higher the interest in network services. Dealers are in a commanding position to help support, and the customers are willing to spend more on advanced network monitoring services. Dealers now report that smart home devices can easily bring additional recurring monthly revenue (RMR), increasing overall customer stickiness.
On the other hand, reducing these wireless connectivity weaknesses in half will likely add additional money to the bottom line. Also, a simple and more reliable user experience with integrated smart home devices will help retain more customers. Jeremy McLerran, the senior director of marketing security products at Johnson Controls, states that cameras, video doorbells, smart garage openers, touchscreen tablets, and other devices usually depend on the end user’s Wi-Fi network.
When the number of devices is increased, it leads to network challenges for both the dealers and consumers. Jeremy McLerran goes further to explain that their solution is tailored for the professional installer, helps improve the installation process, enhances network performance, and provides remote connectivity for support. All these can happen without rolling an expensive truck.
Smart Home AI-Generated Illustration of the Week!
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