Bold Google, Amazon Starts Walking, and More πŸ—·

Happy Sunday Morning! All is good here in Ireland, the whole Covid thing seems to be improving and the weather is pretty nice today. I just back from a run and time to have a nice fry up! From a smart home perspective, here are some interesting news bites this past week:

Bold Google πŸ—·

And to a non-technical story, according to recent reports, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued a preliminary ruling on a patent infringement against Google. To provide a little context, the second party in this ongoing case is Sonos. And the story began in 2020 when Sonos issued a lawsuit accusing Google of infringing a number of patents. Fast forward to more recent times and in fairness, it appears Sonos made the correct call. The implications are not really known for smart home speakers, but it’s a storyline I will personally be keeping an eye on. Get the whole read here.

Amazon Sidewalk Grows! 🚢

Amazon has big plans for its sidewalk network in 2022. As a reminder, Amazon Sidewalk is a shared network that helps devices like Amazon Echo devices, Ring Security Cams, outdoor lights, motion sensors, and tile trackers work better at home and beyond the front door. Since announced in 2021, Sidewalk is largely confined to residential areas (primarily in the USA). However, according to a recent blog post, the company is starting to deploy its network in businesses, municipalities, universities, and public services. To facilitate expansion, a new hardware device called a Bridge Pro by Ring was developed by Amazon and Ring. The new device offers a big opportunity for smart home installers. If you wanna get your feet wet with the sidewalk network, check out this article.

This Weeks Blog Post ✍️

Did you know that the latest edition of Gerard’s smart house book describes the A to Z of how to control your home lighting, thermostats, IP cameras, music, kitchen, garden, safety, and security alarm systems on your smartphone or tablet device? Here is an article I wrote over a decade ago! 

>> Read the complete article on the blog

Aqara Likes Thread 🧡

Another significant provider for smart home products announced its plans to include Thread support in upcoming devices. The inclusion of Thread chips opens the pathway for homeowners to enter the Matter smart home ecosystem. The new Thread chips will be supplied by NXP Semiconductors and the first Thread enabled devices will be new versions of its door and motion sensors. You can read the full announcement here.

Let there be Light πŸͺŸ

Following on from a story I covered a month or so ago, it looks like both Eve and Coulisse have fulfilled their promise to deliver HomeKit blinds. This is actually, really solid news because the smart blind space has been lacking in innovation and reasonably priced products. According to the news story, thread enabled are custom roller smart shades available to customers right now. Here are some key features:

  • Rechargeable (USB-C) battery-powered motor
  • Easy setup by scanning HomeKit setup code, no gateway or bridge required
  • On-device schedules put blinds on autopilot, independently of iPhone or home network
  • Supports Bluetooth and Thread
  • Interacts with other HomeKit-accessories to create a smart and safe ecosystem
  • 100% Privacy: Local intelligence and direct communication without cloud dependency
  • Manual control with just a simple pull, a valuable add-on to smart automation.

Here are some downloadable press images if you want to check them out further.

Weekly Smart Home Voice Command! 🎀

β€œHey Siri, play some jazz in the kitchen”

This is it for today, See you next Sunday πŸ˜‰. If you have colleagues, friends, or neighbors that would benefit from knowing about smart home devices, please consider sharing them.

They can sign up for the newsletter by going here.

– Gerard

ICT professional, Author, Serial Internet Entrepreneur, Investor, Smart Home Enthusiast, and Creator!

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