GM and hi everyone! Before jumping into this week’s smart home newsletter, a special welcome to the 25 newest readers of the smart home newsletter! Thank you for giving me space in your inbox. No major gossip, the cold spell is continuing with a thaw coming this week, and of course, our energy costs are surging, a case in itself for a smart thermostat! Speaking of smart devices, let’s have a look at what’s going on within this sector over the past bunch of days.!
Anker’s Eufy Security Cameras Are Not What We Expected 📹
Anker has gotten a great reputation over the last decade, expanding its phone charger business into a one-stop shop for portable electronics, including Eufy security cameras. Eufy’s commitment to privacy has also been great, as the brand promises users that their data will be stored locally.
It has come as a shock for many users to learn that you can easily stream footage from a Eufy security camera without any encryption. All you need to do this is simply connect to a unique address at Eufy’s cloud servers using the free VLC media player.
However, there is some good news. This trick only works on active Eufy smart cameras, and someone needs to input a 16-character serial number to access your security camera footage.
What You Should Know About the New User Experience Enhancements for Ecobee Smart Thermostats ☀️
When Ecobee was developing Smart Thermostat Premium and Enhanced, they also designed the user interface (UI) from the ground up. The brand’s products are ideally designed to become fixtures in your home and last for at least a decade. This explains why Ecobee introduced a new and improved user experience for users who have older models as well. Ecobee is expected to unveil the new UI to the Ecobee mobile app first, with updates to the smart thermostat expected to arrive in 2023.
Some of the new changes include:
- Easier temperature selection
- A cleaner home screen
- Voice controls and settings have been moved to the settings menu under Integrations
- The ability to see what your smart thermostat is doing at a glance
The new UI is much better than the old one because it allows users to complete basic tasks with ease. Also, Ecobee decided to start with the mobile app updates so that they can provide users with the best user experience possible. It’s worth noting that users won’t be able to return to the old user experience once the new one rolls out.
URC Systems Are Now Certified for Google Nest Integration
URC recently announced that its solutions are now certified for Google Nest integration. This means that all Google Nest thermostats can now integrate with URC’s Total Control and automation platform to provide users with a seamless user experience. The automation brand also announced that its touch screens and remote controls are now a portal that allows users to monitor and control their Google Nest thermostats within URC’s Total Control automation platform. This platform can now launch multiple screens where multiple activities can occur simultaneously. The following are some of the benefits that users will enjoy with the all-new URC Google Nest integration:
- Unified-seamless operation
- Create robust scenes
- Voice/hands-free control
- Remote access and control
- Lower energy costs
Meta Discontinues Portal Smart Displays After Announcing Mass Layoffs 🖥️
Meta has discontinued the development of its Portal smart display following the company’s announcement to lay off over 11,000 employees. The news was announced by Meta’s Chief Technology Officer, Andrew Bosworth, who explained that the entire project would take a long time and require a lot of money.
However, the future of Portal devices has always been uncertain since reports that Meta was moving away from regular consumers started circulating in the summer. Given that Portal only appealed to approximately 1% of the smart display market, this seems to be the best path for the company to take.
The recent downturn of events has been attributed to Mark Zuckerberg’s poor decision-making, increased competition, and the ongoing global economic downturn.
Even with this announcement, it’s not yet clear when Meta will phase out the existing devices and be unavailable to buy. It’s also not clear how long support will last for the existing customers. However, with the recent mass layoffs, it’s expected that Meta will make the decision in the coming weeks.
Smart Home AI-Generated Illustration of the Week!
This is it for today, See you next Sunday morning 😉. 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.
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