HOOBS Smart Home Hub, Amazon Alexa Problems🚩 Sonos stuff, and More

GM and hi everyone! Before jumping into this week’s smart home newsletter, a special welcome to the 42 newest readers of the smart home⚡ newsletter! Thank you for giving me space in your inbox. 🙏 From an IRL perspective, had some issues with a Ring system installed at the O’Driscoll’s home; and a big shoutout to the excellent customer service provided by the Ring support team @ring. Okay, let’s have look at some smart home gossip this week!

Multi-Protocol HOOBS Pro Hub with Matter and Thread Announced 🧵

For the smart home DIY’ers amongst you, HOOBS, the automation company best known for their simplified approach to HomeBridge, recently launched their HOOBS Pro Hub, which comes with a host of connection options such as Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5.0GHz), a built-in thread border router, Bluetooth 5.0, Matter-compatibility and a Zigbee 3.0 hub. This is quite similar to Homey, who recently announced they’ll launch an all-new hub next year. This hub will come with a 1Gbit/s Ethernet connection, a physical button referred to as ‘a tactical button, two USB 3.1 ports, and a USB-C port. The HOOBS Pro Hub is priced at $399.99 for preorders, and the price is expected to go up to $499.99 once the product officially launches next year.

New Cybersecurity Firewall and Router Designed to Protect the Smart Home 🧯

One of the behemoths in the smart home security space has recently launched an affordable version of Firewall Purple meant for network speeds below 500Mbps. From a features perspective, this new hardware device comes with parental control, privacy protection, and cybersecurity features; all without paying any monthly fees. Additionally, Firewalla Purple SE is easy to install and simple to use, even for those who are not technology savvy.

Amazon Alexa Is a Big Failure on Track to Lose About $10 billion 💵

In case you have not heard! this year Amazon is planning to eliminate over 10,000 jobs, the biggest layoff in the tech giant’s history. Among the areas that have been hit the hardest by these layoffs is Amazon Alexa, which is rapidly falling out of favor in the company. Even though Alexa was launched by Amazon 10 years ago, the digital voice assistant unit doesn’t exactly generate any revenue. Amazon Alexa is part of the ‘worldwide digital’ together with Amazon Prime. It’s reported that this division lost the company about $3 billion in the first quarter of this year, with Alexa accounting for the majority of the losses. The digital voice assistant team is also projected to lose a total of $10 billion by the end of this year. Even though Amazon has not given up on the digital voice assistant, the tech giant saw making huge cuts to the Alexa team as a necessary move to minimize the losses. For those of you who are NGHSI certified, definitely worth keeping an eye out for this development.

Sonos Plans to Enter Four New Product Categories with the First One Coming Next Year 🕨

Sonos is planning to launch four new product categories next year with the intention of diversifying the company’s business in the long run. Even though Sonos hasn’t offered any hints to date, we can always make a guess based on the company’s job posting from earlier this year. The first likely prospect among the four product categories is wireless headphones which would add to Sonos’ portable audio category. Another prospect would be Sonos launching a video

streaming device to complement its wide variety of audio streaming services.

Another possibility could see Sonos launch Optimo 2 to replace Sonos Five as the company’s high-end standalone speaker. It’s not hard to picture Sonos unveiling new headphones that would pit the company against the likes of Apple, Bose, and Sony in that product category.

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.

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– Gerard


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